As the Gaydon company's first plug-in hybrid model, the Valhalla "heralds a new definition of Aston Martin", according to the firm. It is also the first all-new model launched under the guidance of new CEO Tobias Moers and forms an integral part of his bold 'Project Horizon' transformation plan for the brand. Under the plan, Aston will launch "more than 10 cars" by 2024, including the Valhalla, the closely related but less potent Vanquish supercar and the ultra-exclusive V12-engined Valkyrie hypercar.
One of the biggest influences in the Valhalla’s two-year transformation from the RB-003 Geneva concept to production has been Aston’s new factory-backed F1 team, learnings from which are said to have informed almost every aspect of the car. Fittingly, it has been shown for the first time at the team’s Silverstone headquarters just ahead of the British Grand Prix, in which Aston is competing for the first time in 61 years.
Notably, the Valhalla – unlike the 2019 concept – is not powered by a bespoke, Aston Martin-developed V6 as was originally planned. Development of that 3.0-litre motor, which was set to exceed the 715bhp output of even the DBS Superleggera's V12, was axed soon after Moers took over because, he said, it would not have been Euro 7 compliant and "would have taken another huge investment that was really too big to bring to life".
Instead, the Valhalla follows Aston's Vantage and DB11 coupés in adopting a powertrain supplied by technical partner Mercedes-Benz; more specifically, the AMG performance division's twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, which in this application produces some 740bhp, revs to 7200rpm and drives the rear axle through an all-new bespoke eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which will also be used on other future Aston Martin models.
Like AMG's new GT Black Series, the Valhalla's V8 features a flat-plane crank and is said to be "the most advanced, responsive and highest-performing V8 engine ever fitted to an Aston Martin". It also breathes through a lightweight exhaust system that exits through the top of the rear deck and contains adjustable flaps that give "an authentic Aston Martin sound character".