Special-edition Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE gets ready for the Red Bull Soapbox Race

Article by Christian A., on July 10, 2017

Nowadays, we have all heard of hybrid cars and electric vehicles. But one thing is for sure, not everybody has seen or have heard of a gravity-powered car - until now at least.

You might already be aware of Aston Martin’s all electric car that is set to come out in 2019, the RapidE. But even before that comes out, they have already made a special edition V8 Vantage GTE that has zero emissions, which made its way to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. What’s cool about this car is that is does not run on an electric powertrain, nor hydrogen but it has less carbon footprint, plus it does not make a lot of noise. So how is that possible, you ask? Well, it is actually a soapbox car that runs on gravity. Sounds very scientific huh?

Aston Martin and Red Bull have always had a good relationship, and the V8 Vantage GTE was built for none other than the Red Bull Soapbox Race that took place on July 9 held in Alexandra Palace, London, UK.

The automotive and energy drink company will ensure that it will be a fair race, so the former promised not to get any tips from Red Bull. It is going to be exciting to witness a soapbox car that uses a gravity-propelled vehicle to race at the “24 Seconds of Le Ally Pally”.

The race is not just about speed like other events, as the design of the soapbox also plays an important role. Prototype Operations Senior Engineer of Aston Martin, Alex Summers will be the one to drive the convertible soapbox during the race. Alongside him are endurance race winners, Darren Turner and Johnny Adam who will be the ones present at the showmanship aspect.

Overall, the winner will be judged based on the look and its performance. The Red Bull Soapbox Race is a lot different from any of the usual Red Bull events that you may have seen before, but it is a fun show to watch.

The company is known to develop powerful performance cars but it doesn’t mean that they cannot build something still powerful, but silent and gives out zero emissions - replacing internal combustion for gravity as its power source. Oh, I may have forgotten to mention that it is also much smaller than an average Aston Martin.A

Aston Martin truly enjoyed the V8 Vantage GTE’s on-track success, and because of this, it was the one they chose for the soapbox entry. The company also said that they plan to have this car join the World Endurance Championship race next week so they need the soapbox to come home in one piece.

Press Release


Aston Martin Racing will reveal a very special-edition of the V8 Vantage GTE that won the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans at this Sunday’s Red Bull Soapbox Race at Alexandra Palace in London. The ’24 Seconds of Le Ally Pally’ will see a crack team of Aston Martin personnel, take on all-comers in a miniature version of the Le Mans winning V8 Vantage GTE.

David King, President of Aston Martin Racing said: “When taking on a challenge as big as this it is important to rally your troops and throw everything you’ve got at it. Aston Martin has enjoyed great on-track success with the V8 Vantage GTE so it was the obvious choice for the design of our soapbox entry. I don’t think we’ll be putting our race drivers in it though as we need them to be in one piece for their next World Endurance Championship race the following week!”

Aston Martin has a successful Innovation Partnership with Red Bull Racing but there will be no favouritism on Sunday. It is a level playing field, so to speak, and the Aston Martin crew is ready for the fight having made meticulous preparations.

Over 104 years ago, early Aston Martin cars were designed for hill-climb racing so all that knowledge can now be turned on its head. It’s not great news for those who love the sound of a V8 or V12 engine as the power source for this event much quieter…gravity! With design and engineering by Aston Martin and the build taking place at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell, the Aston Martin challenger is already a favourite for the event.

Entrants are judged on speed, obviously, and creativity of design. They are also judged on showmanship and this is where Le Mans winners Darren Turner (GB) and Jonny Adam (GB) can help. Well-known for their ability to put on a great show, the two racers will be on hand to support Alex Summers, Aston Martin Prototype Operations Senior Engineer who has (been) volunteered to race the mini-Vantage.

“Having watched the Red Bull Soapbox Race numerous times, it looks the most amazing event so I can’t wait to go and see it for real,” said Turner. “There is no way in the world I would get into one but I’m very happy to wave the brave pilot on his merry way. I hope Alex manages to last for more than 24 seconds and, most importantly, makes it to the bottom in one piece!”

Tickets for the race have sold out but you can catch all the action on Dave (Sky 111, Freeview 12, Virgin 127) from 17:00hrs on Sunday. Fans can also vote for the Aston Martin Racing team by visiting http://www.redbullsoapboxrace.com/uk/en/team/24-seconds-of-le-ally-pally/.

Source: Aston Martin

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