AM-RB 003 concept from Geneva to be named Aston Martin Valhalla
Continuing with the Norse theme, the Aston Martin Valhalla will rival the new Ferrari SF90
Aston Martin has announced its second hybrid supercar collaboration with Red Bull, previously codenamed AM-RB 003, will be called the Valhalla. It’ll join the Valkyrie at the top of Aston Martin’s range, but rival the more accessible, not to mention usable, near-1000bhp hypercars of the near future, including Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale, and McLaren’s P1 replacement due later in 2021.
Like the Valkyrie, the Valhalla is being developed in partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, who will shape and sculpt the aerodynamics with an F1-like precision and focus on the optimisation of the Valhalla’s chassis. Aston Martin’s Matt Becker and Chris Goodwin will concentrate on the car’s dynamic set up.
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Although details about the applied powertrain remain thin at this moment, we can tell you that it will be made up from a combination of an all-new Aston Martin designed and developed twin-turbo V6 engine, paired with an electric motor and battery pack. The emphasis Aston Martin will place on the electric element of the hybrid powertrain is as yet unknown, but we can tell you that Aston Martin is aiming for a McLaren P1-rivalling level of performance and capability.
According to Miles Nurnberger, Aston Martin Director of Design, while Valhalla is heavily influenced by Aston Martin Valkyrie, it is very much its own car: “We were quite deliberate in Valhalla to not disguise its lineage, but we were equally emphatic that it would be a distillation of Aston Martin Valkyrie and not a dilution. The design isn’t as extreme in some areas, but it pushes just as hard in others, and is even taking certain ideas and concepts a step further. That’s a natural function of design evolution, but also testament to just how great an influence working with Red Bull Advanced Technologies on Aston Martin Valkyrie has had on our approach to everything that’s come since.”
The chassis will be based on developments made on the Valkyrie project, underpinned by a carbonfibre structure. It is as yet unknown whether the mid-mounted powertrain will act as a structural member of the chassis in the same way as the Valkyrie, but its higher degree of road-bias makes this a less likely scenario.
The panels will also be carbonfibre, with shaping and sculpting honed by the aero boffins at Red Bull Racing as previously mentioned. There will be plenty of new tech on offer too, with the proposed world-first road-car application of ‘FlexFoil’ technology integrated into elements like the rear wing, which gently changes shape without the need for drag-inducing joint-lines. A large proportion of the Valhalla’s downforce will be produced via the underbody though, keeping drag to a minimum. While the car’s overall shape has been influenced by the Valkyrie and its aerodynamic needs new lighting clusters endow the Valhalla with its own identity despite using the Valkyrie’s internals due to their lightness. All four lights combined weigh less than a single DB11 headlamp.
As a less extreme model than the Valkyrie the Valhalla needs to be more user-friendly and comfortable and to offer improved interior space. The doors have been redesigned so the forward opening butterfly items, like the ones often seen on LMP1 Endurance racers, take with them a section of roof aiding ingress. A rear shelf has also been integrated to accommodate extra luggage-carrying capability, and the centre console has also been widened, giving occupants more shoulder room and increased space for small item storage.
The dash itself is all-new, with a state of the art minimalist design that almost doesn’t look much like it has a dash at all. The steering wheel, pedals and driver display were all designed and developed for ideal ergonomics first, with the multi-function steering wheel itself set to include a small digital interface controlling most of the car’s functions. Although it does without any formal central infotainment system, drivers can attach their phones to a central prong for added functionality.
As the next-step in Aston Martin’s incredibly fast-paced production car development in the last few years, it is not surprising to see Aston Martin pushing new manufacturing methods like 3D printing in the development of new interior components and finishes. One example is the thin centre console, which reduces material use by as much as 50 per cent thanks to the flexibility of 3D printed manufacturing.
More details as to the model’s powertrain and technical componentry will be revealed as development continues. Aston Martin has indicated that production will be limited to 500 coupes, with first examples reaching customers in late 2021. But as only one step in Aston Martin’s future plans, the Valhalla will be joined soon after by a McLaren 720S-rivalling supercar, which has also been previewed at this year’s Geneva motor show by the Vanquish Vision concept.