Aston Martin Shows Off Its New 1000BHP 11,100RPM V12 Valkyrie Engine
In years to come, there’s a fair chance we’ll look back and say, “That was the greatest engine ever made”. It’s a normally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12, it weighs just 205kg, it develops 1000bhp, it redlines at (get this) 11,100rpm, and it’s destined for the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar. This is the first time it’s been seen, and it’s really quite special. It’s a collaboration between Aston Martin and Cosworth, bringing in all Cosworth’s Formula 1 experience to develop what looks to us like an automotive masterpiece.
First thing we wondered was, why no turbos? Everyone else does it after all. Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer told us this: “To anyone with a drop of petrol in their blood, a high-revving naturally aspirated V12 is the absolute pinnacle. Nothing sounds better or encapsulates the emotion and excitement of the internal combustion engine more completely. Despite the apparently insurmountable challenges it presented, there was never any question that the Aston Martin Valkyrie would make do with anything less.” The point is that even with all the work that’s gone into turbocharging over the last five decades, there’s still a compromise in terms of throttle response and exhaust soundtrack, and a normally-aspirated engine is still the best driver’s solution.
The engineering is phenomenal. Peak power is made at 10,500prm but it doesn’t redline until 11,100rpm, which is motorcycle–or of course F1–levels of engine speed, and the torque peaks at 740Nm at 7000rpm. Perhaps even more incredible is the weight, which is super-light at 205kg, and that’s even before you consider that it’s a fully-stressed part of the chassis, so if the engine was removed there would be nothing joining the front wheels to the back. You might recall that the legendary Cosworth DFV F1 engine was famous for that 50 years ago.
Most of the engine’s internal components are machined from solid material, including the titanium conrods and F1-spec pistons. As an example, the crankshaft starts out as a solid steel bar 170mm diameter and 775mm long that is first roughed out, then heat treated, finish machined, heat treated again, gear ground, final ground and superfinished. By the time it’s finished 80% of the original bar has been machined away and some six months have passed, and it ends up 50 per cent lighter than the crankshaft used in the Aston Martin One-77’s V12 (which, by the way, was the world’s most powerful normally-aspirated engine in its day).
One more thing to bear in mind, and that’s that the Valkyrie V12’s 1000bhp will be supplemented by a battery hybrid system that will further boost the power and torque available. The hybrid system hasn’t been revealed yet–but we’re looking forward to hearing more about it very soon.
Images courtesy of Aston Martin