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Aston Martin working on mid-engine Valkyrie ‘brother’ to rival McLaren P1

Jonathon Ramsey

We know about the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the Valkyrie AMR Pro (pictured). And we know Aston Martin is planning a mid-engine rival for the Ferrari 488 and McLaren 720S. Now Autocar reports that the English luxury maker is working on yet another mid-engine model, a hypercar to outdo the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari and stand up to the coming McLaren BP23. The newest addition to the small carmaker's grand plans is said to be known internally as "brother of the Valkyrie," and came about because of the sellout success of both the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro.

Both "brother of Valkyrie" and the 488 competitor are expected to use a carbon monococque with aluminum subframes. Both will use lessons from Aston Martin's tie-up with the Red Bull Formula 1 team, especially in packaging. Both are due to hit the market around 2021. And both will be products of the carmaker's Performance Design and Engineering Centre, a base of 130 engineers set up at Red Bull F1's Milton Keyes headquarters. However, the former car will fight in the £1M-plus price bracket ($1.4M-plus) where various manufacturers have made amazing hay with warp-speed daily drivers, and will be a limited edition "in order to add to its desirability."

We remain in the dark on powertrains for both cars, but outsiders expect both to use a V8. When it comes to the "brother" car, Aston Martin's working relationship with Mercedes-AMG means it could tap the 4.0-liter V8 used by the DB11 and the Vantage. Apparently that engine can be wrung out to 800 horsepower with help from an ultimate EQ Boost setup. That still wouldn't be enough to compete in the segment, though, so the "brother" could become a demonstrator for Aston Martin's electric know-how — a rolling showcase that could turn its halo light on a potential electric sports car. Or perhaps there's another option that turns to Cosworth, the company helping develop the 1,000-hp 6.5-liter V12 in the Valkyrie.

Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer wouldn't say much more about the junior supercar powertrain than, "In our portfolio today, we don't have an engine capable of giving us the output we require. Whether through collaboration with AMG or whether by ourselves, we have to find an answer." He told Australian outlet Motoring that it would involve hybrid assistance with power as the aim and "a fringe benefit on efficiency." That sounds a much more likely case for the AMG motor, where an 800-hp ceiling gives Aston Martin room to tone things down and still bare fangs at rivals. As an aside, the Vanquish is expected to "move into true front-engined supercar territory," which will make brand space for every offering in the lineup.

Aston Martin raided its main competitors' personnel departments last year to give it the best chance of beating those competitors. Last year Max Swaj, who was head of innovation and body structures at Ferrari and Maserati, and Joerg Ross, who was head of advanced engines at the two Italian camakers, jumped ship for England along with a third, unnamed engineer. Then it nabbed Chris Goodwin, McLaren's test driver of 20 years, to provide the kind of feedback that's made superstars of the 675LT and 720S, and who was last photographed in the McLaren BP23 due next year.

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Aston Martin working on mid-engine Valkyrie ‘brother’ to rival McLaren P1 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 12 Mar 2018 11:04:00 EDT.