British sports car firm Aston Martin has revealed its first plug-in hybrid, in the form of a thousand-horsepower supercar called the Valhalla.
Described as the 'son of Valkyrie', the Valhalla is a less extreme, but somewhat related, take on the company's flagship hypercar. But instead of that car's screaming V12 engine, the Valhalla is the first Aston Martin to be powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
- Polestar 1 technology review: King of the hybrids
- How new single-motor Polestar 2 compares to the dual-motor original
- BMW goes after Tesla with new i4 electric sedan
This is made up of a four-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine powering the rear wheels, and a battery feeding electricity to a motor on each axle, giving the car variable all-wheel-drive.
The drivetrain setup means the car has an EV-only mode, where it can use the battery and front motor only to drive at up to 80mph, and for up to around 10.5 miles. This might not sound like much, but means the Valhalla can set off without waking your neighbors, and navigate through the city without any tailpipe emissions. As well as driving the car in EV mode, the motor is used for reverse, thus reducing weight by removing the need for a reverse gear in the transmission.
Although likely to be compared to the plug-in Ferrari SF90 Stradale, the Aston Martin is expected to be a fair bit more expensive, with prices set to be in the region of $800,000 to $1m. Aston Martin says the car is not a limited-run machine, and it will build as many as demand and its manufacturing facility allow through 2023 and 2024. This is likely to mean roughly 1,000 examples, if demand is sufficiently strong.
The Valhalla will be produced through 2023 and 2024GearBrain
Aston Martin is yet to show the interior of the Valhalla, but says it will come with a next-generation infotainment system that is not based on the last-gen Mercedes system fitted to its current vehicles. This is very welcome, given how the current system available on the Vantage sports car doesn't even have a touch-sensitive display. Aston also says the Valhalla's new system will have both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The total power output is a claimed 934 horsepower, with 200 of that coming from the battery and electric motors. This means a 0-62mph (100km/h) sprint time of just 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 217mph. Aston Martin claims the active aerodynamics of the Valhalla produce 600kg of downforce at 150mph, and that it has a target lap time of the Nurburgring Nordschleife of 6:30, which would set a seriously high production car benchmark if achieved for real.
The Valhalla has a 400V electrical system powering two electric motorsGearBrain
GearBrain attended the global reveal of the Valhalla at Aston Martin's Formula One team headquarters today (July 15) and can say it is every bit as beautiful in person as it looks in images. The design is still recognizable, but a distinct step away from the Valhalla concept car due to feature in the (still) upcoming James Bond movie, No Time To Die.
As for what comes next, Aston Martin today alluded to the engine of the Valhalla being used in other future cars, potentially including a more affordable mid-engined vehicle reviving the marque's Vanquish nameplate.
It is understood Aston Martin will produce around 1,000 examples of the Valhalla over two yearsGearBrain
The company wouldn't be drawn to discuss its full EV plans just yet, but with bans on the sale of new internal combustion cars looming – and set for EV-only by 2035 in Aston's native UK – the Valhalla feels like an important step towards hybridisation (required in the UK by 2030) and eventual electrification.