- The Aston Martin Valhalla started out quite different from the car we see here today, in part because of company changes including the arrival of former AMG head Tobias Moers as Aston’s new CEO.
- Instead of the expected V-6, the mid-engine Valhalla will get a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 sourced from AMG.
- The first customers should get the Valhalla in late 2023, and they’ll pay around $800,000 for it, which is much less than the seven-figure prices that were expected when the car was first discussed.
Aston Martin first confirmed it was planning to produce two other mid-engine supercars to follow the Adrian Newey–designed Valkyrie back in 2019, releasing rendered images of what would become known as the Valhalla at the same point. But the change in the company’s senior management last year, when a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll took control of the English company and former AMG boss Tobias Moers arrived as CEO, has led to a bold new direction for the car.
The Valhalla name remains, and some of the original design concept lives on, but almost everything else has changed. Red Bull Racing’s connection with the car has been unsurprisingly broken now that Aston has its own Formula 1 team, and the Valhalla will now use an AMG-sourced V-8 in place of the hybridized V-6 engine that Aston had previously committed to building itself. It will also be a plug-in hybrid with an electrically powered front axle, production won’t be limited to 500 cars, and the outline pricing has fallen considerably from the $1.3 million we were originally told to expect.
Back in May, Moers told Car and Driver that work on the new V-6 had barely started when he arrived at Aston, making the swap to AMG power an obvious decision. We are told that the mid-mounted 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 will be based on the flat-plane-crank engine produced for the AMG GT Black Series and will be capable of revving to 7200 rpm and of making 740 horsepower. Company insiders have also indicated that engines will be hand-built from AMG-supplied components in the U.K.
The V-8 will send drive to the rear axle through a new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox from Italian supplier Graziano. It will be supplemented by two electric motors, one powering the front axle and the other blending assistance with the combustion engine at the rear through the transmission. Together Aston says these can add up to 200 horsepower, making for a peak combined output of 937 horsepower. The company is promising a 2.5-second zero-to-62-mph time and a 217-mph top speed and says the car is on track to deliver a 6:30 lap time of the 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife. (The current production-car record there is the 6:43.3 recently set by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.)
The new gearbox will also use an electric reverse and incorporate an electronically controlled limited-slip differential at the rear axle. While the full battery specs haven’t been released yet, it appears to be same actively cooled 400-volt, 6.1-kWh unit that AMG has developed for the next-generation four cylinder C63 (a project that Moers led while at Daimler).
Like the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, the Valhalla will be able to operate in pure electric mode, although only for short distances and with drive delivered exclusively through the front axle. This EV mode will have a top speed of 80 mph and a range of around nine miles under the EU’s WLTP testing protocol. The car will also support recharge speeds of up to 150 kW.
The Valhalla’s structure is based around a central carbon-fiber tub with subframes for suspension and engine mounted to this. Aston says it is targeting a dry weight of less than 3418 pounds. The front suspension uses pushrods, and the rear axle has a multi-link design. Adaptive dampers and two-stage springs from Canadian supplier Multimatic will allow an ultra-low track mode to help increase downforce; the combination of active elements at the front, the huge adjustable rear wing, and the underbody Venturi tunnels will allow the Valhalla to produce up to 1322 pounds of this. The roof “snorkel” incorporates separate intakes, the one in the center feeds the engine’s induction system, those on either side channel cooling air.
Carbon-ceramic brakes will be standard and will work with an e-booster. Aston also confirms the Valhalla will use electric power steering and it will also get a suite of active safety systems including adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring. It will also get conventional side mirrors, supplemented by a camera-based rearview screen in the cockpit; it would be impossible to see through the carbon-fiber engine cover with its twin upturned exhausts. The interior will feature fixed seats with a movable pedal box, Aston’s forthcoming new UI system—the first to support a touchscreen interface—and the all-important supercar dihedral doors.
Pricing hasn’t been finalized, but we’re told to expect it will be somewhere around the $800,000 mark, with the first customer deliveries due in the second half of 2023. That’s a huge amount of money, but a substantial saving from the seven-figure price that the Valhalla was originally proposed to have. Which must mean it qualifies as a bargain.
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