Aston Martin has revealed some key details about the 6.5-litre V12 engine that will power its eagerly anticipated Valkyrie hypercar.
The enormous engine has been developed with one of the most respected names in the business – Cosworth, whose expertise extends from family saloons such as the Ford Sierra Cosworth right up to Formula 1.
Aston Martin calls the Valkyrie’s unit ‘the ultimate expression of the internal combustion engine’, and if the stats are anything to go by it may be right. The 6.5-litre V12 is naturally aspirated – an increasing rarity in the days of turbochargers – and produces an impressive 1,000bhp.
That peak power comes in at a huge 10,500rpm, with the engine’s redline set at a screaming 11,100rpm – some of the highest figures ever for a road-going car, especially one that has to comply with challenging emissions regulations. That’s not all, as the Valkyrie will have its power boosted further by a hybrid system that Aston Martin is keeping under wraps for now.
The engine is also a fully stressed element of the car’s chassis – remove it and there’s nothing joining the front wheels to the back. Despite this, Aston Martin and Cosworth have kept it to a featherweight 206kg.
This is despite the pair choosing not to use sophisticated new metal alloys, the longevity of which are yet unproven. As a result, most of the engine is machined from solid elements, with materials such as titanium making up the connecting rods and F1-spec pistons.
As an example of this approach to lightweighting, Aston Martin touts the Valkyrie’s machined crankshaft, which starts life as a solid steel bar. It’s machined, heat-treated, machined, heat-treated again, ground down twice and has a finishing treatment applied to it. At the end, around 80 per cent of the original component has been machined away – over a six-month period – but the result is 50 per cent lighter than the crankshaft used in the old Aston Martin One-77’s V12, itself a Cosworth-developed engine.
Andy Palmer, chief executive of Aston Martin, said: “To anyone with a drop of petrol in their blood, a high-revving naturally aspirated V12 is the absolute pinnacle. Nothing sounds better or encapsulates the emotion and excitement of the internal combustion engine more completely. Despite the apparently insurmountable challenges it presented, there was never any question that the Aston Martin Valkyrie would make do with anything less.
“From the outset, the team at Cosworth were unflinching in their commitment to achieving benchmarks which pushed the boundaries of the possible. The result is a quite extraordinary engine – one which I doubt will ever be surpassed.”
Only 99 road-going Valkyries will be built, with a price expected to be between £2m and £3m. First deliveries are expected in 2019.