Finally, an Aston Martin we can all afford.
Aston Martin’s first entirely electric car will be the RapidE scheduled to come out in 2019, but the manufacturer from Gaydon already has a zero-emissions vehicle to call its own. It’s a special edition of the V8 Vantage GTE that triumphed earlier this year at the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans. It doesn’t have an electric powertrain, nor does it run on hydrogen, yet it still does not pollute the environment and stays silent all of the time. Yes, it’s a soapbox car, so it uses gravity as a source of fuel.
The miniaturized V8 Vantage GTE was created specifically for the Red Bull Soapbox Race scheduled for tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London, U.K. Aston Martin personnel will attend the “24 Seconds of Le Ally Pally” event and tackle the corners using a gravity-propelled vehicle. Though AM has a strong partnership with Red Bull Racing, the British sports car marque has made the promise the race will be entirely fair as it won’t ask the energy drink brand for any favors to tip the balance.
Speed won’t be the only factor that will be taken into consideration during Sunday’s race as the designs of these adorable soapbox race cars will also play an important role. British drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, winners at the endurance race, will take care of the showmanship aspect, which will also count in the outcome of the competition. The duo will do its best to support Aston Martin’s Prototype Operations Senior Engineer, Alex Summers, who will be behind the wheel of the downsized and motorless Vantage GTE transformed into a convertible.
Despite lacking the soundtrack provided by the race car’s V8, the soapbox is still pretty cool and even has a fake fuel cap where you would normally feed the thirsty engine on the real deal.
Source: Aston Martin
Gallery: Aston Martin soapbox car
ASTON MARTIN RACING SET TO REVEAL NEW RACE CAR THIS WEEKEND
- Special-edition V8 Vantage GTE to take on all-comers in Red Bull Soapbox Race
- Aston Martin team to be judged on speed, creativity and showmanship as they try to repeat the on-track success of the Le Mans winning V8 Vantage GTE
7 July 2017, Gaydon: Aston Martin Racing will reveal a very special-edition of the V8 Vantage GTE that won the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans at this Sunday’s Red Bull Soapbox Race at Alexandra Palace in London. The ’24 Seconds of Le Ally Pally’ will see a crack team of Aston Martin personnel, take on all-comers in a miniature version of the Le Mans winning V8 Vantage GTE.
David King, President of Aston Martin Racing said: “When taking on a challenge as big as this it is important to rally your troops and throw everything you’ve got at it. Aston Martin has enjoyed great on-track success with the V8 Vantage GTE so it was the obvious choice for the design of our soapbox entry. I don’t think we’ll be putting our race drivers in it though as we need them to be in one piece for their next World Endurance Championship race the following week!”
Aston Martin has a successful Innovation Partnership with Red Bull Racing but there will be no favouritism on Sunday. It is a level playing field, so to speak, and the Aston Martin crew is ready for the fight having made meticulous preparations.
Over 104 years ago, early Aston Martin cars were designed for hill-climb racing so all that knowledge can now be turned on its head. It’s not great news for those who love the sound of a V8 or V12 engine as the power source for this event much quieter…gravity! With design and engineering by Aston Martin and the build taking place at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell, the Aston Martin challenger is already a favourite for the event.
Entrants are judged on speed, obviously, and creativity of design. They are also judged on showmanship and this is where Le Mans winners Darren Turner (GB) and Jonny Adam (GB) can help. Well-known for their ability to put on a great show, the two racers will be on hand to support Alex Summers, Aston Martin Prototype Operations Senior Engineer who has (been) volunteered to race the mini-Vantage.
“Having watched the Red Bull Soapbox Race numerous times, it looks the most amazing event so I can’t wait to go and see it for real,” said Turner. “There is no way in the world I would get into one but I’m very happy to wave the brave pilot on his merry way. I hope Alex manages to last for more than 24 seconds and, most importantly, makes it to the bottom in one piece!”
Tickets for the race have sold out but you can catch all the action on Dave (Sky 111, Freeview 12, Virgin 127) from 17:00hrs on Sunday. Fans can also vote for the Aston Martin Racing team by visiting http://www.redbullsoapboxrace.com/uk/en/team/24-seconds-of-le-ally-pally/.