Aston Martin launched evil looking track-inspired Rapide and Vantage concepts at Geneva, and with them an entire new brand that will sit right at the top of the brochure: AMR.
Think of AMR as Aston’s Black Series, a badge reserved for the most extreme cars to leave the Gaydon factory. In fact there’ll be two tiers of AMR cars. Every core model, from the Vantage through the DB11 and on to the Rapide, will get and AMR version offering power, chassis and styling upgrades – while AMR Pro models will be more extreme.
Showcasing the basic AMR approach, and presenting Aston’s four-door as we’ve never seen it before, the Rapide concept features Aston’s signature Stirling Green paint, new 21-inch wheels and aggressive aero treatment in the form of a front splitter, side sills, rear diffuser and aero flip on the rear deck.
The race theme continues inside with extensive use of carbon and Alcantara used for everything from the door casings to the four bucket seats. But AMR at its basic level is about selling the idea of performance. Mechanically, this concept is little different from a regular Rapide. Which is where AMR Pro comes in...
Powered by a 500bhp version of Aston’s GT4 race engine, the Vantage AMR Pro is a track-only weapon that rides on fully adjustable suspension and centre-lock wheels. Like the Rapide, this Vantage borrows its colour scheme from Aston’s Vantage GTE racer, but then goes one further, pinching its bonnet and rear wing too.
Inside however, there’s more of a luxury twist to the race theme, with Dark Knight Alcantara for the bucket seats and a custom roll cage designed by Q, Aston’s personalisation department.
"Cars such as the Vantage GT8 and Vantage GT12 confirmed that our customers love raw, race-bred models," said Aston’s boss, Andy Palmer.
"But we also knew there was an opportunity to create cars that offer a sharper performance focus but stop short of those truly hardcore, special series models. With the AMR brand we have the perfect platform to deliver both."
Palmer went on to confirm that Aston would build 7 examples of the AMR Pro Vantage and 210 AMR Rapides.
The AMR name isn’t exactly new, mind. It’s also the name of the competition arm Aston launched in 2004, and which went on to score class wins at Le Mans and propelled Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen to first place in the 2016 WEC.
By clearly branding its road cars with the AMR stamp, however, Aston is directly linking its street and circuit activities for the first time.
Find out more about the new cars in our video below.
DRIVETRIBE’s Feature Editor, Henry Catchpole, takes a look around the new Astons.