‘Top Gear’ takes us inside the Aston Martin Project 003
“Top Gear” magazine’s Jack Rix might be the ideal lad to lock in a room with a cool car and a camera. After taking us on tours of the Mercedes-AMG One and Honda Urban EV concept, he’s wandered into another anteroom with the Aston Martin Project 003 and Vanquish. When we saw the mid-engined coupes at the Geneva Motor Show, it looked like Aston Martin programmed the Valkyrie family’s design language to “softer” on the RMB-003 and “softest” for the Vanquish. We wanted more details.
Cue Mr. Rix. The deputy editor fills us in on trivia like the combined weight of the Project 003 headlights and taillights being less than the weight of a single DB11 headlight. He also shows us how the NASA-aided FlexFoil wing works, and where the potential rear-view cameras would be mounted.
Then he gets inside an interior that’s “a bit more civilized” than that on the Valkyrie for not putting hip level beneath knee level. However, notice that here, too, the seat is built into the carbon fiber tub — the end of the seat bolster is flush with the footwell. And check out those vents that triple as speakers and ambient lighting.
Rix can only walk around the Vanquish, since that car’s not due until 2022, a year after the Project 003. Nevertheless, there are plenty of Easter eggs to share, like how design elements from front-engined Aston Martins have been integrated throughout the mid-engined bodywork.
As a bonus feature, Aston Martin has taken a separate look at Valkyrie development through the eyes of high-performance test driver Chris Goodwin. The racer explains how he’s using the Red Bull Formula 1 team’s simulator to tune the Valkyrie road car’s handling, active suspension, and aerodynamic systems. Goodwin was McLaren Automotive’s test driver and worked on the Speedtail, so it could mean something when he says of the Valkyrie, “It’s going to be a substantial gap between this car and what’s currently available on the market.”