Automotive

Published on July 16th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Aston Martin Valhalla Revealed With Mid-Mounted 937 hp V8

Two electric motors for the Valhalla signals Aston Martin’s intention to pit it against the SF90 too. 

While perhaps most famous for its brutish V12 grand tourers, Aston Martin has nevertheless in recent times attempted to diversify its portfolio somewhat. Such is evidenced with the launch of its DBX SUV, and more recently its Valkyrie hypercar. 

Built in collaboration with Red Bull Racing, the limited-run Valkyrie was always meant to be an exclusive plaything for those who could have afforded its £2.5 million (RM 14.5 million) price tag. To those with comparatively more modest means however, Aston Martin might have just the thing for you now with its newly launched Valhalla. 

Though borrowing its fair share of design cues from the Valkyrie with its sleek overall silhouette, the Valhalla is instead more similar under the skin to the Ferrari SF90 Stradale instead. That is because powering this Aston Martin will be the marque’s first PHEV powertrain, with a 4.0-litre mid-mounted V8 being assisted by a pair electric motors. 

Delving deeper into the technical specs of its electrified heart, the internal combustion element of the Valhalla might seem familiar to some, as it is in essence a derivation of the flat-plane crank twin-turbocharged unit to be found within the ‘Ring-busting Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series. Aston Martin however has managed to eke out a few more horses for this particular application here, with a claimed peak power figure of 750 PS at its screaming 7,200 rpm. 

The responsibility of sending that healthy dollop of power to the rear wheels for forward motion meanwhile falls to an all-new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with an in-built electronic limited-slip differential, developed by AMG exclusively for Aston Martin. Reversing in the Valhalla however comes exclusively by way of its electric motors, much like the McLaren Artura. 

And continuing on the topic of the pair of electric motors that each lie on an axle of the Valhalla, they contribute a combined 201 hp to endow this PHEV Aston Martin with the headline power and torque figure of 954 PS (or 937 hp in old world speak) and 1,000 Nm respectively. It also therefore enables its blistering century sprint time of 2.5 seconds, not to mention its 330 km/h (217 mph) top speed. 

Speaking of blistering performance numbers too, Aston Martin is targeting for a sub-6:30 lap time for the Valhalla round the ‘Ring. For those more interested in the environmental aspect of things however, this PHEV supercar claims to be able to travel up to 15 km on its EV-only mode at speeds of up to 130 km/h. 

Now moving onto the other aspects of this mid-engined Aston Martin, a carbon fibre tub aims to bring the Valhalla’s dry weight to beneath the 1,550 kg mark for an ‘unrivalled power-to-weight ratio compared to its class rivals’. Its aero-enhancing bodywork, like its active front splitter and rear wing, on the other hand claims to generate 600 kg of downforce at 240 km/h. 

Aston Martin has also fitted the Valhalla with F1-style pushrod suspension up front and a multi-link set up found the rear, topped off by Variable Spring rate Multimatic Variable Spring rate and Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) Damper units that provides ‘adjustable ride frequency for exceptional performance on road and track’. Attached on all four corners too are carbon ceramic brakes with brake-by-wire tech, hiding behind a staggered 20- and 21-inch wheel combo wrapped in bespoke Michelin tires. 

Interestingly, Aston Martin has yet to reveal the production-spec interior of the Valhalla. What has been said though in regards to its driver-focused cockpit is that it will be more spacious than the Valkyrie, with a smattering of creature comforts (like dual-zone climate control) and a raft of advanced driver aids thrown in. 

It has also yet to be revealed as to how much exactly the Valhalla will cost, when goes on sale in the second half of 2023. The previous £1 million (RM 5.8 million) price tag has however fortunately been mooted by Aston Martin, but it is also reasonable to expect this PHEV supercar’s price tag to not be that far off that mark. 

PRESS RELEASE: Aston Martin’s transformational journey takes a huge step forwards with the Valhalla concept car brought to production reality as an extraordinary, truly driver-focused mid-engined hybrid supercar.

Led by Aston Martin’s CEO, Tobias Moers, Valhalla is the latest and most significant product of the brand’s Project Horizon strategy to-date; a car which will broaden the model portfolio to reflect Aston Martin’s presence in Formula One, set best-in-class standards for performance, dynamics and driving pleasure, and drive the transition from internal combustion to hybrid to full electric powertrains. 

