Aston Martin Valhalla
The world’s smallest flywheel, fallen Vikings and the caravan club.
In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a sort of heaven for deceased Vikings who’ve died valiantly in battle. Hopefully, Aston’s car doesn’t contain a bunch of dead Scandinavians in it though (imagine!). What it does have, is a 740bhp, 4.0 Litre, twin turbo V8 that revs to 7200 rpm. On top of this, Aston have bolted on a 150Kw PHEV powertrain that contributes a not insignificant 201bhp to the already very significant 740bhp already there. You can do the maths yourself, but I assure you it’s a lot. Unlike the LaFerrari, there’s an EV only mode that makes the car front wheel drive only, but whilst both drivetrains are in action, the Valhalla splits the EV power between both axles unless the car is in “certain situations”, when up to 100% of EV power can be sent to the rear wheels, where the V8 spends its own power. When both power trains are combined, there is a total of 1000Nm of torque, which is probably enough to tow the entirity of the Caravan Club’s caravans up a cliff. The Valhalla also has a top speed of whatever the car is in front of you, and same goes for acceleration. Unless you’re on an abandoned airstrip or following a Bugatti, in which case 0-62 takes 2.5 seconds and there’s a top speed of 217.
The Valhalla tips the scales at 1550kg empty of people (including all expired Scandinavians), and fluids. Which is fairly light in this day and age. Of course, it has enough gears for almost two cars at eight, and provides them via a DCT. Standard supercar/ hypercar stuff really, as is the electronically controlled limited slip diff between the two rear tyres. Aston tells us that the Valhalla will do a lap at the fabled Nurburgring in under 6 and a half minutes, though they’re yet to actually do the lap. I wouldn’t like to be the person in charge of the stopwatch for that!
Anyway. The car went up the hill at Goodwood last weekend, and my God you should find the footage on Youtube. It sounded utterly mad-it revs so fast the flywheel must have the diameter of a gnat’s freckle. Indeed, it has almost all the components needed to validate its gigantic £580,000 plus taxes price tag. Why almost, I hear you ask? Well, time for some rationality. Think back through time to all similarly priced supercars/ hypercars. All of them have one thing that the Valhalla doesn’t have: exclusivity. Though, yes, the price tag itself does guaruntee some exclusivity-indeed most of us will never be able to afford it-the Valhalla is at the moment, a production model: Aston hasn’t told us how many it’s going to make. McLaren would, inwardly at least, say that this is a mistake. Having demand outweigh supply is a good problem to have-it means your brand new car won’t depreciate like, well, McLarens of recent times. There’s another problem too. If you’re not getting exclusivity, why would you separate with a much larger lump of cash over just buying an SF90, which costs a mere £374,420? The specs are near identical, which makes the Ferrari look like astonishingly good value, somehow. What a mad day and age we live in.