Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

With a few notable exceptions, the V12 engine’s future looks grim at best. One of the automakers still committed to keeping the configuration alive for as long as possible is Aston Martin, and now the British company has released images and technical specifications for the brand-new 12-cylinder it developed to power the upcoming Valkyrie.

Aston Martin teamed up with renowned engineering firm Cosworth to design the V12. The project brief was simple: Create the ultimate expression of the internal combustion engine. The Mona Lisa of engines is a naturally aspirated, 6.5-liter unit that makes a whopping 1,000 horsepower in its most basic state of tune. It generates its peak output at a superbike-like 10,500 rpm, and it doesn’t reach its red line until 11,400 rpm. Its peak torque output of 545 pound-feet arrives at 7,000 rpm.

One-thousand hp and 545 lb-ft. are impressive statistics, but there’s more. The V12 will serve as the central component of a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain. Aston Martin isn’t ready to divulge additional technical specifications yet, so we’ll have to be patient to find out precisely how much power Valkyrie drivers will have under their right foot. The trade-off is that, according to Car & Driver, the engine will need to be rebuilt every 62,000 miles.

The rest of the car is just as advanced as the engine. Aston Martin and its partner, Red Bull Advanced Technologies, have focused their efforts on the car’s aerodynamics, design, and cockpit. The Valkyrie will be one of, if not the, most aerodynamic production cars ever made. As such, form follows function with its teardrop cabin, massive wheel arches, and full-length Venturi tunnels that run along the cockpit floor. The Valkyrie consequently looks like a Formula One car with a thin coating of bodywork.

Exterior design highlights include F1-inspired headlights built within an exposed anodized aluminium frame. These beams are 30-40 percent lighter than the brightest Aston Martin road car headlights. In the name of weight savings, the Aston Martin “wings” badge is neither a standard emblem nor a cheap sticker. The design team crafted a chemical-etched aluminium badge just 70 microns thick (which is 30 percent thinner than a human hair). The “lacewing,” is 99.4 percent lighter than a normal Aston Martin badge.

A center-mounted stop light (CHMSL) is built on the tip of a shark’s fin that runs the length of the car’s rear bodywork. At 5.5mm wide and 9.5mm long, it’s the thinnest CHMSL in the world.

Under the guidance of legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey, the entire car has been molded in the pursuit of aerodynamic perfection and downforce. The redesigned Valkyrie prototype adds openings in the body between the cockpit and front wheel arches to improve downforce. The Venturi tunnels draw massive amounts of air beneath the car to feed the rear diffuser. Because these tunnels contribute so much to the hypercar’s stability, they allow the upper body surfaces to focus on aesthetic appeal.

Inside, Aston Martin’s interior designers worked to maximize cabin space and focus on driver engagement. The seats are mounted directly to the tub, with passengers seated in a ‘feet-up’ position (just like in an F1 car). A four-point harness comes as standard, and a six-point unit is available. Everything the driver would need is accessible on the race car-inspired, detachable steering wheel.

Visibility is also exceptional thanks to the design of the greenhouse. Door mirrors have been replaced with rear-facing cameras and live feeds on the A-pillars (we’ll see if the governing bodies are cool with that decision).

“It’s been a tremendous challenge to make the interior packaging work,” says Matt Hill, Aston Martin’s creative director of interiors. “We’ve embraced Red Bull Racing’s Formula One ethos and approached from a different angle than conventional road car design. We’ve been fighting for millimeters everywhere, but the battle has been worth it, as it’s been fantastic seeing customers try the interior buck for size. They love the ritual of getting in and how it feels to be sat behind the wheel.”

Aston Martin will make 150 examples of the Valkyrie, and every example has been spoken for in spite of a base price in the vicinity of $3.2 million. Deliveries will kick off in 2019.

Updated 12-13-2018: Added information about the Valkyrie’s engine.

Product Review

BMW’s smallest M car is its biggest performance statement

The BMW M2 Competition is frighteningly quick in a straight line, and its short wheelbase lends itself to some hilarious power slides, but it’s the curvy roads and tight tracks where this coupe comes alive.

The best hybrid cars save on fuel without sacrificing fun

The best hybrid cars are fuel-efficient and all the rage, but which one should you buy? We’ve broken through the noise to let you know the best hybrid, and a few interesting alternatives from different categories.
Buying Guides

The best hatchbacks for 2019 are small in size and big on tech

The hatchback segment isn't huge, but there are still plenty of good options to choose from. Here, we've rounded up the best hatchbacks available in America, whether you're a fan of efficiency or looks.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.

Tesla posts $702M Q1 loss as deliveries fall sharply; Musk promises turnaround

Tesla lost $702 million during the first quarter of 2019 as deliveries fell sharply, and demand for the Model X and the Model S flattened. The company predicts it will again lose money in the second quarter.

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best Top Gear episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, Top Gear has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 26 seasons.