2022 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro First Look: Beyond Le Mans

Regulations, rules, and red tape govern cars both street legal and for competition. For the well-heeled, these aren’t fetters, but instead challenges. And the 2022 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro revels in its lack of restraint. This is a hypercar with Le Mans prototype-level performance (and pedigree), but without being held back by racing rules or power restraints—or anything required of street-legal cars. Because it isn’t legal for either road or competition. It’s the ultimate hypercar-lover’s hypercar: only suited for a limited purpose, and magnificently specialized at its awe-inspiring role—to thrill on track.

The Valkyrie AMR Pro is what it is partly because its race version, which was intended to campaign at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Le Mans Hypercar class, is officially paused. That means it benefits heavily from that program, adopting the race car’s chassis and lessons from its aerodynamic and powertrain development. Both the Le Mans and AMR Pro versions of the Valkyrie ditch the heavy hybrid system that will feature in the road-going Valkyrie, while at the same time the AMR Pro isn’t constrained by the power or weight limits of the Le Mans Hypercar class.

That means its performance will actually exceed its motorsport counterpart. It will be more powerful, and by no small amount. While the Hypercar class is limited to 500 kW (roughly 670 horsepower), the Valkyrie AMR Pro will produce something in the range of 1,000 hp from its 6.5-liter, naturally-aspirated V-12 developed by Cosworth. Final numbers are forthcoming, but we know this engine by itself makes about 1,000 hp at a stratospheric 10,500 rpm in the regular Valkyrie (whose hybrid unit adds an additional 160 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque).

Aston Martin says that the AMR Pro is designed to be capable of lapping Circuit de la Sarthe in its 24 Hours of Le Mans configuration in a remarkable 3 minutes and 20 seconds—a blistering time that would put the AMR Pro only slightly behind the very fastest modern Le Mans Prototypes. That, by any measure, is remarkable—although it would assuredly take the skillset appropriate to the highest tiers of motorsport to attempt. Luckily, Aston Martin will provide owners with driver development and vehicle familiarization support, in addition to special track events so owners can exercise their AMR Pros.

There are other differences between the AMR Pro and the road-going Valkyrie. It features a significantly longer wheelbase, nearly 15 inches in fact, and 3.8 inches wider up front and 4.5 inches wider in the rear. As if that weren’t enough, the upgraded aero package adds a remarkable 10.5 inches of additional length, doubling the maximum level of downforce and allowing, Aston Martin claims, cornering in excess of 3 g—which will certainly give your neck a workout.

Beyond ditching the hybrid system, the AMR Pro isn’t tied to any minimum weight requirement, so a diet of carbon fiber (bodywork, suspension arms) and Perspex (windshield, side windows) reduces total weight by an unspecified amount. There’s no rear window whatsoever. We presume a final weight figure will arrive with the full specifications.

This is not the same vehicle that Aston Martin showed us at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show, pictured above. That car was based on the road-going chassis, unlike the current AMR Pro. With the racing program paused, the Valkyrie AMR Pro was reimagined. In addition to the race car’s chassis, it’s now wearing elegant side mirrors perched on top of its dramatic front fenders. The vertical fin streaming aft of the cabin is still present, but the rear wing is much more pronounced. The headlights, too, are much larger, giving it a stronger visual link to the road-going car. The same basic forms underneath the wild aero tie it to the other Valkyrie variants, but this is more a barely-tamed motorsport version than an up-specified street car.

Which begs the question: What’s preventing an owner from putting retuning the engine, ballasting it to meet minimum weight requirements, and making a run at Le Mans? Aston Martin says they have no plans to go racing with the AMR Pro, officially, but “should the opportunity arise,” the company would consider supporting the entry of a privateer team. What the conversion to competition spec would entail isn’t clear, but the underlying chassis meets contemporary requirements as-is.

Aston Martin says that 40 of the Valkyrie AMR Pros will be built, all left-hand drive models. There is no official pricing information, although something in the $4 million to $5 million range seems likely given the road-going model commands $2.8 million. And that’s without any customization, which is an extra charge.

The company had previously said only 25 would be built and all were sold out. The brand is being a bit coy about whether or not all 40 of the new AMR Pro variant are sold out, but encourages interested parties to reach out in case someone who’d already raised their hand can’t follow through on the purchase. Do you feel lucky, gentleman racer?

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)