Three months after announcing its plans to create a new ultimate-performance-focused sub-brand, Aston Martin is getting ready to put the very first AMR cars into limited production.
The Vantage AMR will be available in V12 or V8 engine configuration and both models will make their real-world dynamic debut at this weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans. And the reason for choosing the Circuit de la Sarthe is to highlight the fact that everything about the car's extra power, aerodynamic efficiency and turn of speed is as a direct result of breakthroughs the company has made in racing.
"The Vantage AMR will appeal to our most enthusiastic customers," said company CEO, Dr Andy Palmer. "These are people who love our cars for their motorsport pedigree, and for their unmistakable dynamic and emotional qualities."
But their limited production numbers – just 200 examples of the 430bhp V8 and 100 examples of the 595bhp V12 will ever be built – are also bound to make the cars attractive to those looking to cash in on the growing popularity of contemporary classic cars, a point Palmer concedes. "[It] will undoubtedly make them extremely collectable, but they're so good to drive I'm confident we'll see many of them being enjoyed both on the road and at track events around the world," he said.
Also helping in this regard is that each owner can specify his or her AMR to suit their driving styles. The car is available with an automatic sequential or manual transmission. The cabin can be pared back to the bare minimum for weight saving. Carbon fibre seats are on the options list, as is an extreme aerodynamics package with front splitter, side sills and a fixed rear wing, all made from carbon fibre in partnership with Aston Martin Racing.
With the launch of AMR, Aston wants to offer clients two ways of getting further into performance. Firstly, through special models like the AMR Vantage, but then through a bespoke service, AMR Pro, that can push an existing car in the Aston range to the limits of the laws of physics.
The new sub-brand is also a very fitting way to say "goodbye" to the current generation Vantage. It has been in production since 2005 and will soon be replaced by an all-new model that is expected to feature a Mercedes-AMG V8 under its hood and to take many of its design cues from the special one-off DB10 that the company built for the 2015 James Bond film "Spectre."
"The Vantage has been an incredible success for Aston Martin, both in V8 and V12 forms. As our most agile and athletic road car, and our long-time representative in the world of GT racing, it is the perfect model with which to introduce the exciting AMR range," said Palmer.