Aston Martin’s Executive Chairman, Lawrence Stroll said: “Aston Martin’s first series production mid-engined supercar, Valhalla is a truly transformational moment for this ultra-luxury brand. The launch of Valhalla demonstrates Aston Martin’s commitment to building a range of exceptional mid-engined driver focused cars, a crucial next stage in the expansion of our product line-up. It also seemed fitting to unveil this stunning track biased supercar at the home of motorsport and the home of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team and marks Aston Martin’s return to the British Grand Prix for the first time in over 60 years, a true milestone.”

Built with chassis, aerodynamic and electronics expertise forged in Formula One, and a cutting-edge hybrid powertrain technology at its heart, Valhalla is a formidable technological showcase. Yet far from engineering the driver out of the loop, Valhalla’s sole focus is immersing them in a new kind of supercar driving experience. One which brings unprecedented excitement, enjoyment, and driver engagement to the top of the supercar sector.

With pinpoint handling, prodigious levels of downforce and a breathtaking blend of instant battery-electric torque and the intensity of a scintillating V8 engine, Valhalla’s fusion of raw emotion and hybrid efficiency reflects a new era. One defined by a shift in attitudes and expectations that demands contemporary supercars are not just sensational to look at and thrilling to drive, but that they truly reflect the technology employed in the highest level of motorsport. As such Valhalla is at the forefront; an authentic, next generation Aston Martin road racer, designed around the driver, for the driver and built to be enjoyed.

Valhalla heralds a new definition of Aston Martin. With a mid-engined 950bhp gasoline/battery electric powertrain, new carbon fibre structure and aerodynamics shaped by the pioneering philosophy first seen in the revolutionary Aston Martin Valkyrie, Valhalla will bring the perfect balance of hypercar performance and advanced powertrain, driving dynamics and uniquely sophisticated design materials to truly redefine the supercar sector.

For a true engineer like Moers, Valhalla marks the moment where Aston Martin delivers on earlier promises, he says: “Preserving the essence of an exceptional concept car is vital when meeting the challenge of bringing it into production. With Valhalla not only have we stayed true to our commitment to build a world-beating supercar, but we have exceeded our original aims. The result is a pure driving machine – one which exists right at the cutting edge of performance and technology yet allows the driver to feel the emotion and thrill of complete connection and control.”

At the beating heart of Valhalla is its all-new PHEV powertrain, which features three motors; foremost of these is a rear-mid-mounted 4.0 litre twin-turbo bespoke V8 engine. The most advanced, responsive and highest performing V8 engine ever fitted to an Aston Martin, it features a flat-plane crankshaft for increased responsiveness. Revving to 7200rpm and developing 750PS, it sends drive exclusively to the rear axle. Exhaling through a lightweight exhaust system with active flaps for an adjustable and authentic Aston Martin sound character it also features top-exit tailpipes to maximise visual and aural drama.

Supplementing this new V8 engine is a 150kW/400V battery hybrid system utilising a pair of E-Motors; one mounted on the front axle and the other on the rear axle. The electric system contributes a further 204PS for a headline combined power output of 950PS. When driven in EV mode battery power is directed exclusively to the front axle. In other driving modes battery power is split between front and rear axles, the percentage sent to each axle constantly varies according to driving demands. In certain situations, 100% of battery power can be sent to the rear axle, supplementing the full force of the ICE V8 for maximum performance.

Completing the powertrain is an all-new 8-speed DCT transmission. Exclusively designed and built for Aston Martin, this new paddle-shift gearbox has been developed specifically for the hybrid era. Featuring e-reverse (which utilises the PHEV’s electric motors and thereby saves weight by negating the need for a conventional reverse gear) the transmission also features an Electronic Limited-Slip Differential (E-Diff) on the rear axle for maximum traction and handling agility.

Electrical power is also used to enhance low speed control and response as well as provide reversing capability. And, thanks to the instantaneous torque from the E-Motors, the hybrid system augments the V8 engine to deliver sensational standing start acceleration and in-gear response. Outright performance is further aided by the E-Motor and V8 ICE being able to run different gears in the DCT simultaneously, which enables a maximum torque delivery of 1000Nm.

Running in EV-only mode, Valhalla will be capable of a maximum 80mph / 130km/h and has a zero-emission range of 15km. Predicted CO2 (WLTP) is less than 200g/km. Unleashing all 950PS the Valhalla will reach a top speed of 217mph / 330km/h and will complete the sprint from 0-62mph in just 2.5 seconds. In terms of outright track capability, a stunning 6:30 Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time is being targeted.

Ralph Illenberger, Head of Powertrain Engineering said: “Valhalla is our first opportunity to really show what we are capable of in a true production sense.  We have created our own bespoke air-to-air charge-cooled, flat-plane crank V8 engine and have combined it with a powerful hybrid system. And, of course, we also have our own bespoke Dual Clutch Transmission – a first for Aston Martin and an essential component both for Valhalla and future Aston Martin models. The result is a truly world-class powertrain for an efficient, ultra-performing supercar.”

