Aston Martin fans are used to their marque running off tiny numbers of niche models – well-documented throughout the days of Aston Martin Works and further established during the latter days of the “VH” platform Vantage – but its Q Division (Q By Aston Martin), now ten years old, was formed to push the boat out even further.
In recognition of its first decade, the elite department is to unveil its DBR22 roadster concept towards the end of Monterey Car Week. The (for now) one-off prototype pays tribute to Aston’s open cockpit World Sports Car Championship glory days of the late Fifties, when the likes of the DBR1, DB3S, and DBR3 ruled supreme.
While there are hints of those old racers though, the likes of Carroll Shelby, Sir Stirling Moss and Roy Salvadori might struggle to recognise the car’s more technical aspects. In place of the venerable Lagonda-Bentley and Marek sixes of yore sits a 705bhp, 5.2-litre twin turbo V12 from the DB11, fed air by a DBR1 and DB3S-inspired grille made of carbon fibre.
At the rear, there’s a 3D-printed rear subframe – the first unit produced this way by Aston. There are creature comforts, too, including leather upholstery and carbon fibre seats backed by a one-piece fairing that extends over the rear of the car.
Furthermore, the DBR22 showcases Q By Aston Martin’s bespoke paint service, “Paint to Sample”. Customers at this branch of the Aston tree, naturally, can have any interior and exterior combination they like.
Aston Martin states that the DBR22 would “become a production reality for a select number of Q By Aston Martin customers,” we is believed to be 10 people, paying about £1.5 million for the privilege. It wouldn’t be the first time; Q has run off a string of low volume “V Cars” before, including the one-of-a-kind Victor built by commission, 14 Vantage V600s and 24 Vulcans, so a handful of DBR22s should be all in a day’s work.
For those lucky enough to afford it, the DBR22 offers a rare opportunity, especially with Aston limiting access to its V12 engine now that the V12 Vantage has sold out.