Two years after Aston Martin debuted the striking but clumsily titled AM-RB 003 concept, the final production version has arrived with a much simpler name: Valhalla.
The automaker revealed the hybrid supercar on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, where Aston Martin will compete as a manufacturer for the first time in over 60 years. Aston Martin returned to F1 this year with a team that’s co-sponsored by Cognizant, the professional services firm at the center of Casey Newton’s multipart investigation into Facebook’s content moderation problem. In 2020, the company was taken over by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, the de facto villain from the third season of Netflix’s Drive to Survive series.
Stroll walked away with Aston Martin after a dramatic showdown with Geely (China’s largest private automaker), which had submitted a competing bid for the ailing luxury automaker. Stroll’s first move was to delay some of Aston Martin’s electric vehicle projects. So the fact that the Valhalla project survived the turbulence is its own little miracle.
Anyway... to the car! It’s a 937-horsepower hybrid beast, with a top speed of 217 miles per hour and the ability to go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62mph) in under 2.5 seconds. It does this by pairing a 740-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine with a pair of electric motors (one on each axle) and by leveraging active aerodynamics at the front of the car and with the rear spoiler as well as tunnels underneath the car that can direct the air — tricks Aston Martin developed on the Valhalla’s predecessor, the Valkyrie.
A mostly carbon fiber body keeps things light enough at 1,550 kilograms (3,417 pounds), though there are more nooks and crannies in the design than can be found in the ultra-smooth Valkyrie. Aston Martin says that, inside, there’s a new infotainment system running on a central touchscreen that also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — meaning the smartphone-mounted system from the AM-RB 003 concept has been mercifully discarded. (The company unfortunately didn’t release any images of the cockpit.)
All told, the Valhalla seems like it matches up well with some other hybrid supercars like Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale, for whatever that’s worth. Very few will be made, and they will cost an astronomical amount. For most of us, it’s just something to ogle.
Considering Aston Martin’s recent history, though, it may not surprise you that there’s one last bit of intrigue with this car. The internal combustion engine comes from Mercedes-Benz, which provides the overall power unit to Aston Martin’s F1 team. Makes me wonder what the brake ducts look like...