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Aston Martin makes itself at home at Silverstone




BRITAIN’S quintessential sportscar company, Aston Martin, has hooked up with Britain’s quintessential race track, Silverstone, to create a permanent base for chassis and powertrain track testing.


The home of the British grand prix, in the heart of England, has become home for the Aston Martin Lagonda vehicle dynamics team as it works on prototypes of future new models, including Aston Martin’s first SUV, the Rapide E – an all-electric vehicle due out towards the end of next year – and the 2021 mid-engine hypercar, Project 003.


Much of the testing and benchmarking will be done on Silverstone’s 1.28km Stowe circuit, one of the smaller loops on the infield of the large 2.63km grand prix circuit. Part of Stowe uses segments of two disused Royal Air Force runways on the one-time World War 2 bomber airfield.


The company is establishing an engineering centre at the track to house dedicated technicians and engineers, including those from Powertrain Systems Development. Called Aston Martin Silverstone, the base will be fully operational by the end of the year.


Aston Martin chief engineer Ian Hartley said that as Aston’s models become more high performance, the company becomes more dependent on track development.


“Having the Stowe circuit and regular access to the remaining Silverstone circuits will be a great development advantage,” he said.


“It will allow us to refine the ride and steering attributes on the road and then very quickly evaluate the handling characteristics before making changes with the tuneables.”


Aston says it has until now done its ride tuning in the UK before heading off to Europe for high-speed circuit testing of the ride, handling and steering.


Aston Martin releases one new model a year, along with some special editions.


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