- Development of new Aston Martin Valhalla supercar has shifted up a gear via the use of Formula 1® methodologies, experience and technologies
- Aston Martin Performance Technologies providing the tools, learnings and expertise of Formula 1®
- Valhalla is benefiting from working directly with Aston Martin Performance Technologies in three key areas – Dynamics, Aerodynamics and Materials
- Limited to 999 models, Valhalla is on course to enter production in 2024
Aston Martin Valhalla, the ultra-luxury brand’s first series production mid-engine supercar, is reaping the benefits of the world’s fastest laboratory, Formula 1®. Technological development in F1® is accelerated by the need for speed, reliability and performance. Race proven methodologies, expertise and technologies used by the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® team (AMF1) are being adopted by Aston Martin to intensify the development of future models.
Marco Mattiacci, Global Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of Aston Martin said: “Aston Martin’s vision is to build a range of exceptional, class-leading driver focused cars, crucial in the expansion of our core product line-up. As such our first series production mid-engine supercar will be transformational for this ultra-luxury performance brand as well as for the mid-engine segment. Valhalla represents Aston Martin’s first joint development integration between our road car engineers and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® team’s F1® engineering capabilities through Aston Martin Performance Technologies and demonstrates Aston Martin’s breadth of capabilities with the technical support and expertise of Formula 1®.”
The technical crossover between Aston Martin and its eponymous Formula 1® team, which currently sits in fourth place in the FIA Formula One World Constructors’ ChampionshipTM, is facilitated by the consulting arm of the team, Aston Martin Performance Technologies (AMPT). AMPT is directly assisting Aston Martin’s performance engineering team in three key areas of development – dynamics, aerodynamics and materials.
Claudio Santoni, Aston Martin Performance Technologies Engineering Director, said: “It is a great advantage for a car manufacturer to have access to the unique skills and knowledge of a Formula 1® team. F1® engineers are constantly pushing the boundaries in the pursuit of performance and have developed rapid problem-solving tools. With this knowledge ‘in house’ we can seamlessly bring F1® expertise to road car development.”
Aston Martin Valhalla is a truly driver-focused mid-engine supercar and the vehicle dynamics group in close conjunction with AMPT is working full throttle to deliver the pinpoint dynamics that will provide unprecedented driver engagement. F1® design relies heavily on simulation tools and the methods used to ensure that every moment spent in the simulator brings progress has been put in place for Valhalla. In fact, 90% of the dynamic characteristics and vehicle set-up has been completed in the simulator, with the final development phase completed in the real world, on the road and track.
Valuable input from the AMF1 drivers add a new intensity to the calibration of Valhalla. The elite level skills and knowledge of drivers like Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso can take vehicle dynamics to a new level as they continue to push the car to the extreme edge of its performance capabilities.
The cockpit ergonomics of Valhalla has also benefited by taking direct cues from Formula 1®, in that the driving position has been optimised with support from AMPT to provide the driver with race car level control in order to maximise the pleasure of driving. The driver’s heels are raised by a false floor, which also contains electronic modules, and the unique carbon fibre bucket seat can be reclined to a greater angle to achieve a seating position more closely aligned to the AMR23 race car, whilst still offering road car comfort. This aids in keeping a low roofline and ensures the driver feels truly connected to the car.
The joint expertise of both AMPT and Aston Martin’s aerodynamicists in both road cars and Formula 1® provides the brand with an opportunity to create addictive road cars, with the perfect blend of luxury and performance. A quick look at the underbody of the AMR23 and the underbody of Valhalla, where most of its downforce is generated, illustrates how much F1® technology has gone into the new supercar.
The aerodynamic approach to Valhalla starts in a similar way to an F1® car, by using all elements of the body shape to generate downforce and minimise drag. However, Valhalla is not restricted by F1® regulations so it can benefit from fully active aerodynamic systems at both the front and rear of the car which will generate over 600kg of downforce at 240km/h. This enables Valhalla to constantly adapt front and rear downforce to maximise grip, balance and consistency, or reduce drag depending on the situation and the driving mode selected. This enables drivers to extract the very best from Valhalla’s chassis and tyres, across the full performance range of the car.
Like the AMR23 race car, Valhalla features-multi element wings front and rear, though the front wing is largely hidden from view. The front wing can lie flat in a DRS position to reduce drag or can be angled up to generate huge downforce directly ahead of the front wheels. Behind the front splitter the under-floor surface is concave, creating a low-pressure area that generates downforce. Again, this feature can be controlled as part of the full vehicle active control algorithms on the car.
The multi element rear wing lies flat to create the beautiful clean lines of the car, whilst generating a baseline level of downforce with minimal drag. However, in track mode the wing is raised high into the airflow to maximise its effectiveness. The car then actively manages the angle of attack of the wing to continually balance between maximum downforce and DRS, to maximise performance.