14 October 2013

Digging In The Crates - Turbo Lag'

You can imagine the thinking that went on at Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd that bought about the genesis of this car.

- 'Right, we've got this beast of an engine in the Bulldog; Shall we build another engine, put it
in an Oscar India* and make a Super Vantage?'
- 'Nah, lets bung it in a Lagonda; NO-ONE will expect that!'

This Aston Martin Lagonda saloon, chassis no. 13004 was a factory project; with a twin-turbo version of the familiar Tadek Marek designed 4-cam 5.3 litre V8. Power is quoted in the article as 'way over 400bhp', but bear in mind the Aston Martin Bulldog had a similar engine with 700bhp...
The one-off Bulldog is also powered by the same V8, but with twin Garrett AiResearch TO3 turbochargers; originally equipped with Bosch Fuel Injection, this was later changed to four Weber carburettors. Power output on the test bed reached in excess of 700 bhp, although as installed in the Bulldog this was apparently in the region of 'only' 650 bhp.
Performance quoted in the article for the Lagonda is pretty swift for a 4400 lb car built in 1978;
0-60 mph comes up in 'a touch over six seconds' while 0-100 is ticked off in just over 14 seconds. As a comparison, the contemporary Lamborghini Countach LP400S performs the same two disciplines in 5.9 seconds and 14.4 seconds respectively.
If this were an actual face-off, the look on the Lambo driver's face the as the Lagonda keeps up would probably be priceless. The chauffeur no doubt glancing over at his rival while touching the the brim of his cap in respect while you peruse the latest copy of Forbes in the back. He'd probably be muttering something that paid homage to the origin of the Countach's name...
So, what happened to ATM 640S? Not good news, I'm afraid; according to Lagondanet, the car was scrapped. A tragic end for such a noble Q-car.
Build a replica someone. Make it happen.


*Oscar India being the phonetic initials related to the October 1978 Introduction of the V8 'Saloon'

You can just make out the turbos at the front of the engine bay by the slam panel

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