Aston Martin May Discontinue Developing Valhalla’s Bespoke V6 Engine

Late last year, Mercedes and Aston Martin inked a deal that saw the German automaker increase its stake in the British brand to 20 percent, up from 2.6. The revised deal gave Aston access to Mercedes’ hybrid and electric powertrains, and that could spell disaster for Aston’s bespoke V6 it’s developing for its Valhalla hypercar. According to Aston boss Tobias Moers, the Valhalla could arrive with a different engine than what’s been expected.

When Aston introduced the hypercar in 2019, it said it would use a turbocharged V6 paired with a battery-electric hybrid system that was rumored to produce around 1,000 horsepower (746 kilowatts). It later clarified that it’d be a new 3.0-liter unit, though Aston never noted the targeted output. However, all that time and money may have been for nothing. Autocar is reporting that the company is reassessing the Valhalla model. Aston has yet to decide which Mercedes powertrains it’ll use, so everything is up in the air at the moment.

Moers is quoted saying that the Valhalla will “probably have a different drivetrain” from what was seen in the 2019 concept. A new version of the Valhalla will be shown to buyers within the next four months, with Moers noting that we won’t get more information until the customers learn of the changes. Mercedes has a wide range of hybrid powertrains Aston could use, so we’ll have to wait to see what the British automaker decides.

The limited-run hyper will have an £875,000 ($1.2 million at current exchange rates) price tag. This latest news comes after Moers suggested late last year that the company was still working on the hybrid powertrain; however, at the time, he noted that Aston did have alternative powertrains available. We’ll have to wait for Aston to confirm what it decides to do next before it arrives in 2023.

Source: motor1.com

Jaguar Allegedly Turning Into Aston Martin And Bentley Competitor

Big changes are afoot at Jaguar because the brand intends to sell only EVs by 2025. In addition, the British brand’s next generation of products could take a step higher in the market by competing against the likes of Bentley and Aston Martin, according to Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore in Automotive News Europe.

“We will reposition completely the Jaguar brand,” Bollore said. “The SUV will be Land Rover. Jaguar will be different from the SUVs. Very distinct.”

The new brand strategy for Jaguar includes not replacing any of its current models when they reach the end of their production runs. The company will invest £2.5 billion ($3.48 billion at the current exchange rates) into EV tech and to develop a new vehicle architecture for these models. This platform will be exclusive to the Jaguar brand and won’t be underneath future Land Rovers.

Bollore also offered some more details about the decision to axe the next generation of the XJ, despite it appearing to be nearly ready for production in spy shots (above). He said the sedan didn’t meet Jaguar’s new “Modern Luxury” brand identity. “The XJ replacement was not fitting with that new positioning,” Bollore told Automotive News Europe.

Jaguar announced the plan not to produce the new XJ at the same time it outlined the new EV strategy. “Although the nameplate may be retained, the planned Jaguar XJ replacement will not form part of the line-up, as the brand looks to realize its unique potential,” the automaker stated.

You can also expect the next generation of Jags to look quite a bit different because of the automaker’s new chief creative officer Gerry McGovern. “I’m savoring the thought of helping my Jaguar colleagues to bring Jaguar back to the position it deserves. It’s a unique brand with incredible pedigree and a lot of potential,” McGovern said in a recent interview. “If it could be developed in a way that freed it from some of the constraints it has had in the past, I think it could be wonderful again.”

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin Chief Tobias Moers Hoons A Valkyrie In Teaser Video

Customer deliveries of the Aston Martin Valkyrie were supposed to start in 2019, and the company then delayed the launch until the second half of 2020. However, it hasn’t handed over the keys to a single example yet. In a new video, company CEO Tobias Moers promises that deliveries start by mid-2021, and he offers some proof that the vehicle is nearly ready for delivery by taking one onto the track.

“I apologize that it’s taking a little longer than we promised you,” Moers says in the video. “But now we’re on the run with Valkyrie. There’s still a path to go. There’s still a lot of things to go, but I’m confident that we’ll have the car available to you as our customers by mid ’21. It’s a great experience to drive that car and by mid ’21 you’ll be able to do similar.”

