Aston's multi-million pound hypercar uses 6.5-litre V12 mated to an electric motor, and now the engine's output has been revealed
Aston Martin’s Valkyrie hypercar is confirmed to produce 1000hp (986bhp) from the petrol element of its hybrid powertrain. The output figure is produced by a Cosworth-developed 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 at a dizzying 10,500rpm.
Autocar visited Cosworth’s base in Northampton during durability testing for the 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12, touted as the ultimate 12-cylinder motor. We got a chance to see it perform on a dynometer, which was simulating repeated laps of the Silverstone circuit.
Cosworth has designed the engine and will build the 150 that will be fitted to road-going Valkyries, plus an as-yet undisclosed number for the track-only AMR Pro version.
Cosworth’s managing director, Bruce Wood, confirmed the 1000hp target was agreed well before the first prototype was built, and that the V12 is set to serve as a structural component. Like a race car, it will be bolted directly to the Valkyrie’s tub and havethe gearbox and rear suspension hung from it – having to transmit the huge loads they will generate. That’s why the drive gears for the camshafts are located at the rear; to try and insulate the cabin from some of the noise they make at high revs.
What does the @astonmartin Valkyrie’s 1000bhp, 6.5-litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine sound like?Well, something like this:https://t.co/jr7Cfg6rB7 pic.twitter.com/oQAsEhBwf0
The engine also uses port fuel injection rather than direct injection, which has allowed it to meet emissions standards without the need to use heavy gasoline particulate filters. Fully dressed, Wood says the engine weighs just 204kg, but he is equally proud of the fact it has been designed for a 100,000km lifespan based on no more than routine maintenance.
The engine will be augmented by an electric motor that sits between it and a single-clutch gearbox designed by Ricardo, with a Formula 1-inspired energy recovery system harvesting kinetic energy under braking.
Technical details of the engine were briefly tweeted by Cosworth in August. Although that post was removed shortly afterwards, it was spotted by Road and Track. This power figure puts it well in excess of the 992bhp minimum that Mercedes-AMG claims for the Project One hypercar, as well as the less hardcore McLaren Senna. McLaren’s upcoming Speedtail three-seater is likely to be a near match for the Valkyrie’s power output, although that car won’t chase track performance, but is pitched instead as an ‘all-rounder’ hypercar.
The Valkyrie will use a Formula 1-inspired energy recovery system (ERS) to harvest kinetic energy from braking, with Croatian electric car maker Rimac supplying lightweight hybrid batteries. Cosworth’s tweet suggests that, with this ERS, the car’s total power figure could exceed 1130bhp.
The Valkyrie was last shown in its most production-ready form yet in a promotional shot with tennis player Serena Williams, with headlights on the car for the first time.
In the shot, real headlights replaced the placeholders on previous development cars, and while we believe they will make it onto the production car, they have not been confirmed by Aston as the final pieces.
Aston Martin Valkyrie interior leaks online
At the time, the car was around 90% production ready, according to an Aston spokesman; the remaining 10% is likely to be final tweaks to the car’s aerodynamics as development of the lights and other road-essential features are rounded off. Up to 1816kg (4000lb) of downforce is mooted by Aston sources to be generated at top speed, helping it to “lap Silverstone as fast as an F1 car”, according to Aston boss Andy Palmer.
Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro 1100bhp track car lands
The forthcoming hypercar, which has been co-developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, will use a seven-speed automatic gearbox that’s designed and built by Ricardo. The British firm has experience that spans from motorsport to building engines for McLaren road cars.
The supply deal between Aston and Ricardo is another piece of the puzzle in the production of 150 road-going and 25 track-only Valkyries commencing next year.
No pricing has been revealed, but a figure of £2-3 million is mooted. First deliveries are due in 2019, while the more hardcore Valkyrie AMR Pro arrives in 2020.
Click here for more technical information of the AM-RB 001
Previously referred to by its internal codename AM-RB 001, the V12 model will be built on a carbonfibre Monocell provided by long-standing Aston partner Multimatic. The car’s kerb weight is therefore expected to be less than one tonne, and Aston backs this up with claims for a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio.
Braking will be handled by Alcon and Surface Transforms calipers and carbon discs, while Bosch will supply the engine control unit, traction control unit and electronic stability program systems. The tyres are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s wrapped around 20in and 21in wheels. Wipac, a British LED lighting manufacturer, has developed the car’s headlights and tail-lights.
Red Bull Racing chief technical officer Adrian Newey said of the partners: “Much like in Formula 1, designing, engineering and building a car like the Valkyrie is a massive team effort. To achieve great things you need to surround yourself with the best people.
“Experience, creativity, energy, diligence and perfectionism are absolute must-have qualities in every area of the project. Having great technical partners such as those working with us is both reassuring and motivating. Together, we aim to produce an innovative piece of engineering art.”
Aston vice-president David King said: “Making the Valkyrie presents huge challenges. It’s a real test of everyone involved, but that’s as it should be, for we’re genuinely raising the bar with this car. That’s what makes the project so special, and why having the right technical partners is so critical.
“Some of those names we’re working with are long-standing suppliers of Aston Martin, but there are some new names in there, too. Whether forging fresh partnerships or building on existing relationships, this project is a shared engineering adventure that we’re all relishing.”
The Valkyrie name stems from Norse mythology and translates to ‘chooser of the slain’. Aston chose the name to signify the car’s role as its most potent product yet.
Chief creative officer Marek Reichman said: “The Valkyrie is an incredibly special car that demands an equally remarkable name; an uncompromising car that leaves nothing in reserve. The connotations of power and honour, of being chosen by the Gods, are so evocative and so pertinent to a car that only a fortunate few will ever experience.”
Q&A with Bruce Wood, Managing Director, Cosworth:
Why natural aspiration – wouldn’t a turbo engine be lighter?
We had that debate, but our view – and Adrian Newey’s view – was that if your sole objective is the driving experience you can’t beat a naturally aspirated V12. There are some great turbo applications these days, but there is inevitably a fraction of lag, a diminution of the noise… Cooling is another challenge; look at the frontal area of the Valkyrie and tell me where we would put all the intercoolers!
Did it have to be 1000hp?That’s what we promised we’d deliver. The original plan was for a 6.0-litre engine, but that only took us to 950hp. An increase to 6.5-litres meant we could hit the target.
The Mercedes Project One is being developed just down the road, do you feel a rivalry?
The market for extraordinary vehicles is expanding and being in “motorsport valley” means many of us were poised to do it. I think that the Valkyrie is a very personal expression of Adrian Newey’s vision of a car, whereas I’d say the Project One – which I’m sure will be a magnificent vehicle – is less an individual’s view and more corporate.