The new nitty gritty on one of the most insane road-going engines in the world

Hypercars are getting crazier and crazier with every successive generation, and the new Aston Martin Valkyrie is a perfect example of just how wild the current crop of top-shelf performers truly are. A lot of the Aston’s insanity comes down to the beating mid-ship heart of the machine, and now we’re getting a fresh take on what makes it tick.

Taking A Peek Under The Valkyrie’s Hood

First things first - hit play on the quick 40-second video above, and you’ll get to hear this thing scream in all its full-throated V-12 glory.

On to the nerdy stuff. The engine in question here was created by the legendary British automotive engineering company known as Cosworth, which sourced both development techniques and material technology from its successful Formula 1 efforts to create it.

This fits well with the overarching theme, as the rest of the Valkyrie was also developed with input from Adrian Newey, another name with a history of Formula 1 fame.

The specs on the Valkyrie’s engine are just insane. There’s a 65-degree arrangement for the cylinder banks and a V-12 configuration with 6.5 liters of displacement, but check this out - redline is set at a mind-boggling 11,100 rpms, with a maximum of 1,000 horsepower created at 10,500, offering up 153.8 horsepower per liter. Twist is measured at 740 Nm (546 pound-feet) of torque at 7,000 rpm.

The engine is also a “fully-stressed” part of the chassis, connecting the front wheels to the rear of the vehicle and acting to keep the car feeling solid through the corners, even when the aero-enhanced grip is threatening to tear the driver’s face off.

Get Familiar With the 11,100-RPM Cosworth V-12 Out of the Aston Martin Valkyrie
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Incredibly, the engine weighs just 206 kg, or 454 pounds.

That makes it more or less in line with the full F1-spec Cosworth 3.0-liter V-10, which weighs 97 kg (213 pounds) and, as Aston points out, would tip the scales at 210 kg (463 pounds) if scaled up to 6.5 liters. Granted, that’s a bit of an apples to oranges comparison, but it’s definitely quite impressive all the same.

Aston also says it “actively avoided extreme material alloys” in the engine’s development, as they “are so new that material properties over time are unproven.” However, even without “extreme” materials, the stuff that went into the Valkyrie’s ’12 seems like it’s still straight out of fiction. For example, the machined internals include titanium connecting rods and even “F1-spec” pistons.

The crankshaft is a good example of the level of attention that each component received during the build process. The crank was billet machined from a solid steel bar that had 80 percent of the original piece of metal carved out of it, and when it’s all said and done, the final component weighs in at 50 percent of the crank used in the Aston Martin One-77.

Get Familiar With the 11,100-RPM Cosworth V-12 Out of the Aston Martin Valkyrie
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Making an engine like this run well in a racing environment is no easy feat, but the fact Aston and Cosworth managed to make it street legal, hold a steady idle, run on pump gas, and fall within emissions restrictions is just crazy.

Aston also kept it boost free, eschewing the much more common move of adding a double dose of turbocharging to the mix. The idea was to create the ultimate powerplant for a driver’s car application, and the free-revving, low-end torque response of an all-atmosphere engine is unquestionably the best fit for that criteria.

“To anyone with a drop of petrol in their blood, a high-revving naturally aspirated V-12 is the absolute pinnacle,” said Aston chief Dr. Andy Palmer. “Nothing sounds better or encapsulates the emotion and excitement of the internal combustion engine more completely.”

That said, hybrid assistance still seems to fall within that range of desirable characteristics. Unfortunately, Aston has yet to spill the beans on the electrified side of the Valkyrie’s powerplant, so we’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out when the automaker is ready to tell us more.

As for acceleration specs, the Valkyrie should hit 60 mph in about 2.5 seconds and rage on to a top speed of 250 mph. Curb weight should hit around 2,270 pounds. Production is limited to just 25 units, each of which cost a whopping $3.2 million.