The clip offers a fantastic view of the Valkyrie’s active suspension and adaptive aerodynamics. The vehicle has movable elements like a flap underneath the body and rear wing. 

The Valkyrie’s interior looks straight out of an endurance race car. The cabin is cramped, and there’s not much visibility except for looking forward out of the windshield. A driver is really going to need to rely on the various screens to know what’s going on around the vehicle.

The Valkyrie sounds spectacular. It uses a Cosworth-developed 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 that makes 1,000 horsepower (746 kilowatts) at sky-high 10,500 revs. With the hybrid system’s contribution, the total output is 1,160 hp (865 kW) and 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-meters) of torque.

Aston Martin is building 150 units of the Valkyrie and selling them each for around $3.2 million. All of the reservations are already gone. In addition, Aston is building 25 units of the track-only AMR Pro variant.

Source: motor1.com

Tesla Model S Performance Faces Aston Martin DBS In Quarter-Mile Race

As the online automotive trend of staging a straight-line sprint between two vehicles continues, the number of intriguing rivalries begins to narrow. However, much like the final videos in Hoonicorn vs The World, sometimes people just want to see two cars going flat out. As such, AutoTrader’s latest video putting a Tesla Model S Performance up against an Aston Martin DBS is rather predictable.

Keen readers will know that the Model S has already made a name for itself on the dragstrip, leaving supercars for dead with its straight-line performance. Since then, the engineering team has had ample time to pump up the already blistering propulsion system. With several tweaks – including a cheater launch mode – the performance version is now capable of putting down 835 horsepower (622.6 kilowatts) to all four wheels. Meanwhile, the DBS can only cough up 725 hp (540.6 kW) to the rear wheels.

Therefore even with its weight penalty, the Tesla simply walks away from the Aston in a standing-start quarter-mile race. The internal-combustion powered competitor was closer in a roll-race but still didn’t have the pep in its step to defeat Elon’s pride and joy.

After another defeat in the 0-100-0 mph test, we’d be remiss not to mention that a half-mile race from a hit might have produced a more level result. Sure, the outcome was rather disappointing if you were rooting for the underdog, but it does raise the question: which of these competitors would you actually buy?

The Tesla is certainly rapid, but its silence next to the V12 in the Aston was nothing short of deafening. Let us know in the comments below which vehicle you’d rather have.

Source: motor1.com

1980 Aston Martin Bulldog One-Off To Try And Crack 200-MPH Barrier

After 40 years of storage, the Aston Martin Bulldog sets its sights on breaking the 200mph barrier. This one-off concept car was meant to be the start of a limited production run of mid-engine Aston Martin production cars. With a claimed top speed of over 200mph, the bulldog concept fell short during testing, and the program was canceled due to cost. Thanks to a full restoration that’s currently in progress, the Bulldog is setting its sights on redemption.

In the 1980s, Aston Martin wanted to prove to the world that it was a world-class engineering outfit that could build cars of any caliber. The construction of a mid-engine supercar seemed like a logical choice, and project K-9 was started. Powered by an electronic fuel-injected twin-turbo 5.3-liter V8 engine, Aston Martin claimed the Bulldog produced well over 650 horsepower however no official figures exist.

The Bulldog was named after Aston Martin managing director Alan Curtis’s Scotts Aviation Bulldog airplane and dubbed K-9 internally after the robotic dog featured in the Doctor Who TV series. The plan was to showcase the engineering prowess of Aston Martin’s new engineering facility in Newport Pagnell and claim the coveted title of world’s fastest production car. 

Thanks to its powerful engine and aerodynamic exterior, Aston Martin claimed the Bulldog could reach a top speed of 237mph. Sadly it fell short in testing with a top speed of only 192mph.

Today the only Aston Martin Bulldog in existence is being restored with the plan to go for 200mph again. Aston Martin test driver Darren Turner has even agreed to pilot this 40-year-old car to unknown speeds.

