8 Insane Facts About Aston Martin’s Weirdest Concept: The Bulldog

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If there’s one thing automakers love, it’s coming up with outrageous designs that defy expectation and are often practical. Sometimes these wacky dreams come true, often by builders, or in the case of the Aston Martin Bulldog, years later by dedicated enthusiasts. The Bulldog’s story is one of perseverance, and like the fighter jets it is named after, the Bulldog is hard to ignore and harder to resist. Its unique design, although closely associated with 80s designs now, was revolutionary for its time.

The original prototype was built by Aston Martin in the late 70s as part of a collaboration with designer William Towns, yes that William Towns, the designer of countless iconic wedge-shaped automobiles. The car was produced at the iconic marque’s new facility in Newport Pagnell, helping engineers push their equipment to its limits and craft their most capable vehicle to date.

8 Secret headlamps

Due to the slim appearance and limited light output of the side headlights, engineers had to hide five large lamp-like lights under the hood. The most fascinating part of the craft is that when the lights were off, they are completely hidden from the outside observer, only coming out when the central part of the hood lowers. Although some may call the design extravagant, it’s hard to deny how cool the concept is. The main reason the designers were able to hide these lights in the bonnet was primarily because the Bulldog incorporated Aston Martin’s first mid-engine configuration.


seven Turbocharged Pioneer

Aston Martin could afford to put the secret headlights in the bonnet because the Bulldog was the manufacturer’s first attempt at a turbocharged engine. The Bulldog’s insane 650 horsepower V8 engine was also Aston Martin’s first time in the turbocharged realm.

Supercharging basically works by forcing excess compressed air into the engine’s combustion chamber through the turbine air channels. The process allows the engine to use fuel more conservatively and produce greater power.

Related: 2019 Aston Martin DBS Makes 715 HP With Twin-Turbo 5.2L V-12


6 Doors without handle

Trying to subvert all consumer expectations, the folks at Aston Martin opted for side buttons to control the lowering and raising of its hydraulic gullwing doors. This feature, although minimal, greatly affects both the design and the aerodynamics of the vehicle.

5 Minimum drag

With a drag coefficient of just 0.34, the Bulldog surpasses even the aerodynamic design of today’s hyper and supercars. For those unfamiliar with the effects of air drag on car performance, basically anything that moves through the air hits that pesky barrier: air resistance.

A drag coefficient indicates an object’s ability to move and move hair. With its pointed, arrow-shaped body, which happens to be one of the most aerodynamic shapes, the Bulldog can achieve an incredibly low coefficient of drag. Not to overload the animal puns, but one could say that the air glides from water similar to a bulldog on a duck’s back.

Related: The most aerodynamic electric vehicle in the world: The Lightyear One

4 Not a single curve

Designed by William Towns, the Bulldog’s body consists only of sharp edges and straight lines. It’s an incredibly common occurrence with the designs of Bill Towns, who believed the future of automation lay in rigid forms, and the influences of brutalism in his work are evident.

Brutalism is an artistic and architectural movement of the mid to late 20th century that accentuates and uses sharp edges and irregular shapes. This goes against what is observed in nature. In this way, artists of the genre hope to evoke strong emotion and a sense of evolution.

Related: These are the 10 coolest wedge-shaped sports cars

3 Multi-million dollar baby

At the time of its design, the Bulldog was expected to cost around $2.2 million when it is finally produced. At the time, Aston Martin executive Alan Curtis quickly realized that this kind of price would be unmanageable. This is one of the reasons the project ended up on the cutting room floor. However, the prototype ended up being sold to a buyer for around $100,000.


2 One of a kind

Partly due to the car’s price and complicated design, talks of a production model were dropped, leaving the one-off prototype the only one in existence. The choice was made due to the vehicle’s unique design, extravagant concept and expected high price. However, the Bulldog changed hands several times during its life, with each owner adding their own modifications to the car.

1 bulldog reborn

Although the original model did not reach Aston Martin’s projection of around 230mph, the Bulldog’s current owner has spent over 6,000 hours restoring the car and pushing it to that 200mph status +. Despite the revamped Bulldog’s ability to hit its promised speed, current press about it has been muted and unclear. Hopefully fans and enthusiasts can see the Bulldog fully realize the dreams of its original designers.


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