The Upcoming Aston Martin Valhalla Breaks Cover
Overview of Aston Martin Valhalla
The Valhalla, the Gaydon company’s debut plug-in hybrid vehicle, “heralds a new meaning of Aston Martin,” stated the company. It is the first all-new model released under the direction of new CEO Tobias Moers, an essential element of the brand’s aggressive ‘Project Horizon’ reinvention strategy. According to the proposal, Aston Martin would release “more than ten cars” by 2024, along with the Valhalla, the closely similar but less formidable Vanquish supercar, and the ultra-exclusive V12-engined Valkyrie hypercar.
Aston Martin’s new factory-backed F1 squad is reported to have inspired nearly every aspect of the Valhalla’s two-year evolution from the RB-003 Geneva concept to manufacturing. It was revealed for the first time at the team’s Silverstone headquarters, just before the British Grand Prix, wherein Aston will compete for the first time in 61 years.
Significantly, unlike the 2019 prototype, the Valhalla is not equipped with a custom-built Aston Martin V6, as was initially envisioned. The advancement of that 3.0-liter engine, which had been set to outperform even the DBS Superleggera V12’s 725hp output, was halted shortly after Moers took over even though it would not have been Euro 7 compliant and would have required another huge investment that was too big to bring to life, according to Moers.
Instead, the Valhalla follows in the footsteps of Aston Martin’s Vantage and DB11 coupés by employing a powertrain provided by technical partner Mercedes-Benz; primarily, the AMG production unit’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, which in this implementation generates 750hp, revs to 7,200rpm and influences the rear axle via an all-new, custom design, 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox, that will also be seen in other potential models.
The Valhalla’s V8 engine, like AMG’s new GT Black Series, has a flat-plane crank and is claimed to be the most sophisticated, agile, and high-performing V8 engine ever to be installed in an Aston Martin. It also has a compact exhaust system that emerges through the top of the rear deck and has adjustable flaps to provide an original Aston Martin sound signature.
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The Valhalla most evidently varies from Aston’s current crop of sportscars in the use of a pair of electric engines, one on the rear axle just behind the mid-mounted V8 and the other at the front – combining to generate 204hp and giving the Valhalla a sum of 950hp – only 36hp less than its closest competitor, the correspondingly formulated Ferrari SF90 Stradale. This, according to Aston Martin, is enough for a 0-100kph time of 2.5 seconds, a peak speed of 330kph, and, most importantly, a goal record-breaking Nürburgring lap time of 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
The Valhalla, like the SF90, can drive in pure EV mode for 15 kilometers and at speeds of up to 130-kph, but in normal driving circumstances, electric power is distributed across both axles as needed to augment the V8’s performance. It reverses entirely in electric mode, saving weight by eliminating the requirement for a traditional reverse gear in the 8-speed DCT with a digital limited-slip differential to enhance momentum and agility. Therefore, it can provide two gears to enable the EV and combustion engines to function in conjunction.
Mechanics, Aerodynamics, and Chassis
The all-new engine is housed in a custom carbon-fiber chassis that provides optimum rigidity with the least amount of weight penalty. Aston Martin claims that the Valhalla’s dry weight of 1,550kg will offer it an unrivaled power-to-weight ratio relative to its class opponents. In contrast, aerodynamic-enhancing bodywork components influenced by the Valkyrie’s F1-style configuration will create 600kg of traction at 241kph.
The front chassis is a pushrod, while the rear suspension is multi-link, having dampers and springs positioned inboard to decrease unsprung mass. In Track mode, the complete system is strengthened and significantly reduced, and it may be lifted at low speed to pass speed bumps.
Aston Martin’s architects were allowed greater freedom for the overall appearance by employing more subtle bodywork components to improve downforce, eliminating the necessity for such prominent wings, intakes, and outlets as on the Valkyrie. The style is sleeker, more explicitly road-focused, and very different from the prototype.
The large roof scoop, forward-hinged dihedral doors, sweeping back deck, and one-piece rear wing are all retained, but an entirely new front, rear, and side approach bring the supercar in line with its other conventional siblings.
A wraparound variant of Aston Martin’s signature grille appears at the front, for instance, beneath wider, fuller matrix LED headlights. In contrast, the rear diffuser has been drastically softened for a much more friendly manufacturing configuration. There is also a more geometric side skirt, steeper side vent layouts, and, of course, wing mirrors, which were missing from the display vehicle. Furthermore, the production-spec rims are 20 inches in diameter at the front, and 21 inches in the back and are encased in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres.
There promises to be a similar narrative inside. Aston Martin has yet to reveal the production-spec cabin, but it promises a pared-back cockpit layout featuring plain, uncomplicated ergonomics unabashedly centered across the driver. It will be larger as compared to the Valkyrie, with amenities such as an infotainment display featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, and a slew of smart driving aids bolstering its on-road capabilities.
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Pricing and Release
The Valhalla will now be preparing for a market debut in the second quarter of 2023. Aston Martin F1 racers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll are asked to provide input on the vehicle’s dynamic performance.
Pricing and availability have yet to be revealed. However, Reichman stated at the concept’s presentation at the Geneva show: “If the Valkyrie is the best of the best, then the Valhalla is the greatest at £1 million.” Earlier this year, Aston’s CFO, Kenneth Gregor, revealed that Valhalla deposits accounted for a portion of the £296 million deposit balance in 2020.
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