After 40 years of storage, the Aston Martin Bulldog is set for redemption, and we cannot wait to see if it will finally break the 200mph barrier.  

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin Victor Shows Up At Belgian Dealer Looking Intense

Given how tumultuous 2020 was, you’d be forgiven for forgetting about the debut of the Aston Martin Victor in September. Now, this one-off has rolled into the brand’s dealer in Antwerp, Belgium, for a fresh chance to check out the unique coupe.

The Victor is a product of Aston Martin’s Q personalization division. This low-slung machine rides on the bones of the rare One-77, but an angular, new body takes subtle inspiration from the company’s models in the 1970s and ’80s.

The Victor features a long nose with a prominent power bulge in the center. Big, circular headlights sit low on the nose. Unfortunately, the vehicle’s deep green exterior is so dark that it hides the details of the heavily sculpted body.

At the back, the most prominent element of the design is the massive spoiler. The three-dimensional taillights are a similar style to the Valkyrie hypercar. A big diffuser occupies the area underneath the vehicle’s tail.

The interior has a mix of Forest Green and Conker Bridge of Weir brown leather. The driver looks at a rather tiny digital screen, and there’s a square infotainment display on top of the dashboard. Bits of the carbon-fiber monocoque are exposed, too.

The powertrain still uses the One-77’s 7.3-liter naturally aspirated V12, but it now features Cosworth tuning that pushes the output to 836 horsepower (623 kilowatts) and 605 pound-feet (821 Newton-meters) of torque. The One-77 originally made 750 hp (559 kW) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm).

Rather than the original six-speed automated manual, Graziano supplies a true six-speed manual with two transmission coolers and a motorsport-spec clutch.

Aston Martin never specified the price for Q creating the Victor. Giving them a One-77 and then completely overhauling the body, interior, and powertrain must be an expensive project to commission, though.

Source: motor1.com

Watch Aston Martin Badge Forged In Fire For Special DBX

Nowadays, the badge of a car often flies under the radar as not incredibly significant, but things used to be different. A long time ago in a galaxy far away, every vehicle had a tremendous hood ornament, ornate beyond measure. The automotive insignia has since lost its zeal until recently, as Mr JWW takes us behind the scenes of how Aston Martin creates its badges.

For the uninitiated, James (a.k.a Mr JWW) was fortunate enough to be able to design a special production run of the Aston Martin DBX SUV. As part of walking through the design process, he shows us the intricacies of what it takes to create a bespoke vehicle badge. Obviously, most customers won’t have this level of input, but it’s terrific to be able to go behind the curtains of the British automaker.

Along with many other goodies, the badges on this DBX are unique to the JWW spec. Made by the same artisans at Vaughtons that have made Aston badges since the beginning, these are much more than just a bit of metal that goes on your pride and joy. Each piece is made from an ingot of solid cooper, stamped under 350 tonnes (771,618 pounds) of pressure, torched to 800 degrees celsius, and polished to perfection. 

While the profile of the badge is the same, almost everything else has been completely changed. To produce an almost steampunk aesthetic, these examples won’t be filled with any white and green enamel – as they normally are in the factory cars. After skipping paint, the raw copper badge is polished to produce a set of Aston Martin wings that’s never been seen before.

The special DBX collaboration with JWW will set you back £199,950 ($266,813) and will be supplied exclusively by HWM Aston Martin in Walton on the Thames, Surrey. The majority of cars will be built next year, but delivery dates will obviously depend on how quickly you put your name down. As a celebration of the British automaker’s foray into the SUV market, we’d say this gets the job done. 

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin Selling Ready-Made Collection Of Vantage Race Cars

The Aston Martin brand can carry many different meanings to those in the automotive space. To some, they picture the Aston Martin DB5 from the Bond films, while to others they are a powerhouse in the world of endurance racing. Catering to the latter – and their recent world championship in the WEC LMGTE Pro category – the British automaker is looking back at where the success came from.

The Legacy Collection includes a trio of GT cars from the brand’s recent endurance racing success: a Vantage GT4 car, V12 Vantage GT3, and the V8 Vantage GTE. All three are built from a brand new chassis and come ready to race with the ubiquitous sterling green livery and yellow accents.

