Some cars are built to race and are defined by the sporting regulations. Others are built for the street and are defined by the law. And then there are cars that are built for neither the street nor sport; cars built solely to express the capabilities of an automaker, cars that are built only for one reason—the pure pursuit of speed …
Aston Martin Vulcan—V is for Very V12
There’s not a whiff of electric motors on the Aston Martin Vulcan—no turbo chargers, no superchargers, no batteries—nothing but a raw, meaty 7-litre V12 lump that sounds meaner than Clint Eastwood telling you to get off his yard. No four-wheel drive, either. What you have here is power—loads of it—howling through the rear-wheels via stout Michelin rubber. If you like your hypercars loud, brash, and a little delinquent, you’re going to love the Vulcan. If you love dumping your right foot onto carbon fibre and leaving behind enough rubber to boot an army, you’re about to fall madly, deeply, truly in love.
Just take a look at the exhaust, made from Inconel and Titanium that exits from the side to keep the air running through the rear diffuser nice and neat. Those pipes gleam a sunset-orange glow—and some epic fire-breathing is built into the show. That combined with the sound—violence!—along with a steering wheel which just begs to be driven, all of it translates into a car that is just absurdly not of its time. A throwback to the past?
Not quite. Looks can be deceiving. There’s a lot of high-tech’ going on around the tub—starting with the tub itself which weighs less than 180kgs. An all-aluminium chassis and state-of-the-art carbon fibre body (and cockpit) brings the Vulcan in at under 1400KGs. That, along with the 800 (and more) horses blowing through a six-speed sequential ’box, equals head-snapping quick. Power-to-weight in the Vulcan is even better than Aston’s V12 Le Mans offering, and the Le Mans connection doesn’t end there: Aston have tuned the car’s handling with their race-spec’ pushrod and anti-dive geometry suspension, and then added adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars into the mix.
And then there’s the aero’ which gives the Vulcan GT3-levels of downforce from the front splitter, rear diffuser, and the adjustable rear wing. A very-very, very big rear wing. Aston’s figures—running the car at 60mm front and 80mm rear ride height—give the Vulcan 324kgs of downforce at 100mph.
If this all sounds like a race car, it’s because it is—kind of …
Aston Martin made only 24 Vulcans—at $2.3 million each. For that price you get the beast … and your own crew of mechanics. You’ll need them because this is not a street-legal car—this is solely for track-day use, like Ferrari’s LaFerrari FXX K, and McLaren’s P1 GTR. Except, unlike the Ferrari and McLaren, you actually get to keep the Aston Martin. Taking it out around your neighborhood at midnight, however, may not be the smartest idea you’ve ever had. Unless it’s in Project CARS 2. Given the rawness of the Vulcan, sim-seat time will prove invaluable. Zero-to-100 in less than three seconds and top-speed of 360kmh—this is not a car you want to mess about in. Not until you’ve spent some quality time on the simulator, that is.
So why is it called the Vulcan? It’s named after the 1950s long-range Cold War V Bomber. Which is apt, because—when you shake away all the high-tech gadgets that Aston have thrown at the Vulcan, most of them taken directly from their winning motorsport program—it’s difficult not to see this hypercar as coming from a different era. With modern thoroughbreds headed down the electric-motor, turbo-charged motorway, there’s something reassuring about a V12 thundering through the valleys at the ’Ring—you can almost imagine the guys at Aston sitting around the garage one day wondering, ‘What would a GT3 be like if we could just make it as fast as we knew how?’
The Vulcan is your answer.
McLaren P1 GTR—The return of a legend
The letters GTR behind a McLaren is a rare thing; it has happened but twice in the storied history of this, one of the world’s most elite automakers. The first was the F1 GTR that conquered Le Mans in 1995. You can drive the “Long Tail” version in Project CARS 2.
The second? The second was 2015’s McLaren P1 GTR, introduced exactly 20 years on from that celebrated Le Mans victory. McLaren made only 58 examples of the P1 GTR, and they were offered exclusively to owners of the McLaren P1. The price was around $2,500,000. If you’re having trouble raising the cash, the good news is—it’s coming to Project CARS 2.
Like the Vulcan, this is a trackday car only. And if you’re thinking, Man that’s a lot of dosh for a car that needs a trailer to get around, you’re missing the point. Unrestricted from any legalities for road-use, or indeed even racing rules, means McLaren could produce a one-off hyercar that would push the boundaries and limits of their know-how, without any restrictions at all. A pure pursuit of speed. What does that look like?
How about 986hp from the McLaren twin turbo 3.8-litre V8 on a shell that weighs 1,400KGs. That breaks down to 197hp from the e-motor, and 789hp from the old-school lump sitting mid-ship. Or 0-100kmh in just 2.4 seconds, with top speed of 225mph (362kmh). It also has an ERS-style push-to-pass system, because when you bought a P1 GTR, you also got an invitation to race in P1 GTR-only events around the world (and yes, that includes your own pit crew).
The car comes with slicks—and slicks only—and sits on a fixed ride-height on race-prepped suspension. The enormous wing, meanwhile, is also DRS-enabled, and is capable of generating over 400KGs of downforce. The whole aero’ package is capable of 660KGs at 210kmh. In pain-to-the-brain terms, that’s over 2.5g of cornering forces.
McLaren claimed the P1 is the “best driver’s car in the world”. Sure, Porsche and Ferrari might have a thing (918 Spyder) or two (Ferrari LaFerrari) to say about that, but then they’re not McLaren’s chief test driver, Chris Goodwin, who took the P1 round the ’Ring in under 7 minutes.
That was fast, but the P1 GTR is a lot quicker. How quick is something you’ll need to discover for yourself; numbers and words just don’t do this car justice. When you get your hands on it with Project CARS 2, you’ll begin to understand what 400KGs of downforce on a car that weighs 1,400KGs and pushes just south of a ton of power feels like, on slicks, and on a race-prepped suspension, at the scanned Nordschleife.
The Aston Martini Vulcan, and McLaren P1 GTR, will come with Project CARS 2, released in late 2017 for the PlayStation®4 system, Xbox One, and PC.