Further Reading

2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 Exterior High Resolution
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Read up on everything we know about the 2019 Aston Martin Valkyrie

2012 Aston Martin One-77 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the Aston Martin One-77.

New naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre 65° V12 produces 1000bhp
Maximum RPM – 11,100
Developed in conjunction with Cosworth using proven F1 knowledge, materials and methods
Engine is fully-stressed element of the chassis, yet weighs just 206kg
Hits all programme targets for emissions compliance and durability

12 December 2018, Gaydon: With development of its new V12 progressing apace the time is right to reveal some closely guarded secrets of the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s extraordinary powerplant. Developed in conjunction with longtime technical partner Cosworth, the new V12 had to satisfy a simple, yet extraordinary brief: to create the ultimate expression of the internal combustion engine.

The programme called for a normally aspirated engine from the very beginning, for while turbocharging has absolutely come of age and offers significant and widespread benefits – especially in a road application – the greatest driver’s car of the modern era demands an internal combustion engine that sits at the absolute pinnacle for performance, excitement and emotion. This means the uncompromising purity of natural aspiration.

The resulting engine is an absolute masterpiece. Displacing 6.5-litres the 65° V12 sets exceptional new standards for maximum rpm and specific output with a certified peak power output of 1000bhp (or 153.8 bhp-per-litre) at a mind-blowing 10,500rpm, before continuing on to a maximum rpm figure of 11,100: figures that are unprecedented for a naturally-aspirated, emissions-compliant road car application. Peak torque is 740Nm at 7,000rpm. With these peak outputs purely delivered by the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine), Aston Martin Valkyrie’s performance figures will be further boosted by a battery hybrid system, details of which will be revealed later in the development programme.

Cosworth’s F1 expertise is also evidenced in the Aston Martin Valkyrie engine’s weight, which also set new standards. Given the engine is a fully stressed element of the car (remove the engine and there is nothing joining the front wheels to the back!) and the level of technology in the combustion system, keeping weight down was a huge challenge. Especially as the programme actively avoided use of extreme materiel alloys which are so new that material properties over time are unproven.

Aside from the major castings – block, cylinder heads, sump and structural cam covers – the majority of the engine’s internal components are machined from solid material. These include Titanium conrods and F1TM-spec pistons. Not only does this allow the use of material with ideal properties, but the ultra-fine machining process means greater consistency and components optimised for minimum mass and maximum strength. The result is an engine that weighs just 206kg. By way of comparison, Cosworth’s 3.0 litre V10 F1TM engines (the last before weight limits were imposed by the FIA) weighed 97Kg. If scaled-up to 6.5 litres this pure race engine would weigh 210kg.

One of the best examples of the painstaking optimisation involved is the billet machined crankshaft. Starting life as a solid steel bar 170mm diameter and 775mm long, it is first roughed out, then heat treated, finish machined, heat treated again, gear ground, final ground and superfinished. Upon completion 80% of the original bar has been machined away and some six months have passed, but the end product is a crankshaft that’s an astonishing 50 per cent lighter than that used in the Aston Martin One-77’s V12 – itself a Cosworth-developed evolution of Aston Martin’s series production V12 and, for a time, the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated road car engine.

Bruce Wood, Cosworth Managing Director, said of the project: “Being asked to create a naturally aspirated V12 engine fit for what will surely be one of the most iconic cars of all time is an immense source of pride for Cosworth. Decades in F1TM taught us to expect a pretty demanding specification from someone with Adrian Newey’s unsurpassed track record, but when we started talking about specifics of power, weight, emissions compliance and durability combined with ever harder and sometimes conflicting targets, we knew this would be a challenge like no other. It’s been a fantastic partnership between Aston Martin, Red Bull and Cosworth with each party bringing a distinct clarity of vision that has proved essential in delivering an internal combustion engine way beyond anything previously seen in a road car application.”

Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer, said of the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s V12 engine: “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. From the outset the team at Cosworth were unflinching in their commitment to achieving benchmarks which pushed the boundaries of the possible. The result is a quite extraordinary engine. One which I doubt will ever be surpassed.”

Evoking the spine-tingling, ultra-high-revving F1TM engines of the 1990s, but benefitting from two decades of progress in design, material and manufacturing expertise, the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s 1000bhp V12 is a masterpiece, from one of the world’s most illustrious engine builders: an internal combustion engine without peer for a hypercar without precedent.

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