Aston Martin Project ‘003’ hypercar will be Valkyrie-inspired sports hybrid

Chris Davies - Sep 20, 2018, 6:00 am CDT
Aston Martin Project ‘003’ hypercar will be Valkyrie-inspired sports hybrid

Aston Martin is working on a new hypercar, a limited-edition coupe that has been codenamed Project ‘003’ and will cherry-pick the cutting edge of the automaker’s technology. The vehicle will be the third hypercar produced by Aston Martin, following the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro.

They were, prior to being given their full names, known by the codenames of ‘001’ and ‘002’. For Project ‘003’ the automaker says it will be digging into “concepts and technology” used for both those vehicles, though it’ll also bring some new ideas of its own.

Right now, unsurprisingly, Aston Martin is playing details close to its metaphorical chest. What we do know is that it will be road-legal, and mid-engined. Aston Martin plans to use a turbocharged gas-electric hybrid drivetrain.

There’ll also be active aerodynamics, with at least some of the bodywork capable of shifting in order to adjust the flow of air across and around the hypercar. Active suspension will also be used. That, Aston Martin promises, will add up to “next-level precision, control, and drive connection,” along with “class leading dynamics on both road and track.”

In the case of the original Valkyrie, that involved a hybrid electric sports car co-developed by Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing. Street-legal, it paired a 6.5-liter Cosworth naturally-aspirated V12 gas engine with a Rimac hybrid battery system. The latter acts as a KERS, or Kinetic Energy Recovery System, which charges up a battery from power generated during deceleration, and then uses that for a power boost.

A production run of just 150 of the Valkyrie cars was initially announced, to be followed by a mere 25 of the Valkyrie AMR Pro. Intended for track-only use, that actually has smaller wheels so that Aston Martin could use Michelin racing tires similar to those on the LMP1 race cars instead, paired with carbon-carbon brakes. Top speed has been raised, too, to 250 mph, and the tweaked design includes a rear aero fin, dual-element spoiler, and oversized diffuser.

What neither car can claim to be, though, is practical. That’s something Aston Martin says that this third hypercar will address. “Project ‘003’ is also being designed and engineered to offer more practical concessions to road use,” the automaker promises, “including space for luggage.”

“It was always the intention for the Aston Martin Valkyrie to be a once-in-a lifetime project,” Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive, said of the newly-revealed car, “however, it was also vital to us that Valkyrie would create a legacy: a direct descendent that would also set new standards within its own area of the hypercar market, creating a bloodline of highly specialised, limited production machines that can exist in parallel with Aston Martin’s series production models. I’m thrilled to announce that this car is the Project ‘003’, and our next step into a dynamic and exacting arena.”

Both left- and right-hand drive versions will be made, all fully homologated and available in all markets. Production will be limited to just 500 coupes, and Aston Martin says it expects to start shipping them in late 2021.

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