UK race circuit ideal for working on chassis dynamics and high-speed handling development, UK luxury car maker says
Aston Martin moves to Silverstone testing facility
British luxury car firm Aston Martin Lagonda's (AML) Vehicle Dynamics team has been handed the keys to its new home at Silverstone – known as "the home of British Motor Racing".
Based alongside Silverstone’s Stowe Circuit, Aston Martin Silverstone will provide a permanent base for the firm's test and development programmes when it becomes fully operational next month, the company said on Wednesday.
This month Aston Martin floated on the London Stock Exchange although the shares slipped 4.7 by the end of the first day. That did not unnerve the chief executive Andy Palmer, however, who looked more to the future.
“We’ve taken 105 years to get to an IPO, we are not going to worry much on what the initial shares are doing,” Mr Palmer told Bloomberg TV at the time. “We will always look over the longer term.”
With Aston Martin launching a completely new car every year plus multiple special editions, the Vehicle Dynamics experts have a busy programme of prototype vehicle testing. Silverstone’s choice of world-class circuits and dynamic handling areas are ideal for working on chassis dynamics and high-speed handling development, the company said.
“The new base at Silverstone will provide us with a reference circuit upon which to develop the next generation of Aston Martins," said Matt Becker, the car maker's chief engineer for vehicle engineering. "Silverstone is a fantastic place for us to practice the dark art of vehicle dynamics, the fine tuning that takes place to turn a good car into a great car. Our talented team of engineers and our high performance test drivers now have a racing circuit right outside the door.”
Once the refit is complete, Aston Martin Silverstone will boast a state-of-the-art workshop with dedicated technicians on-site to support all activities.
Silverstone’s Stowe circuit will be used to develop future Aston Martins including the Rapide E, the marque's first 4x4, future mid-engined sports cars and Lagondas to name but a few.
Silverstone already offers an Aston Martin driving experience where punters can try an Aston flat-out.
“As our cars become even more high performance our dependency on track development becomes greater, said Ian Hartley, Aston Martin’s senior manager for vehicle engineering. "Having the Stowe circuit and regular access to the remaining Silverstone circuits will be a great development advantage. 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.”
Currently the team carries out ride-tuning work in the UK and then travels to circuits across Europe to evaluate the high-speed ride, handling and steering. Most of Aston Martin’s stability control (ESP) development is done on a test track in Europe so the new UK base will be a real advantage, the firm said.
Silverstone will also be used for performance benchmarking, durability testing and will be the home of Powertrain Systems Development, Aston added.