Aston Martin Le Mans Racer Looks Fast Even Standing Still

Aston Martin Vantage GTE“Looks like it’s going a hundred when it’s standing still” is a lazy old way for people to describe fast-looking cars. But in this case, it’s particularly appropriate: Check out the number 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, whose eye-boggling checkered livery will debut at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Designed by German artist Tobias Rehberger, the checkered visuals make the Aston Martin Vantage GTE look like a still frame captured from a high-speed video, the blurred edges of the dark squares resembling digital glitches and mimicking the appearance of great speed. The uneven spacing, with the checkers bunched close together in the middle of the driver’s door, then widening over the car’s flared fenders, allows the right angles of the pattern to emphasize the Aston’s curves.

“In this case, the design is based on a geometric optical effect pattern,” Rehberger explains. “Comparable to a fast object, a steady fixation on a point of the pattern is impossible.”



The number 97 Aston is a privately owned race car that will appear on the grid at Le Mans this weekend. It carries on the art-car tradition kicked off at Le Mans 40 years ago when an Alexander Calder–painted BMW competed in the historic daylong event. No matter how this particular Aston performs at the Circuit de la Sarthe, it’ll look fast doing it.

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