Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Aston Martin P1800

Volvo's P1800 will forever be associated with The Saint, for better or worse. But things could have been very different had this model made production: a P1800 with a unique Aston Martin four-cylinder engine.

Using many parts from Aston's 3.7-litre six-banger to reduce development costs, the plan was to create an engine to sell in order to generate a fresh revenue stream, but of course the firm were reluctant to sell their mainstream engines for fear of creating sporting rivals! So this engine, the DP208, is a 2.5-litre twin-cam that cannot be found anywhere else.
The story goes that Volvo expressed an interest in the engine, hence why this mule was created to test the package as a whole. Production costs would have been prohibitive, while the engine was over 30kg heavier than the standard unit, so the project never took off. However, the car in these pictures is no rough 'n' ready test-bed; indeed, it was used by the engine designer's wife as a daily driver for a year. The sumptuous curves of the P1800 with a snarling British soundtrack? Simon Templar would have loved it...

1 comment:

350tvr said...

This is a recreation using one of the original engines; it's not the original prototype. The Swiss Aston specialist Beat Roos tracked down the engine and installed it in an early 1800 donor.