Aston Martin originally built the Adrian Newey-designed Valkyrie for the new Le Mans 24 Hours Hypercar class as a factory programme, alongside a limited road car version.
But soon after a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll bought shares of the struggling British manufacturer, the Hypercar programme was shelved to shift focus on Formula 1, with Stroll’s Racing Point team rebranded Aston Martin Racing for 2021.
While the Valkyrie won’t see competition, Aston Martin has been developing a limited track-only version of the car, the AMR Pro, which it first announced at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
On Monday, Aston Martin revealed fresh details on the AMR Pro’s overhauled design, ditching its original hybrid system in favour of a lighter and faster 1,000bhp V12 engine design which is said to approach Formula 1 levels of performance, with chief designer Newey saying the AMR Pro is a “Valkyrie on steroids”.
“Once the Aston Martin Valkyrie was born, we discussed adapting it into a race car to contend for overall victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours,” Newey said.
“There were several areas for consideration such as repositioning the engine and gearbox, as well as lengthening the wheelbase and optimising the aerodynamics.
“The project was hugely enjoyable and quite far advanced before sadly the programme was curtailed, but the mechanical design of the car lives on as the AMR Pro. Significantly modified from the road going version, the AMR Pro is effectively an Aston Martin Valkyrie on steroids.
“Its performance output is at a very high level, much higher than any other previous track-only car and indeed well in excess of a top class LMP car of today. It will be tremendously exciting to see the car hit the track and show its true potential.”
The Valkyrie AMR Pro, which Newey designed under the Red Bull Advanced Technologies umbrella, is propelled by a modified version of the Valkyrie’s Cosworth-built 6.5-litre V12 engine, producing over 1,000bhp.
Because it doesn’t have to adhere to any regulations like its cancelled Le Mans counterpart, the AMR Pro has been completely designed around advanced aerodynamics using ground effect.
By removing the hybrid system and other weight-saving measures Aston Martin believes the car “has track performance approaching a Formula 1 car” and will be able to complete a lap of Le Mans’ 13.6km Circuit de la Sarthe in 3m20s, which would put it on par with the current Hypercar class.
Aston Martin added its drivers Vettel and Stroll “will lend their expertise to the development of the new Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro” and says physical testing of the car will begin imminently, although it hasn’t yet specified its drivers’ involvement in it.
“Valkyrie AMR Pro is a project beyond compare, a true ‘no rules’ track-only version,” added Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers. “Nothing else looks like it, nothing else sounds like it, and I am absolutely certain nothing else will drive like it.”