Aston Martin is showing off the new Valhalla hypercar it will start delivering to customers in late 2023 — but a lot has happened along the way since the first renderings were teased back in 2019.
The exclusive British marque has faced some serious challenges during the last few years, financial problems that required a flood of new cash and a shakeup in Aston’s management. In turn, the automaker expanded its ties to Mercedes’ high-line AMG division. And the Valhalla directly benefited from that alliance.
The original version of the Valhalla was set to draw power from a newly developed V-6. Instead, it will now draw motivation from an AMG-derived V-8, the mid-mounted 4.0-liter twin-turbo package punching out a solid 740 horsepower. The system pairs the gas engine with a plug-in hybrid system, giving the hypercar a combined 937 hp.
Equally breathtaking is the price tag, at $800,000. That’s actually something of a bargain, considering the original plans for Valhalla called for a price tag closer to $1.3 million. Originally expected to be part of a limited series run of no more than 500 cars, the automaker now plans to produce as many as the market will demand.
A critical moment
The Valhalla comes at a critical time for Aston Martin — and in a number of ways. It follows the launch of the brand’s initial hypercar, the Valkyrie, as well as the first Aston SUV, the DBX, which is expected to become the brand’s top-selling product line.
“Aston Martin’s first series production mid-engined supercar, Valhalla is a truly transformational moment for this ultra-luxury brand,” proclaimed Chairman Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian billionaire whose cash infusion helped keep the company going last year. “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.”
Inside Aston, they’ve been referring to the Valhalla as the “son of Valkyrie.” And there are some similarities, including the use of a carbon fiber tub for the passenger compartment. It produces only a slight bit less power than the Valkyrie AMR Pro’s 1,000 hp — though that model relies on a Cosworth-sourced, 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V-12.
Multi-purpose electric drive
Valkyrie will launch you from 0-100 kmh (0-62 mph) in just 2.5 seconds, and top out at 217 mph. The plug-in hybrid system uses two motors, one mounted on the front axle to provide an electrified all-wheel-drive, with the second motor assisting the V-8 in back. Along with the added, instant-on torque, the system will allow up to nine miles of motoring in all-electric mode — at speeds up to 80 mph.
The electric drive serves another purpose, as well. Valhalla features a newly developed 8-speed dual-clutch transmission which has no internal reverse gear. To back up, the hypercar relies on the motor drive system.
The Valkyrie has strong ties to Formula 1. Valhalla was expected to, as well, though the situation changed when Aston broke off its relationship with the Red Bull racing team. Still, the hypercar does retain some racing roots, including an F1-style pushrod front suspension. Add Multimatic adaptive springs and shocks.
A change in direction
Getting the Valhalla into production was one of the big challenges facing Tobias Moers, the former AMG boss who took over as Aston’s CEO following last year’s executive shake-up. He has indicated that development of the hypercar was nowhere near as far along as was expected at that point. That notably included work on the original, in-house powertrain that Aston had been planning to use. Moers quickly decided to turn to his former colleagues at AMG for the twin-turbo V-8.
The design of the new Valhalla holds truer to the original renderings, including the distinctive forward-hinged dihedral doors. There are cutouts in the roof to make for easier ingress and egress.
A “pared back” interior
As for the cabin, Aston describes it 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.” The Valhalla will be the first Aston with a touchscreen, incidentally.
The seats are fixed to the carbon fiber chassis. To accommodate this, Valhalla features movable pedals.
Steering is electrically assisted. And the carbon-ceramic braking system is brake-by-wire.
Unlike the exotic Valkyrie, which will be built by hand in extremely limited numbers, Aston plans to run the Valhalla down a new line, albeit nowhere near as fast as production for, say, the new DBX. Plans call for customers to take delivery of the first of the hypercars late in 2023.