Check Out Aston Martin’s Ingenious Oil-Change Cartridge

Behold, the 90 second oil change.

byBen Keeshin| PUBLISHED Feb 2, 2016 10:31 PM
Check Out Aston Martin’s Ingenious Oil-Change Cartridge

Aston Martin service: cheap and easy? The Aston Martin Vulcan is set to come with a revolutionary Castrol Nexcel oil cell that would allow the $2.3 million supercar to have its oil changed in 90 seconds—significantly less time than it takes to watch this James Bond double-entendre supercut. Not that the billionaires who will make up the 820-horsepower, track-only Aston Martin Vulcan’s ownership were going to sully their manicures underneath the car’s carbon-fiber, aerodynamic underbody, but still, convenience is convenience. Castrol is calling its Nexcel system a “leap in liquid engineering,” for its ease of use and its ability keep high-performance engines lubricated even at the ludicrous speeds and g-forces the cars achieve. Surely it deserves that poetry, but for our part, we’re calling it an automotive printer cartridge.

Looking much like that office supply, the Nexcel is a sealed, replaceable oil cell that includes both oil and filter, plus the electronics needed to dole out lubricant in appropriate doses. It’s set to function as well or better than other high-performance systems on the marketplace; the big differences come when it’s time to refresh the Vulcan’s oil. When a change is needed, an owner can select a service setting that pumps all the oil back into the cartridge. Then, the entire cell is removed, with no risk of a jet of hot, dirty oil to the face, and a new one is slotted in. No draining, no staining, no mess! (That’s how we’d phrase the infomercial, assuming you could buy an Aston Martin Vulcan late night on QVC.)

Besides ease of servicing, the Castrol Nexcel system—effectively a dry-sump arrangement that uses the cartridge as an oil reservoir—also will work well in the endurance racing trials the Vulcan and its gentleman-racer owners are sure to undertake. It’s also recyclable.

Castol has been working on this system for a long time, but it wasn’t until the very special, limited-edition Vulcan that the company found the perfect OEM partner. Castrol needed a car with small production, but a high profile; the 24 ludicrously evil-looking Vulcans are the perfect match. In the coming years, this system likely will trickle down to more high-volume, pedestrian cars whose owners might benefit from the savings of a painless DIY oil change. Because the Nexcel requires space under the hood, it can’t be retrofitted, but look for factory application in 5-10 years.

In the meantime, put some Vulcan videos on the laptop and finger the Epson.