Aston Martin made the CC100 Speedster to celebrate 100 years of success, and the car looks like it. It's a sensational V12 speed machine.
There were exciting prototypes at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este today, and there was the Aston Martin CC100 Speedster. Let me talk you through it:
Aston Martin has 100 candles on its birthday cake, and they thought the best way to enjoy this long moment is by making a prototype just as cool as the DBR1 racers of the 1950s. While standing next to the car, I managed to get five minutes from Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of the brand. In case you haven't seen him before, the man with the red chinos is him.
He was very friendly, but I couldn't get much out of him apart from some remarks about how Aston Martin is always ahead of the competition, and that his favorite classic Aston is the DBR1. You know, the car that inspired the Speedster.
Luckily, I also met Miles Nurnberger. He is a young man who used to work for everybody from Peugeot to Lincoln and BMW before landing at Aston Martin a few years back, only to become the Chief Designer of the CC100 project six month ago. He is the one taking a photo of his own design:
I would totally do the same. He also shared some details about his baby.
First of all, it was done in half a year. That's remarkable for a fully working prototype. What happened was that while playing with the clay models, they came to the conclusion that this car had to be made at some point. Soon after that, they were told that the Speedster has to be ready in six month. They got busy.
While using the V12 Vantage as a base (Miles just got one for himself), most of the design work was done digitally, meaning that the team could only see the car at the point when all the finished bits came back from the suppliers and they put it together. Lego for lucky adults.
The resulting details are amazing. The bare carbon fiber in the interior is not just there to save weight, but the components are also shaped to work perfectly with the radical exterior, which is painted Sterling Green with bright yellow stripes highlighting the driver's cockpit. These were inspired by aerial photos of famous racetracks like Spa. Look how these fade into the green of the panels is screaming speed even standing still — this is a racecar.
No windshield but a helmet, no doors but safety bars opening upwards. Ceramic exhausts and all the features that would keep you alive in a normal Aston Martin convertible.
The CC100 is something I didn't expect from Aston. They say they aren't about numbers, while I felt that they were a tiny bit slower than the competition on most levels. But with this, they've nailed it.
The 6.0-liter V12 makes 510 horsepower in the already compact Vantage. Now image the same with less weight...
This Speedster then is way more than a centenary design exercise. It's a radical prototype that could easily get a numberplate if that was the plan. It won't, as it wasn't, but if this is the direction Aston Martin is taking in the next five years, my eyes are wide open.