Supercars aren't known for being friendly to the environment, but Aston Martin has used the Vantage AMR Pro to debut a more sustainable approach to re-using engine oil. A new active management system developed alongside Nexcel allows the hottest Vantage to lubricate itself with re-refined engine oil.
According to Aston Martin, the use of re-refined oil is possible thanks to the Nexcel oil management system. It's a self-contained cell that houses the oil and filter, hooked up to a dedicated electronic control unit (ECU). It communicates information about the oil level and quality to the main ECU using a standard connection, meaning the setup requires very little modification to existing engine designs.
The system was initially marketed as an easier, faster way to change the oil – rather than draining and refilling the oil, garages can simply slot a new oil management system into place – but it also brings other benefits. Because used oil is contained entirely within the cell, it doesn't get contaminated with used lubricant from other sources or cars in the same garage.
Once the cell has been removed from a car, it can be sent back to Nexcel for reprocessing. Not only can the cell be refurbished with a new filter and clean lining, the oil itself can be re-refined and used again. As you might imagine, that has huge environmental benefits.
"As much as one third of used engine oil is unaccounted for, and only a very small proportion of used oil is currently recovered and reused as lubricant," says Nexcel's sustainability director, John Ward-Zinski. "The performance of Aston Martin's Vantage AMR Pro demonstrates the opportunity provided by efficient capturing of used oil, and that re-refined oils can meet the extreme lubricant performance and durability requirements of modern internal combustion engines.
"Used oils collected from Nexcel-fitted vehicles can be segregated from other waste oil streams and contaminants, grouped by type, geography and even drive cycle, which eases the re-refinement process and leads to the production of higher quality base oils and improved yields when compared to used oils collected by traditional methods."
The AMR Pro was on show at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend.