Now if only Cosworth will put it into production.
As we get closer to the production reveal of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, more details are emerging about its cutting-edge V12 engine. We already knew it would be the most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever put into a production car with 1,130 horsepower. Then, Aston released a video giving us a glimpse of what this outrageous powerplant sounds like when it nears 11,000 rpm.
Cosworth has wowed us all with how light and powerful its V12 is, though the more interesting story may be how the company was able to test the engine for emissions. In a video interview with Cosworth’s managing director Bruce Wood, Carfection goes over the fascinating story of how this V12 was developed by building a tiny three-cylinder engine first.
Interestingly, in order to prove that the V12 could actually pass emissions, Cosworth built a 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine as a proof of concept. “We know that to go from a blank screen to having the first running engine was going to be of the order of 12 or 13 months and because of the sort of conflict of needing to meet emissions, and needing to deliver such a high power per liter, we knew there was a really big challenge there. What we did not want to do was wait 13 months to prove to ourselves that we had met that challenge," said Wood.
“So we took a four-cylinder engine that we already had, and we designed and manufactured a three-cylinder head for that, that was an absolute replica of three cylinders of the Valkyrie design. And we were able to get that up and running within about five months," he added.
“So from the start of the program, we had a three-cylinder engine, which was an absolute quarter of the Valkyrie, because we have four catalysts, so each catalyst serves three cylinders, so by running a three-cylinder engine we were able to replicate every part of a genuine quarter of the finished article," he explained.
We aren't sure what became of this prototype engine, but Cosworth basically created a three-cylinder engine that is one-quarter of a Valkyrie V12 that can pass emissions. What's even more impressive is that this 1.6-liter normally aspirated engine produces around 250 hp. If this engine does still exist and is able to be put into production, we'd love to see under the hood of a sporty hot hatchback.