The Grand Tour: The Aston Martin Vulcan Review

Even at slow speeds,
it is quite loud in here, which is why I’m wearing
this silly face microphone so you can hear
what I’m on about. The noisiest part
of this car, however,
is not the engine. [ENGINE REVS] [SQUEALING] That’s the brakes. [SQUEALING] They are quite…
They are quite squeaky. [BRAKES CONTINUE TO SQUEAL] It actually sounds like
I’m stamping on a piglet. And things get worse
when you put your foot down. [ENGINE REVS] I’m not going to say
that it’s like being attacked
by a bear because it isn’t. But it is like being
in a room with a bear that’s thinking
of attacking you. At the moment I’ve turned the
engine down on this knob here to its minimum setting. It’s only producing
500 horsepower. So it’s not really
the speed that’s scary. Oh, God! It’s the noise
and the harshness and the vibrations. It’s not a very well-equipped
car either. The windows don’t wind down,
for instance. There are no toys at all. And you only get
half a steering wheel. However, there is
one amazing thing you get for
your £1.8 million. An all-expenses-paid trip to
a racetrack of your choice, where an Aston Martin
test driver will teach you
how to drive your car, not with the engine wound
down to 500 horsepower, but with it turned up… …to the max. Holy cow! Ha-ha-ha! The engine is now
producing 820 horsepower. And the speed
just beggars belief. The bear is in attack mode. The figures say it’ll do
0-60 in 2.9 seconds. And has a top speed of 208
with that wing on the back. But it feels a hell of a lot
faster than that. Oh, God! The other thing
you get for your money is a squadron of mechanics. But sadly… not a handbrake. Right, what I’ve done now
is I’ve taken… yes… I’ve taken the
steering wheel off, so I can’t put it in gear
to stop it rolling away. Oh, God. Agh. Argh, argh… When I’d finally
got it to stop, the jacks were deployed and
the mechanics set to work. That’s the thing
about the Vulcan. Wing angle, roll bar,
suspension, brakes. Everything can be adjusted
to suit your personal taste. After ten minutes
of pretending I knew
what they were doing, I was back on the track. And the car felt…
just as bonkers
as it had done before. However, I’ve changed. I’ve been driving
this thing now, I don’t know,
three or four hours, and I’m starting to…
understand it. I’m starting to
get used to it. I’m starting to trust it. Now I’m starting
to understand… why the Vulcan can go round the Nardo handling circuit
in southern Italy nine seconds faster
than the McLaren P1. Nine seconds in car time,
that’s a year!


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