Vantage Legacy Collection
Vantage Legacy Collection

Starting off, you may ask why a GT4 car would be in a collection of racing greats. It turns out that the Vantage GT4 was the first racing car created around the VH-era architecture, making its debut in 2009. Aston Martin Racing built 107 examples up until the new evolution took over in 2018. The car in the collection is the 108th and last to roll out of the workshop.

Keen readers may be more fond of the V12 Vantage GT3 which made its debut in 2012. Apart from being one of the last V12 GT cars, it brought AMR great success, winning the British GT championship in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018. As many manufacturers succumbed to turbocharging, Aston Martin was steadfast in keeping the V12 alive up until its swan-song performance in the 2019 installment of the Bathurst 12 Hours – phased out by the current turbocharged V8 Vantage, 46 examples were built up until 2017.

“For a collector, this trio of Aston Martin Racing Vantages represents the ultimate tribute to a halcyon period for the brand in international sportscar racing,” said President of Aston Martin Racing, David King. “While Aston Martin has since gone on to record world championship titles with the current generation turbocharged V8 Vantage, the foundations laid by the huge success of the original car won it admirers around the globe and led to it becoming a firm favorite with racing fans.”

While only six V8 Vantage GTE cars were built, they were incredibly successful – during its brief stint, it was the winningest car in the FIA World Endurance Championship with seven titles and two LeMans victories to its name. Wearing chassis number 007, the GTE in the collection is the seventh and final car to be made. 

Celebrating one of the most successful periods in the British automaker’s racing history, this collection of AMR race cars is a sight to behold. Pricing remains to be seen, but we’d wager these beauties will set you back a pretty penny.

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Trio of original Vantage race cars offered as a special edition collection
Includes the final V8 Vantage GTE from the family line that recorded two Le Mans class victories and seven WEC titles
Multiple championship-winning Vantage GT3 and GT4 models complete set
Monday 23 November 2020, Gaydon. Aston Martin Racing has created the Vantage Legacy Collection to commemorate one of the most successful periods in the luxury British sportscar brand’s racing history, as well as one of the company’s most successful racing cars – the Aston Martin Vantage.  
 
This period, between 2009 and 2018, brought Aston Martin two 24 Hours of Le Mans class victories (in 2014 and 2017) and seven FIA World Endurance Championship titles, as well as numerous international sports car championship titles in British GT, GT World Challenge (Europe) and the European Le Mans Series.
 
The trio of Legacy Vantages, based on V8 Vantage road car launched in 2005, have been created in Aston Martin Racing’s workshops and is being offered for sale as a collection. It includes a V8 Vantage GTE, a V12 Vantage GT3 and Vantage GT4. All three are brand new chassis, ready to race, and have been identically liveried in sterling green with the distinctive and classic Aston Martin yellow trim lines around the radiator and cant rail. 
 
The Vantage GT4 was the first racing car created around the VH-era architecture. It made its debut in 2009 and, by the end of 2018, Aston Martin Racing had built 107 cars, winning races and international championships across the world. Many of these cars are still competing today. The car in the collection is the 108th and final car to be made.
 
The V12 Vantage GT3 followed the GT4 three years later, making its debut in 2012. It soon became the dominant car in the British GT championship, winning outright titles in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018, proving its competitiveness right up until it was replaced by the new Vantage in 2019. Over seven years, up until the end of 2017, 46 cars were built.
 
The V8 Vantage GTE made its debut with the Aston Martin Racing works team in 2012 at Sebring. It spearheaded Aston Martin’s works return to production-based racing following three years of competing in the LMP1 class. The V8 Vantage GTE took its first win at the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Shanghai in October that debut year. 
 
Only six V8 Vantage GTEs were originally built, with the car racing for the last time in the GTE Am class at Le Mans in 2018.  During this time, it became the most successful car in the FIA World Endurance Championship, winning seven titles and two Le Mans class victories, including a famous final-lap triumph in 2017. The GTE in this collection is the seventh and final car to be made, chassis number 007.
 
