Aston Martin Goes Directly After Ferrari and McLaren with Two New Mid-Engine Cars

Photos: Aston Martin

The Geneva Motor Show is often a parade of supercars, a place for the robber barons and tech overlords who were just at Davos a month ago to cross some items of their shopping lists. And Aston Martin, long a purveyor of expensive GT and sports cars, is using Geneva to go hard on the mid-engine supercar market—and right after Ferrari and McLaren. With V6 power, no less.

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Aston Martin had several key debuts at Geneva today, in addition to the wild V12 Aston Martin Valkyrie we’ve all known about for some time. First up with stuff today, there’s the Aston Martin AM-RB 003. If that name sounds familiar, it’s not far off what the Valkyrie was originally called.

This will be a limited-production hypercar that clearly draws design, tech, body and structure influence from the Valkyrie—think of the way McLaren does things—but ditches the V12 for a turbocharged hybrid V6 setup instead.

Aston Martin says it incorporates “concepts and technologies taken directly from F1 and applied to the epoch-making Aston Martin Valkyrie, providing it with performance to meet and surpass the performance demands of existing top-end hypercar rivals.” Neat!

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Power specs haven’t been revealed yet but the company says this is an in-house hybrid turbo V6, not a Mercedes-AMG engine as it’s been using lately. It uses a carbon fiber structure, carbon fiber bodywork, aircraft-derived “FlexFoiltech for active aerodynamics management and a more spacious and luxurious cabin than the hardcore Valkyrie.

Aston Martin insists this hypercar is not a “dilution” of the Valkyrie, but something that can stand on its own merits. And it’s not all the brand had to show off today.

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Next up, we have the Aston Martin Vanquish Vision Concept, which previews Aston’s “first series production mid-engined supercar.” It shares a lot in common with the Valkyrie, again, and the 003 above, except this seems to be meant to be the more volume-selling one.

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The Vanquish name—one of the better car names, if I do say so myself—is revived here after two decades as a grand tourer. It is meant to be “a transformational moment for the brand,” one that’s aiming it right after the other European mid-engine exotics. Fitting, then, it comes in this nice shade of British Racing Green.

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This car, unlike the 003, uses an all-aluminum construction instead of a carbon fiber body. Aston says the new Vanquish is “more seductive and less technical appearance than Aston Martin Valkyrie and AM-RB 003, but it’s still extreme in terms of visual gestures.” Take that however you want, but I don’t think it’s boring to look at.

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As with the 003, exact specs weren’t released today. But it will have the same V6 engine from the hypercar, though it isn’t clear if it’ll keep the hybrid powertrain or not. Maybe that’ll be reserved for the top dogs; maybe it’ll follow what the Acura NSX is doing.

Either way, I’m really into the looks, and I’m excited to see Aston Martin’s take on an increasingly crowded but still lucrative segment of performance cars. Between these two and the Valkyrie, we have some cool things coming from Aston soon.

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Patrick George

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.