New information has been released about the engine in the Aston Marting Valhalla supercar. Called TM01 (named in honour of famous Aston Martin engineer Tadek Marek), it’s an all-new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 with plug-in-hybrid assistance – and it’s the first all-new engine that the British company has designed and built in-house since 1968.
No power or torque figures have been confirmed, but Aston Martin has confirmed that the unit will use the popular “hot vee” format, with the turbocharger system mounted between the cylinder banks for the benefit of packaging. The company has also confirmed that the TM01 unit weighs less than 200kg.
Aston Martin has big plans for the engine. After the Valhalla has made its official debut in 2022, the 3.0-litre V6 will be used in a number of new cars, including a Ferrari SF90 Stradale rival. The company’s CEO, Andy Palmer, confirmed: “This power unit will be integral to a lot of what we do, and the first signs of what it will achieve are incredibly promising.”
Production of the Aston Martin Valhalla will be strictly limited to 500 examples, with each costing around $2m. The project is a collaborative effort between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing, and borrows technology from the latter company’s Formula One racing experience.
The Valhalla also shares some of its DNA with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, including the inspiration for its name. Both nameplates are derived from Norse mythology; according to legend, female figures known as “Valkyries” select the worthy souls of fallen warriors, and lead them to a palace-like afterlife, known as “Valhalla”.
The Valhalla is also the latest “V-badged” car in the British brand’s line-up, following a 70-year tradition dating back to the high-performance variant of the 1951 Aston Martin DB2, which was unofficially badged as the Vantage. Since the fifties, a host of V-badged cars have joined the fold, including the Virage, the Vanquish, the Vulcan and the Valkyrie.
New 2022 Aston Martin Valhalla: design and platform
Technology-wise, the Valhalla adopts the Valkyrie’s wide, exposed front bumper, pronounced haunches and large rear bumper. Like the Valkyrie, it’s based on a carbon fibre monocoque and clad in carbon fibre panels to keep weight to a minimum. Despite this, Aston’s design director Miles Nurnberger said the Valhalla is a “distillation of the Valkyrie and not a dilution”.
The Valhalla features a range of active aerodynamic fixtures to deliver “outstanding” levels of downforce, including a new technology called FlexFoil. The tech, which is a first for a production car, has been validated by NASA and is used on the car’s rear wing to improve the amount of downforce generated by physically altering the shape of the wing at speed.
However, as the Valhalla has been designed primarily as a road car, its interior features several changes over the Valkyrie’s. A section of the roof has been incorporated into the dihedral doors to make getting in and out easier, while a redesigned 3D-printed centre console gives passengers more shoulder room.
A digital instrument cluster sits on top of the steering column, while Aston Martin’s solution to in-car entertainment is to “bring your own”, with the Valhalla offering a smartphone mount in place of an integrated infotainment system for maximum “simplicity and flexibility”.
Following the launch of the Valhalla 003 Concept, Aston boss Palmer told Auto Express: “People will view Valkyrie in the same context as LaFerrari and Senna – it’s not. It’s a different world altogether. I don’t think there has ever been a car like Valkyrie and I don’t think there will ever be again, because legislation won’t allow it.
“The 003 is the bridge – it’s in the $2m area, so does directly compete with Senna and LaFerrari. It uses Valkyrie technology and aerodynamic construction and matches that with a V6 which will be used in our Ferrari 488 competitor.”
Palmer added: “The ultimate mid-engine car is an F1 car, but I didn’t fancy running an F1 team – Red Bull is a perfect partner for us. We have a design studio on the Red Bull site and have 130 engineers based there doing advanced engineering for the cars. So the legitimacy of our mid-engine range comes with working with [Red Bull F1 designer] Adrian Newey and the team, and the osmosis of having your lunch with an F1 team.”