Aston Martin’s Valkyrie AMR Pro, a track-only version of the Valkyrie — its first mid-engine car — will reach dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year, Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC announced late Sunday. Production will be limited to 40 cars, not counting the two prototypes.
“The Valkyrie AMR Pro is testament to Aston Martin’s commitment to pure performance and this performance DNA will be evident in our future product portfolio,” said Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Tobias Moers in a statement. “The entire Aston Martin Valkyrie program has been an extraordinary adventure in engineering.”
The hypercar’s birth started as a concept car first shown at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and envisioned by famed F-1 designer and Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey. After its auto show run in 2019, Newey, Red Bull Advanced Technologies, and Canadian engineering firm Multimatic continued developing the Aston Martin Valkyrie race car with the aim of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans new Hypercar class in 2019.
This provided the starting point for the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro, including its race-bred chassis and technology, with the aim of squeezing as much performance as possible from a street legal Valkyrie platform.
The company claims the Valkyrie AMR Pro’s capabilities exceed those of the Le Mans car, as its design isn’t hampered by race rules.
The Valkyrie AMR Pro’s numbers
For starters, Aston Martin lengthened the AMR Pro’s wheelbase 14.96 inches, widened it 3.77 inches up front and 4.53 inches out back, and lengthened it 10.47 inches. Other enhancements provide twice the downforce of the Valkyrie streetcar, delivering more than 3Gs of grip in lateral acceleration.
Powering the Valkyrie is a modified Cosworth naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V-12 that develops 1,000 brake horsepower, with an 11,000-rpm rev limit.
Cutting a hypercars’s weight to enhance performance
Given its mission, it’s little surprise that weight-saving measures were taken to enhance its speed, including the use of an ultra-lightweight carbon fiber body, carbon suspension wishbones and Perspex plexiglass windshield and side windows.
Engineers also eliminated the Valkyrie street car’s battery-electric hybrid system, which is rated at 1,060 brake horsepower. Aston Martin says that when paired with aerodynamic changes, the Valkyrie AMR Pro provides performance “approaching that of a Formula 1 car.”
While the Valkyrie AMR Pro’s full specification and performance were not revealed, Aston Martin is targeting a 24 Hours of Le Mans 8.5-mile lap time of 3 minutes and 20 seconds. That’s fast — really fast.
To ensure the safety of its customers, Aston Martin will provide company-hosted track days at FIA circuits worldwide. Customers will have track and pit lane access, receive instruction from Valkyrie instructor team, FIA-exclusive racewear, a VIP-hosted dinner and drives on roads in the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom.
Valkyrie’s preflight legal issues
But the Valkyrie’s launch has not been smooth sailing. Already delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, last week, Aston Martin filed suit against the Nebula Project, a Swiss-based dealer group that helped Aston Martin bankroll the project and handle customer deposits in Switzerland.
In return, the Nebula Project was to receive royalty payments linked to production volume of the Valkyrie, as well as the Valhalla and the Vanquish, forthcoming models that will use the same technology.
But Aston Martin alleges the Swiss company withheld more than £10 million ($13.9 million) in deposits. As a result, Aston Martin projects a £15-million ($21 million) hit to its 2021 results due to the alleged withheld payments from Nebula.
In addition, Aston Martin terminated its agreement with Swiss dealer AF Cars AG, which is run by Nebula Project board members, and which sold cars that violated dealership agreements, according to Aston Martin.
As would be expected, Nebula refutes the charges, saying the termination of its agreement is “illegitimate and unjustified” and that the company is “prepared to pursue the necessary steps to preserve our rights.”
None of this is helpful, as the automaker has been burning through cash at a prodigious rate, even after its capital infusion from Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll. For its part, Aston Martin says that all customers will receive their cars, as promised.