In terms of its structure, Valhalla is built around a new a carbon fibre tub for maximum stiffness with minimum weight penalty. Featuring Formula One style push rod front suspension complete with inboard mounted springs and dampers reducing unsprung mass and provides a brilliant packaging solution. Together with the rear-end’s multilink design, Valhalla uses Multimatic Variable Spring rate and Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) Damper units providing adjustable ride frequency for exceptional performance on road and track. In addition to stiffer suspension, Track mode sees ride height dramatically reduced in order to maximise downforce. At the other end of the speed scale, a front axle lift system raises the nose for improved approach angle on awkward inclines.

The carbon tub’s inherent rigidity means suspension loadings can be controlled with absolute precision and every minute input to the electric power-assisted steering faithfully translated into an immediate and intuitive direction change. High performance Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes (complete with brake-by-wire technology) guarantee exceptional stopping power, and bespoke Michelin tyres (20in front, 21in rear) developed specifically for Valhalla provide a final and all-important layer of excellence. This intimate, uncorrupted connection between driver and car sits at the core of the Valhalla experience, with advanced materials and electronics serving only to enhance the driver’s enjoyment, confidence and sense of complete control.

With a target dry weight of less than 1550kg Valhalla will have an unrivalled power-to-weight ratio compared to its class rivals. Weight of a different kind – that generated by aerodynamic downforce – also plays its part in Valhalla’s unmatched dynamic capabilities. Benefitting from a flow-down of the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar’s Formula One inspired aerodynamic philosophy, Valhalla employs a combination of active aerodynamic surfaces – specifically the front surfaces and rear wing – and masterful management of underbody airflow through dramatic venturi tunnels. At 150mph Valhalla’s meticulously sculpted aerodynamic surfaces generate an impressive 600kg of downforce, enough for mighty high-speed cornering ability and unshakable stability.

The pursuit of downforce demands uncompromising functionality, but expertly working the airflow beneath the car has left Aston Martin’s design team with a clean upper body surface with which they have created a memorable mid-engined shape that is original yet unmistakably Aston Martin. Uncorrupted by the need for aggressive wings that jut into the airstream, Valhalla’s predominantly carbon fibre body blends function and beauty in a manner that befits a new generation of mid-engined supercar. Spectacular forward-hinged dihedral doors bring drama to the beginning and end of every journey, while cut-outs in the roof ease ingress and egress. A distinctive roof scoop feeds air directly into the V8 engine’s intakes, with additional side and rear intakes and vents integrated smoothly into the overall body design.

Valhalla, the luxury brands first series production mid-engined supercar will be available in both left-hand and right-hand drive, expanding its appeal across international markets. Cockpit room has been increased compared to the Aston Martin Valkyrie, though many Formula One inspired hallmarks remain, such as a pared back cockpit design with clear, simple ergonomics unashamedly focussed around the driver. An innovative new Aston Martin HMI system features a central touchscreen display and incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Adjustable pedals and steering column enable the seat bases to be fixed to the chassis structure. The footwells are also raised for a low hip-to-heel seating position redolent of a Formula One car.

For Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, Valhalla is an opportunity for the Aston Martin design team to express extreme performance with fresh form and proportion, and to capture the brand’s bold future-forward approach: “When we created the Valhalla concept we were keen to emphasise the design legacy of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and that intent remains unchanged, but the execution has evolved considerably in order to reach production of this all-new car. Though the legacy of Valkyrie is clear, Valhalla is now a more mature, fully resolved piece of design. One which combines the pure aerodynamic function you would expect from a marque competing in Formula One together with the beautiful form, striking proportions and exemplary detailing for which Aston Martin is renowned.”

Full LED Matrix headlights with adaptive functionality and high-beam assist deliver excellent forward vision in the dark, and Dual Zone Air Conditioning provides high level of occupant comfort.  In order to comply with the latest regulatory requirements, Valhalla also incorporates the latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. These include Auto Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Active Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear View Parking Camera (with Surround View option).

Dynamic development of the Valhalla will be the task of Aston Martin’s award-winning dynamics team and complemented with an enviable pool of talent which also includes Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team drivers Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenburg. They will give their invaluable perspective to the project and bring added authenticity to a car which boasts such a clear connection to Aston Martin’s Grand Prix machines.

Valhalla is a new generation Aston Martin, it defines a new driver and driving experience – ‘the Mastery of Driving’, a true ultra-luxury, exclusive, British supercar.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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