President of Aston Martin Racing, David King said: “For a collector, this trio of Aston Martin Racing Vantages represents the ultimate tribute to a halcyon period for the brand in international sportscar racing. While Aston Martin has since gone on to record world championship titles with the current generation turbo-charged V8 Vantage, the foundations laid by the huge success of the original car won it admirers the around the globe and led to it becoming a firm favourite with racing fans. The Legacy collection is a beautiful sign-off for this wonderful car.”
 
 
 
CAR SPECIFICATIONS
 
VANTAGE GT4
 
Engine & TransmissionAston Martin Racing 4.7-litre V8 engine
Weight-reduced rear silencer or straight-through tailpipes
FIA-approved bag type 115-litre centrally mounted fuel tank with twin fill
Six-speed Sportshift (ASM) transmission
Twin-plate cera-metallic clutch with lightweight flywheel
 
ChassisFIA approved full rollcage in 15CDV6 high-strength steel
Integral air jacks
Polycarbonate side and rear windows
Side sills with exposed carbon fibre rib
Quick-release bonnet and tailgate
Carbon fibre side strakes
Reduced weight wiring harness
Lightweight battery
 
SuspensionDouble wishbone suspension adjustable for toe, caster and camber
2-way adjustable Koni dampers
Stiffened front and rear anti-roll bars
Spherical bearing suspension
 
InteriorRecaro competition seat embroidered with Aston Martin Racing logo
Recaro HANS compatible seat (optional)
Sabelt six-point safety harness
FIA compliant Lifeline plumbed-in extinguisher system
Lightweight door casings
Weight-reduced facia, trimmed in Alcantara
Quick-release steering wheel
 
AerodynamicsAdjustable carbon-fibre rear wing
Increased protrusion front splitter
Carbon-fibre front dive planes
 
BrakesFour-piston monoblock calipers fitted with
high-performance Pagid RS 29 race pads
Uprated two-piece front brake discs
Twin front brake cooling ducts
Endurance brake package
Bosch race-developed ABS and traction control system
 
WheelsMagnesium 5-stud wheels
Front – 10” x 18”
Rear – 11” x 18”
 
V12 VANTAGE GT3
 
ChassisLightweight aluminium chassis
Steel rollcage to FIA safety standards
High speed pneumatic jack system
Low engine position
 
EngineLightweight 6-litre V12
Dry sump oil system
Engine repositioned to optimise weight distribution and centre of gravity
Power 600 bhp
Torque 700 Nm
 
TransmissionXtrac six-speed semi-automatic paddle shift transmission
Racing clutch
Limited slip ramp/plate differential
Easily accessible drop gears
Carbon fibre prop-shaft
 
Cockpit8862 safety seat
Six-point safety harness
Racing seat nets
Lightweight battery
Carbon fibre dash
Fire extinguisher8862 safety seat system
Driver display and shift lights
 
BodyFront splitter
Adjustable full width carbon fibre rear wing
Aerodynamically optimised bumpers, side sills and rear fenders
Removable carbon-fibre body panels
Aluminium roof
 
Fuel system125-litre fuel cell to FIA safety standards
Twin quick-release couplings
 
SuspensionDouble wishbone suspension with uniball bearings
Four-way adjustable Bilstein dampers
Optimised geometry for lower ride height
 
BrakesSix-pot front calipers
Ventilated front & rear brake disc
Four-pot rear caliper
Manually adjustable front/rear brake bias
 
WheelsFront 12.5” x 18”
Rear 13” x 18”
 
WeightDry weight 1250 kg
 
V8 VANTAGE GTE
 
ChassisLightweight aluminium chassis
Steel roll cage to FIA safety standards
High speed pneumatic air jack system
 
EngineLightweight V8
Dry sump oil system
Engine repositioned to optimise
weight distribution
Power > 500 bhp*
Torque > 500 Nm*
 
Transmission6-speed semi-automatic paddle shift gear change
ZF Sachs Racing clutch
Limited slip combination VC and ramp/plate differential
Carbon fibre propshaft
 
