Most of the superlatives we use to describe cars are absolutes, verifiable metrics backed up with cold, hard facts at the end of the day: the quickest, the fastest, the biggest, the smallest, the most expensive. Coolest, however, is something else entirely. Coolness is inherently subjective, dependent upon personal tastes, beliefs and choices — although one could argue that, to paraphrase Justice Potter, you know it when you see it.
All that said: we'd argue there's a very strong case to be made that the new Aston Martin Victor may be the coolest new car to come out this year.
Admittedly, it's a little unfair to compare this monstrous machine to the serialized production cars coming out in 2020. It is, after all, a one-off — a custom carbon-fiber-chassis commission whipped up by Aston Martin's bespoke Q Division. The bones of this beast are closely related to those beneath the company's One-77 and track-only Vulcan hypercars of years past; likewise the V12 beneath the massive hood, a 7.3-liter job like the One-77's that's been upgraded by Cosworth to spit out 836 thundering horsepower and 606 lb-ft of torque.
The outside, however, is very different from the Victor's futuristic hypercar brethren. Whilke the One-77 was all sensual curves and the Vulcan raw, angry race car lines, the Victor is an homage to the burly Aston Martin V8 Vantage made from 1977 to 1989. It's more than just a retro machine, however; the aerodynamics are based upon the Vulcan's track-attack setup, reportedly giving this machine twice the downforce of Aston Martin's Aston Martin Vantage GT4 race car.
Step inside, and you'll be greeted with a stylish interior that blends tech-y new-school elements like a squared-off steering yoke and a carbon fiber dash with exposed aluminum and acres of leather (and even some cashmere). The most notable part, however, lies between the driver and passenger: the wood-topped aluminum shifter for the manual gearbox.
Yup, that's right: this brand new, 836-hp, V12-powered Aston Martin uses a stick shift.
Aston Martin isn't saying who commissioned this dream car (or how much it cost, but let's face it, this is a serious case of if you have to ask, you can't afford it), but odds are good we'll find out soon enough. Considering this ride is, shockingly, street-legal (though probably not in the United States), we have to imagine whoever ordered it is just champing at the bit to show it off.
Oh, the name Victor? It's not a presumptuous tribute to the car's implied victory over forces unknown; rather, the name of the man who was head of Aston Martin when the V8 Vantage debuted was one Victor Gauntlett.