Has Aston Martin built the world’s best car?
Monday 28th June, 2021 - 10:12am
Aston Martin’s cancelled Le Mans Hypercar has been revived – as the world’s ultimate track day special.
When the British brand announced it was building a road car with Red Bull Racing and its technical chief Adrian Newey, it set a high benchmark, lap the Le Mans circuit as fast as a racing prototype. Then it announced plans to compete in the new Le Mans Hypercar class, so Newey and co. upped their efforts.
And this striking machine in the images is the result.
Dubbed the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, this is what you get when Newey is allowed to work without a rulebook with the support of some of the biggest names in the industry, including Cosworth and Multimatic, as well as Aston Martin’s own designers and engineers.
It’s so extreme in its performance that the brand will enlist Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll to help fine-tune the dynamic set-up of the car.
The British brand may have split with the F1 team, but the partnership remains to finish off what it started with the Valkyrie supercar. With testing of the road-going variant already underway, attention has now turned to the track-only example, of which only 40 will be built.
Aston Martin CEO, Tobias Moers, is confident that the Valkyrie AMR Pro will reset the bar for all supercars.
“The entire Aston Martin Valkyrie programme has been an extraordinary adventure in engineering. As an expression of the passion and expertise that can be found within Aston Martin and its closest technical partners, Valkyrie AMR Pro is a project beyond compare, a true ‘no rules’ track-only version. The Valkyrie AMR Pro is testament to Aston Martin’s commitment to pure performance and this performance DNA will be evident in our future product portfolio. Nothing else looks like it, nothing else sounds like it, and I am absolutely certain nothing else will drive like it!”
Newey originally intended to have a unique bodywork kit that Valkyrie owners could swap when they wanted to hit the track, but Aston Martin’s short-lived plans to tackle the Le Mans Hypercar class allowed him to push the boundaries even further. In fact, Aston Martin claims this is actually faster and more capable than the Le Mans entry would be, as it no longer has to fit within the rulebook.
As a result the AMR Pro has a unique powertrain, unique bodywork and sits on a longer, wider chassis than the road-going Valkyrie.
The engine is the same Cosworth 6.5-litre naturally-aspirated V12 as the road version, but it has been re-tuned to make 745kW (1000hp) at 11,000rpm. It also does it without the Rimac-sourced hybrid system that provides a power boost for the road car. But while that means the road car is more powerful (making 865kW), the AMR Pro is lighter and therefore faster.
Newey and the Red Bull Advanced Technologies team redesigned the chassis to improve the handling. It now has a 380mm longer wheelbase and the track is 96mm wider at the front and 115mm wider at the rear to create a bigger footprint and improve handling.
The new bodywork, which includes a massive front splitter and huge rear wing, extends the overall length of the AMR Pro by 226mm.
Full technical details and performance capabilities of the AMR Pro will be released later this year, with first deliveries to customers scheduled for the fourth quarter.
While Aston Martin has ditched its Le Mans plans to focus on F1, the Valkyrie AMR Pro will still be a track regular. Befitting the expected multi-million dollar price of the finished car, the company will create “bespoke track day experiences” for owners at FIA approved circuits around the world. Owners will be treated like Vettel and Stroll, with their own Aston Martin racing gear, pit garages, engineers and instructors.