Aston Martin Project 003 to break with front-engine tradition

Aston Martin's next joint venture with Red Bull Advanced Engineering will again break with tradition and be mid-engined. It's expected to arrive in 2021.

If you look back at Aston Martin’s long and prestigious history, you’ll note that every production car has been front-engined. There was the mid-engined Bulldog concept car of 1979, but as far as machines the public can buy, Aston has remained traditional. The extreme Aston Martin Valkyrie will move the engine to the middle for the sake of performance, but is Aston Martin about to break with its past and move into a mid-engined future?

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Aston Martin has confirmed a ‘son of Valkyrie’ project that will incorporate a turbocharged engine mounted midship and an electric motor. Codenamed ‘Project 003’ this new car is another joint venture between Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Engineering, but is said to be less extreme and more usable everyday than the Valkyrie. That said, it should be no less special considering its expected £1 million price tag, limited production of 500 cars, and rivals that include the McLaren P1.

Talking to Autocar, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that there are multiple mid-engine projects underway, suggesting not only that Aston has greater ambitions than GT cars, but that mid-engined models might become the normality.

Details are scarce on this new mid-engine hypercar, but Red Bull designer Adrian Newey makes mention in his book ‘How to build a car’ of a turbocharged V6 hybrid drivetrain that was originally considered for the Valkyrie. Could it find a new home in this new model?

Aston Martin has conjured up a lot of excitement over the past few weeks with announcements of exciting new continuation models, an all-new Zagato based on the DBS Superleggera, and now a McLaren rival. Aston Martin's pending initial public offering might have a lot to do with the timing of these announcements, but they bode well for anyone looking to invest in the British brand.

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