DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC

How Aston Martin could help make your life better

Aston Martin's track-only Vulcan supercar is the first production model equipped with Nexcel's oil management technology.
Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
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Aston Martin is playing a key role in reducing CO2 and giving back a huge amount of lost time to car owners. How? By allowing its track-only Vulcan supercar to be the first production model equipped with a potentially game-changing oil management technology created by Castrol subsidiary Nexcel.

The system reduces tailpipe CO2 emissions by allowing the engine to warm up faster. This is possible because more than 2 liters of oil can be removed from a vehicle that uses the system, leaving less fluid to warm.

The system is also designed to make it possible to complete an oil change in just 90 seconds, Nexcel Business Development Director Ben Russell told me.

Nexcel used last week’s Geneva auto show to show a dry sump version of the system in the Vulcan, which was making its European auto show debut. One reason the 830-hp Vulcan was picked was so that the system could be pushed to its absolute limits, Aston Martin said.

Nexcel's Ben Russell removes the company's oil management system from the Aston Martin Vulcan.

At the show, Nexcel also demonstrated a new wet sump variant that it says could be in a mass market passenger car or light commercial vehicle by 2022 or 2023.

Russel said it would take that much time because Nexcel will need to be involved in a car project from the concept stage, as it was with Aston Martin during the four-years it took to get the component into the Vulcan.

The supplier is currently in the research stage of development with a number of automakers, Nexcel Managing Director David Goosey told me.

As an added benefit, Nexcel is confident that if its system goes into wide global use the percentage of oil that is recovered will rise into the high 90s from less than 70 percent now.

“This is the most exciting project I’ve been involved in during my 17 years with the company,” Goosey said.

Added Russell: “We think this should be the oil system on all cars in the future. With the environmental benefits, why would you want to go any other way?”

Less CO2, less waste oil and drastically reduced maintenance times create a convincing argument in favor of the system. But it should be noted that the current version is a bit bulky and heavy so it will take some time for engine bay designers to figure out the best way to make it fit under the hood.

You can reach Douglas A. Bolduc at dbolduc@crain.com.

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