Aston Martin cancelled its Le Mans Hypercar class racing plans pretty late in the day. When the plug was pulled on the Valkyrie-based FIA World Endurance Championship project in 2019 as the company shifted focus to F1, development must have been at an advanced stage.
Rather than let all the work go to waste, though, Aston Martin has decided to let customers buy the car it originally developed to belt around La Sarthe for 24 hours every summer. But, since it won’t be doing any competing, it doesn’t need to stick to the ACO’s rulebook. Welcome to the Valkyrie AMR Pro.
It’s a very different beast to the concept car Aston launched under that name a few years ago. The AMR Pro gets a bespoke version of the Valkyrie road car chassis with the wheelbase stretched by 380mm and the new aero package helping it grow by a further 266mm.
On the suspension front, the tracks have been widened by a whopping 96mm at the front and 115mm at the back. The double wishbones, meanwhile, are made from carbon fibre, as apparently aluminium isn’t quite special enough.
Along with all the obvious aero stuff you can see like the huge rear wing and the protruding front splitter, the AMR Pro also has all sorts of hidden under-body devices. The aero package “generates extraordinary levels of downforce,” Aston says. Combined with the mechanical grip on offer from the reworked suspension and slick tyres, you’re looking at a car that can pull 3G in the corners.
It’ll be similarly astonishing on the straight bits. Like the road car, the extra-special Valkyrie uses a 6.5-litre V12 developed by Cosworth. The naturally-aspirated unit revs to 11,000rpm and develops 1000bhp, which should do nicely, particularly given all of Aston’s weight-saving measures.
Along with the carbon wishbones we spoke about earlier, the AMR Pro also gets a windscreen and side windows made from Perspex plus incredibly light carbon fibre body panels. The Rimac/Williams Advanced Engineering hybrid system has also been chopped to trim the fat.
Stick a handy enough driver behind the wheel, and the Valkyrie AMR Pro should be able to clock a circa 3min 20sec lap time at La Sarthe, not far off the qualifying time set by Kamui Kobayashi at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year. That was in a Toyota TS050 Hybrid on the old LMP1 regulations, which made for much faster cars than the new LMh rules.
As with a lot of these track-only hypercars, including Aston Martin’s own Vulcan, the purchase of a Valkyrie AMR Pro includes access to supported drives on various FIA-grade circuits. Customers can get tips from a world-class instructor team, be given exclusive flameproof overalls, and chow down a fancy slap-up dinner cooked at each event. Lovely.
For now, that’s all we know. The British company is promising to divulge more about the car later in the year ahead of customer deliveries for the 40-unit run, set to begin during the fourth quarter of 2021.