First Look: 2022 Aston Martin Valhalla

Aston Martin Valhalla 02
Aston Martin Valhalla 02

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Will Aston’s hyper-hybrid be the fastest car in the world ’round the Nurburgring?

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How many of you know the lap record at Indianapolis? No? How about Daytona? Not that one either, I’m guessing. What about Laguna Seca (now so unfortunately named the “WeatherTech Raceway”)? Still nada? How about Silverstone or Monaco?

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Don’t feel bad. I’m a self-professed speed demon, not to mention a (supposedly) paid autojournalist, and I don’t know, either. Truth be told, other than some race team owners and maybe half of the current field of Formula 1 drivers, I suspect there are few who’ve the committed fastest laps of any of those famed racetracks to memory.

But I bet you dollars to doughnuts that more than a few of you know that a 6:30 lap time around the Nurburgring is fast. In fact, fast enough that, were someone to boast their new car could best those six minutes and thirty seconds ‘round the ‘Ring, you wouldn’t even have to resort to Google to understand that was something seriously spectacular.

Well, say hello to Aston Martin and its (once again) revised Valhalla. You might remember that originally the car was supposed to be called the AM-RB 003, the “RB” part of that somewhat-awkward name testament to Formula 1’ed Red Bull Racing helping to engineer the car and its 3.0-litre twin turbocharged V6.

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Somewhere along the way, the name changed to “Valhalla,” Canadian Lawrence Stroll took over the company, and Mercedes-AMG became Aston’s official engine supplier. The one thing that’s remained constant is the Valhalla will remain a truly super supercar, capable, says Aston Martin, of a “sub-6:30” lap round the ‘Ring’s 20.8 kilometres.

Powering all that speed are no fewer than three motors, the first an outshoot of AMG’s 4.0-litre V8 with a flat-plane crank, Aston Martin-specific internals, and 740-plus horsepower shooting out of its twin, top-exit tailpipes. Supplementing all that internal-combusting will be two electric motors — one on each axle — that add another 201 hp to the equation. Add them all up and Aston says its new hyper-hybrid is good for 937 ponies, good enough to power the 1,550-kilogram Valhalla to 100 kilometres an hour in 2.5 seconds, and to a top speed of some 330 km/h.

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But horsepower alone does not lap times break. For that you need handling, and the key to all supercar performance these days is aerodynamic downforce, something the Valhalla has in spades. In fact, thanks to active aerodynamics front and rear, it generates some 600 kilos of said downforce, wind pressure adding almost 40 per cent of the car’s body weight in tractive force at 240 kilometres an hour.

The rest of the Valhalla is pretty much standard supercar fare. The main tub is constructed, of course, of carbon fibre, as are many of its body panels. Carbon-ceramic discs handle the braking duties (though they are controlled by trick brake-by-wire technology). The grippy Michelins are ginormous 20- (front) and 21-inch (rear) affairs and, even if Aston hasn’t deigned to tell us exactly which model of French rubber the Valhalla will wear, it’s almost assuredly the Pilot Sport Cup 2 Rs that all the fast boys are using to set fast times at the Nurburgring these days.  Even the Multimatic Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) dampers are fairly common, though their variable spring rate technology sounds way trick.

Nonetheless, Aston says it’s going to eclipse the current “production” car record, a 6:38.835 set by Lars Kern — who has set three of the eight fastest lap times round the ‘Ring — when he piloted the latest Porsche 911 GT2 RS. And I don’t think I need to convince anyone that that’s spectacularly fast.

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