Aston’s failed supercar is ginormous, overpowered and bizarre-looking.

The Aston Martin Bulldog looks like the physical embodiment of a 70s synth soundtrack.

As wedge-shaped as a car gets, this 70s supercar may look like every other performance car of its time but once you get to understand it, the Bulldog quickly stands out from the rest.

First of all, unlike the Countach, Lancia Stratos HF Zero, DeLorean, Testarossa and many other wedge cars, the Bulldog was not Italian-designed.  Proudly designed by British designer William Towns (who also designed the Aston Martin Lagonda) and originally was due to be produced in Britain too, the Bulldog was Aston’s take on the Italian-dominated supercar market.

Of course, the Bulldog never made it to production so the attempt to challenge the Italian wedge supercar ultimately failed. Originally designated with the name ‘DP K.901’, it was later named after the plane that Aston’s Managing Director flew which also handily had connotations of the British dog breed best known for its strength and pedigree.

Despite being as overtly British as possible, the Bulldog was to be produced in a left-hand drive configuration in order to appeal to foreign markets. It was also far too big for British roads, much like the Lagonda. Coming in at around 4.7 metres long and almost 2 metres wide, this car would be much more comfortable on American roads and car parks than in most European countries.

That being said, one universally attractive trait it had, especially in a time before people cared about pollution and fuel economy, the Bulldog was going to be very powerful and fast. It was due to inherit the 5.3-litre V8 used in other Astons but with one key difference – twin turbos! Turbocharging was no where near as commonplace in the late 70s as it is today and using this then-advanced technology would give the Bulldog the upper hand in the supercar market. Calculated to produce 600-700hp and achieve a top speed of over 200mph, it would have left an incredible impression if the car made it to production.

The test model that was made actually did end up achieving a top speed of 192 mph and 0-60 mph in just 5 seconds. The engineers expected the Bulldog to go on to achieve a top speed of around 237 mph, if their calculations were correct. After all, with a very low drag coefficient of just 0.37 cd (great, for its time) and using the newly-harnessed power of a twin-turbocharged engine, you can see where this sort of overconfidence came from.

To put that power down, the Bulldog’s wheels were huge, with the rears tyres being 345 mm across. Built with a mid-engine layout and tubular steel chassis with aluminium panels, this was going to be Aston’s showcase of what they’re capable of. Huge gullwing doors and fancy concealed centre-mounted headlights helped accentuate the already-obvious statement they were making. Alas, that statement never really materialised.

And so, we are left with the fond and largely forgotten about memory of the Aston Martin Bulldog, a weird and wonderful British supercar that we wish had a more successful story.

Let us know what you think of the Bulldog, in the comments.

If you enjoyed this, you may also like: ‘See Classics At Braxted Park This Summer

Like What You’ve Read?

For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.

Please note: You cannot subscribe to Motor-Vision unless you put a tick in the checkbox below to indicate have read and agreed to our privacy policy.

Leave a Reply