A Closer Look At The Aston Martin Valhalla

Highlighting Aston Martin's upcoming hybrid supercar, during a private showing.

3w ago
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Bold moves have been taking place at Aston Martin over the past few years. An SUV has entered its lineup, with an all-new factory to produce it. Ownership and management changes have been significant, with a new wave of leadership pushing the famed British marque ahead financially along with an extensively adjusted design language. From foundations as a smaller manufacturer that built a strong selection of grand tourers and convertibles, Aston Martin is now setting its sights on a new segment: Supercars.

A handful years ago, Aston Martin gave us the Vulcan, a wildly powerful track-only machine, but it was limited to fewer models produced than words written in this sentence. Through a new development partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies and renowned Red Bull Racing designer Adrian Newey, Aston Martin announced the obscenely cool and wickedly fast Valkyrie, also intended for use on the finest circuits on the planet. To satisfy even more enthusiast drivers willing to part with millions of their dollars, Aston Martin revealed the Valkyrie Spider, and while I attended its public unveiling at Pebble Beach this summer, there was one other model on display that didn't get as much attention.

Sharing the stage with the Valkyrie Spider--and an example of Aston Martin Racing's Formula One entrant--stood a slightly more affordable new model. Called the Valhalla, it's a new hybrid supercar aimed at production by 2023, poised to compete with Ferrari's SF90 at a targeted price of under $1,000,000. If you saw the new James Bond film No Time To Die, you may have spotted the concept version of the Valhalla at Q Branch, but the model has received plenty of revisions over the past year. I had a gander while the Valhalla debuted its production design during Monterey Car Week, but during the Formula One United States Grand Prix weekend, Aston Martin invited me to get a more comprehensive one-on-one walk around, led by its Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman.

The Extreme Undertaking Of A New Platform

Known for its sleek grand tourers, Aston Martin has made a massive plunge into the mid-engined supercar space, and while the Valkyrie is its first effort, the Valhalla is the marque's first series production attempt at employing an engine behind the cockpit. With building upon this layout, plenty of challenges lie ahead, and Aston Martin decided to go even further by incorporating hybrid assistance to the powertrain. Crafting a body that helps cool all this performance hardware is nearly as complicated as shedding weight, with the Aston Martin Valhalla targeting a dry weight under 1,550 kg (3,400 lbs).

With a bespoke 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 packing 740 horsepower as the primary source of propulsion, this flat-plane crank engine is the most powerful V8 ever fitted to an Aston Martin. Revving to a redline of 7,200 RPM, the V8 powers the rear wheels, while the hybrid system steps in to give this new Aston an electrified shove of power. Aided by a 150kW / 400V battery hybrid system featuring a pair of E-Motors--with one mounted at each axle--the Valhalla gains an additional 200 electrified horsepower, boasting an astounding 937 combined horsepower and 737 lb-ft (1,000 Nm) of torque.

Valhalla employs a new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission which works in harmony with the electric motors, and sports a new e-reverse gear to reduce the need for a traditional cog (which shaves weight) and an electric differential on the rear axle for greater traction. An EV-only drive mode will power the front wheels in less demanding conditions, enabling a 15 km range to conserve fuel while reducing emissions, while still being able to travel at speeds up to 80 MPH. To please the enthusiast as much as the environmentalist, Aston Martin set some lofty performance targets, including a top speed of 217 MPH, a 0-60 sprint completed in 2.5 seconds, and a goal of lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6 minutes and 30 seconds.

Key Elements That Stand Out

A striking shape immediately catches the eye, while a distinct vaned front grille--which I loved on the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster I reviewed--and cool LED Matrix headlights stare you down. Beyond those cues, the Valhalla takes on an entirely new shape. Benefitting from the aerodynamic design expertise of Red Bull Racing's Adrian Newey, the Aston Martin Valhalla goes wild with space age looks that provide this new supercar with design features focused on planting this mid-engined hybrid supercar to the pavement.

Underneath the sculpted shape, Aston Martin develops the Valhalla's structure with a carbon fiber monocoque. The cockpit is yet to be fully developed, but the Valhalla's cabin will be accessed through forward-hinged dihedral doors, while cut-outs in the roof improve entry and exit. Available in both left-hand and right-hand drive configurations, Valhalla will be sold in several international markets.

Cabin volume is increased compared to the Valkyrie, but the cockpit will offer clear, driver-focused ergonomics. A new central touchscreen infotainment system will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which earlier Aston Martin models desperately needed. Adjustable pedals and steering column enable the seat bases to be fixed to the chassis structure, and footwells are raised for a low hip-to-heel seating position similar to the one Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll experience in their Aston Martin Racing F1 cars.

Employing F1-style pushrod front suspension with inboard-mounted springs and dampers that reduce weight while making the packaging more compact, the Valhalla is equipped with a multilink setup in the rear. Utilizing adaptive components supplied by Multimatic, the Aston Martin Valhalla is configured to quickly switch from being great to drive on the road to being a menace to any track. Effectively packing in race-ready suspension tech, Aston Martin can focus on a smaller package on the outside.

Floating roof panels are so badly designed into crossovers and sedans, but on the Aston Martin Valhalla, the look is fantastic. A closer glance reveals both intake and heat extraction vents, neatly designed into the separation between the roof and the rest of the body. I love the roof-mounted intake scoop, which conceals a three-section design like you'd see on an F1 car, and I can't wait to hear this beast driven in anger, to allow the pair of top-exit exhaust pipes to scream.

Low-swept fenders keep airflow tidy, and the keen eye will notice smoothly integrated vents along the inside of those fenders which reduce pressure and create better airflow. Beneath the fenders are massive center lock 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, with the biggest carbon ceramic rotors you'll see mounted on a production car tucked behind. The stream of air is then fed along the sides of the Valhalla with more subtle functional channels than what are designed at the flanks of the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

At the rear of the Valhalla is a newly-designed actuated rear wing spoiler, rather than bending bits of carbon fiber that were worked into the tail of the concept model. Aston Martin also designed the production body with a massive rear diffuser, to tidy up airflow under the rear of the supercar. Aston Martin claims that at 150 MPH the Valhalla’s aerodynamic surfaces produce 600kg of downforce. To complete the tail end of the Valhalla, Aston Martin provides some of the coolest taillight elements you'll ever see.

A Compelling Future Lies Ahead

Aston Martin's Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman said in the Valhalla release, "When we created the Valhalla concept we were keen to emphasize 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.”

I appreciate the approach in making the Valhalla a more refined model when compared to the epic Valkyrie, and can't wait to see Aston Martin move forward into production over the next two years. As Reichman noted in our conversation as I checked out the Valhalla, the production form still has a few tweaks left to complete, but this current body is about 95% of what we'll soon see on the street. This new direction from Aston Martin is fantastic, and we performance car enthusiasts should enjoy a future including more mid-engined performance cars from this legendary British marque.

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Comments (5)

  • Is this article a bit broken for anybody else?

      23 days ago
  • Brilliant I'm really liking the Valhalla

      26 days ago
  • “Lo, there do I see my father.

    Lo, there do I see my mother,

    and my sisters, and my brothers.

    Lo, there do I see the line of my people,

    Back to the beginning!

    Lo, they do call to me.

    They bid me take my place among them,

    In the halls of Valhalla!

    Where the brave may live forever!”

      23 days ago
  • Yaaaassssss

      23 days ago
5