Because 750 hp wouldn't cut it.
Aston Martin is understandably excited about its upcoming Valkyrie hypercar. Everyone should be, too. Despite last week's unveiling of the near production-ready car, Aston Martin hasn't gone into great detail regarding its V12 engine. Fortunately, Top Gear has learned more about this very important matter in a recent sit-down with members of the Valkyrie team. First off, a version of the naturally aspirated 7.3-liter V12 from the One-77 was briefly a candidate, but there was a reason why it wasn't ultimately chosen.
"Some at Aston liked the idea of a V12, but wanted to use a derivative of the One-77, but it wouldn't produce the power we needed," stated Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing' chief technical officer. "The other group said it should be a V6 twin-turbo. It almost broke the deal, because we said we wouldn't do it unless it was a bespoke V12, made by Cosworth." But why, exactly, was the NA V12 chosen, especially when several competitors opted for forced induction? "I did some homework and came to the conclusion that weight wise there wasn't much between them, in terms of cooling requirements the V6 was worse, in terms of sound the V6 was worse and it would vibrate too much if you solid-mounted it to the chassis.
"Technically and emotionally the V12 was the better solution." The result is a new 6.5-liter V12, courtesy of Cosworth. This couldn't get any more British, and that's cool. Top Gear also learned this V12's design is loosely derived from the 2.4-liter V8 Cosworth designed for Williams' 2010 F1 car. Newey admitted the Valkyrie's engine will be "high-revving" and a one-to-one power-to-weight ratio has been the goal all along, although it may not be that exactly in the end. However, combined with the e-motor, powered by lithium-ion batteries placed centrally low under the fuel tank, total output is estimated to be at least 1,000 hp. As for performance?
Again, Newey refused to reveal specifics, but did acknowledge engineers have "done lap time simulations and it'll be significantly quicker around a lap than the (P1, LaFerrari and 918)." This is Newey's first time engineering a road car and he's clearly determined to make history.