Building Aston Martin's awesome Vulcan racecar (pictures)
We take a close look at how the British automaker crafts its monstrously powerful £1.5 million racecar at a secret facility in the heart of England.
Meet the Aston Martin Vulcan -- the most powerful car ever built by the world-famous manufacturer. Built entirely by hand in a secret production facility near Warwick, England, separate from the company's regular operations, this racing beast boasts some astonishing vital statistics. Its engine produces 800 horsepower, it'll do 0-60 mph in only 3 seconds and it can hit a top speed of over 200 mph. Only 24 Vulcans will ever be made and they're all built almost entirely from lightweight, high strength carbon fibre.
Perhaps its most eye-watering figure, however, is its £1.5 million asking price -- that's about $2.15 million or AU$3.06 million.
We got up close and personal with this automotive monster during its production, so click through to see what lurks under the hood.
Don't expect to see one pulling up at the traffic lights next to you. Quite apart from the rarity of the vehicle, the Vulcan is designed specifically for the racetrack, rather than for cruising around the countryside. It's designed by Aston Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, who also created the Aston Martin DBS, the One 77, and James Bond's very own DB10, seen in the movie "Spectre".
Reichman says the design of the Vulcan hints at the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars.
Eight technicians are responsible for constructing the Vulcan, each of whom were specially selected from Aston's existing engineering team due to their experience in motorsport. It takes over 390 man-hours to bolt it all together by hand.
The immense brake discs are made from racing-grade carbon ceramic, which can withstand the extreme temperatures generated under hard braking. They measure 380mm in diameter -- I've wedged my iPhone 6S Plus in place for size comparison.
Here it is in its dark green and blue paint job. Aston Martin says there's an almost infinite range of possibilities for paint colour and trim options. I'd be interested to meet the person who'd spend millions on a racecar and have it painted hot pink.
All of the engineers working on the Vulcan build have extensive experience with racing engineering for a variety of teams and manufacturers. They don't just specialise in one part of the process either -- they're each capable of working on every part of the car.
Vulcan owners will be trained in how to properly race their cars by Aston Martin's own training team. They'll start off in lower-powered cars such as the V12 Vantage S (itself a phenomenally powerful beast) before letting the Vulcan loose on the track.
There's a screen in the dashboard showing all kinds of telemetry about the car from oil pressure to braking performance. There's no option, however, to watch "Spongebob" while you're hurtling around the track. Perhaps for the best.