BodyFull aerodynamic update to 2016 LMGTE regulations
Lightweight carbon fibre bodywork
Aluminium roof with driver safety access hatch
CFD optimised aerodynamics with splitter and diffuser
Adjustable carbon fibre rear wing
 
Fuel systemDesigned to FIA safety standards
Twin quick release couplings
 
BrakesFront: six pot Brembo calipers
Rear: four pot Brembo calipers
Vented discs
Pagid RS pads
Bespoke lightweight pedal box
Goodridge hydraulic brake lines
 
Wheels & TyresTWS Mg front 12.5” x 18”
TWS Mg rear 13.0” x 18”
Dunlop 305-680R18
Dunlop 312-705R18
 
Weight & DimensionsLength 4550 mm
Width 1963 mm
Height 1185 mm
Wheelbase 2600 mm
Dry weight 1240 kg*
*Dependent on Balance of Performance BoP
 
 – ENDS –

Source: motor1.com

Mercedes-AMG C63 On Stilts Might Be An Aston Martin DBX Mule

A Mercedes-AMG C63 with a lift kit and massive fender flares was caught in the wild by an Instagram user based in Russia. Car manufacturers go to great lengths to disguise what cars they are road testing, which leads us to believe that this mule isn’t for a Mercedes product at all.

Based on a few key facts we can conclude that this test mule was actually built to test components of the Aston Martin DBX SUV. According to Carscoops, this Instagram photo was taken at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, which is quite close to the Aston Martin DBX factory in St. Athan, Wales. Carscoops also mentions that the wheels being used on the lifted C63 test mule come from the current Aston Martin DBX, which is another indicator that this test mule is for the DBX SUV.

Since the C63 body used for the test mule comes from a pre-facelift car, this DBX test mule may have been used to develop the original DBX and is still in use today to secretly refine the current SUV. The current Aston Martin DBX SUV is the first SUV offering from Aston Martin and features a Mercedes-AMG sourced twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine.

When the Aston Martin DBX debuted in early 2020 it brought Aston Martin into the growing SUV market and allowed Aston Martin to grow its market share and customer base. Aston Martin took a great deal of time to develop the DBX to ensure it gave customers a true Aston Martin driving experience, so it’s no surprise that clever test mules like this C63 exist.

Unique test mules like this lifted C63 are a very unique way to try and retain ambiguity while testing new products out in the open. Hopefully, we can learn more about this specific mule now that it’s becoming the most famous lifted Mercedes-AMG C63 on the internet.

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin Owner Crashes Car, Sues Dealer For Inflating Repair Bill, Loses Badly

I’ve never crashed an Aston Martin into a rock, but I assume it’s a terrible experience. Don’t believe me? Well, maybe the legal saga of this particular Aston Martin owner will convince you otherwise. So, what happened when a Canadian Aston Martin owner crashed their car into a missive rock and didn’t like the repair bills? A legal battle with a clear loser.

The Aston Martin DB9 is one of the most iconic coupes of the modern age and a beautiful example of Aston Martin in its prime. The DB9 is beloved by many for its exterior looks, powerful engines, and role as James Bond’s vehicle of choice.

Aston Martin DB9s may have sharply declined in value on the used market but that doesn’t make them any more affordable to maintain especially after a crash. Sure, you can afford to buy a used Aston Martin but can you afford to own one? That’s a question that this Aston Martin owner should have asked before diving into the bankrupting world of owning limited production sportscars.

Upon receiving the repair bill for the damages due to the rock incident the Aston Martin DB9 owner decided to take the shop to court and claimed her bill was inflated. This led to a loss of time and an even bigger bill as the Aston Martin owner lost their legal battle with the shop.

So, should you sue your mechanic because you can’t afford to fix your car? Probably not because in this particular case the owner had to not only pay legal fees, storage cost to the mechanic, and prejudgment interest.  The initial bill was for about $85,000 but with the additional legal costs it is now inflated to $328,930.50.

Source: motor1.com