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 onetm 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 onetm 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.
*Article Source http://www.astonmartinracing.com