The development of the groundbreaking Valhalla – Aston Martin‘s first series production mid-engine supercar – has surged forward by harnessing the power of Formula 1® methodologies, expertise, and cutting-edge technologies. Formula 1® is renowned for its relentless pursuit of speed, reliability, and peak performance. This high-stakes racing environment serves as a testbed for cutting-edge technologies and methodologies, setting the stage for innovations that trickle down to the world of road cars. Aston Martin, through its Aramco Cognizant Formula One® team (AMF1), is leveraging this Formula 1® expertise to intensify the development of future models, starting with the Valhalla.
At the heart of this technical crossover between Aston Martin and Formula 1® is Aston Martin Performance Technologies (AMPT), the consulting arm of the AMF1 team. AMPT is playing a pivotal role by directly assisting Aston Martin’s performance engineering team in three key areas: dynamics, aerodynamics, and materials.
Valhalla is designed to be a driver-focused mid-engine supercar, and its vehicle dynamics group, in close conjunction with AMPT, is working tirelessly to deliver pinpoint dynamics that promise an unparalleled driver experience. F1®’s reliance on simulation tools and methodologies has been adapted for the Valhalla, with an astonishing 90% of dynamic characteristics and vehicle setup being completed in the simulator before the final real-world development phase on the road and track.
Adding a new layer of intensity to Valhalla’s calibration are the valuable inputs from AMF1 drivers like Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso. Their elite-level skills and knowledge push the car to the very edge of its performance capabilities, ensuring that every aspect of the Valhalla is optimized for a thrilling driving experience.
The Valhalla’s cockpit ergonomics draw direct inspiration from Formula 1®. The driving position has been meticulously optimized with support from AMPT to provide race car-level control, enhancing the driver’s connection to the vehicle. Features like the raised heels and the unique carbon fiber bucket seat, which can be reclined for an AMR23 race car-like seating position, contribute to this immersive driving experience.
Aston Martin has embraced F1®-inspired aerodynamics to elevate the Valhalla’s performance. The car generates over 600kg of downforce at 240km/h, thanks to fully active aerodynamic systems at both the front and rear. These systems constantly adapt to maximize grip, balance, and consistency, ensuring the Valhalla performs at its peak in any situation.
Similar to F1® cars, Valhalla features multi-element wings at the front and rear. The front wing can adjust for reduced drag or increased downforce, while the under-floor surface creates a low-pressure area that generates downforce. The multi-element rear wing can lie flat for minimal drag or be raised high for maximum downforce, actively managing its angle of attack.
The extensive knowledge of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel testing from F1® has been instrumental in Valhalla’s development. Similar techniques and tools used in Formula 1® have been applied to fine-tune Valhalla’s aerodynamics, ride height sensitivity, and more, providing valuable insights that enhance the car’s performance and safety.
Both AMPT and the AMF1 team have extensive experience in building carbon fiber structures. Valhalla’s structure maximizes stiffness with minimal weight, a testament to cutting-edge composite technology. The upper and lower sections of the structure are crafted from carbon fiber using advanced processes, resulting in an incredibly stiff, strong, yet lightweight passenger cell that prioritizes both performance and safety.
Valhalla is a pioneer in Aston Martin’s transition to electrification. Its bespoke twin-turbo flat-plane V8 engine, combined with three electric motors, creates a 1,012 PS hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain. Torque vectoring, enabled by twin electric motors on the front axle, enhances steering response, grip, and traction, elevating the driving experience to a whole new level.
The Aston Martin Valhalla is set to hit the road soon, with production slated for 2024.
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