Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blast-off for 24h Aston

Brits unleash petrol racer for June’s enduro, with new six-cylinder engine set to make its way into road cars.

Aston Martin AMR-One LMP1
Meet the stunning racer charged with taking Aston Martin to Le Mans 24 Hours glory. These exclusive pictures show the AMR-One LMP1, which aims to break the dominance of Audi and Peugeot diesels at the enduro.

The new car is a radical design departure, as it uses an open cockpit layout instead of the old Lola-Aston Martin LMP1’s closed coupé configuration. 

Under the distinctive finned engine cover is an all-new 540bhp six-cylinder 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol turbo that promises a winning blend of efficiency and power. 

Aston bosses are confident the new powerplant will give the team its best shot yet of taking honours at Le Mans. “We have chosen this engine as we feel it offers the best potential within the regulations,” said team principal George Howard-Chappell. 

“With the organisers’ commitment to balance the performance of petrol and diesel entrants, we have high hopes for close racing in the LMP1 category.”

What’s more, the racing engine points the way to a new unit that is being lined-up to power the next generation of Aston’s road cars. The new unit is likely to be cleaner and more powerful than the long-lived 6.0-litre V12, which will fall foul of emissions regulations without significant development. The fact that the racing engine features direct injection, which has negligable benefits in a performance car, hints that Aston is looking to downsize.

The firm has a history of using straight-six six-cylinder engines, beginning from the DB2 in 1950, right up to entry-level models of the DB7, which went out of production in 1999. 
Aston Martin AMR-One LMP1 rear
Aston Martin AMR-One LMP1 front
Aston Martin AMR-One LMP1 side
Aston Martin AMR-One LMP1 interior
Aston Martin AMR-One LMP1

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