Almost two years ago, Aston Martin introduced the Valhalla, a mid-engine hypercar that featured F1 racing tech. It was August of 2019, it was Monterey Car Week, and everything was rainbows and sunshine; the cherry on top came a couple months later when it was confirmed the car would star alongside James Bond in No Time to Die. Then 2020 came along and it all went to hell.
Aston Martin ran into financial troubles, Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond was postponed multiple times, and the Valhalla seemed to be the lowest priority on the company’s list. But now that we’ve finally got a firm date on No Time to Die, I guess Aston figured it was time to unleash the production version of their long-awaited hypercar on the masses.
This week, the customer-ready Valhalla was officially unveiled. In a press release, Aston Martin talked about how they took a “concept car” and brought it to “production reality,” but the truth is, most people thought the car that was unveiled in 2019 and which will still be starring in No Time to Die was basically what prospective owners would be getting. As it turns out, this version is substantially different.
First things first: Aston Martin is now calling the Valhalla a “supercar,” not a “hypercar,” and while they don’t explain the downgrade, there are a few obvious reasons for it. As Car and Driver explained, the car was originally supposed to be limited to 500 examples, but now it will be the brand’s first series production mid-engine supercar. Rarity is a must for hypercar status, as is bonkers performance price, and while Aston hasn’t officially announced the latter, Car and Driver is saying it’ll come in around $800,000, much lower than the previous number of $1.3 million.
But what about the actual design itself? For the differences there, we can look to YouTuber Supercar Blondie who got an early look at the Bond-starring Valhalla back in January of 2020. That iteration of the car looked more like the upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie — a true supercar limited to 150 examples — what with the more pinched front end, the smaller headlights, the lack of side mirrors and the front hood cutouts (just to name a few design elements). The mechanics have changed wildly too; originally the car was supposed to be a hybrid with a brand-new V6 developed in-house, now it’s a hybrid packing an AMG-sourced V8.
The engine swap can be directly attributed to the shakeup at Aston Martin as it’s gone through the aforementioned financial troubles. Tobias Moers, previously the CEO of Mercedes-AMG, took over that position at Aston in August of 2020, and as Car and Driver wrote, the V6 was barely underway when he took over which made “the swap to AMG power an obvious decision.” Many of the other changes here can also be attributed to the sea change at the company.
Oh, and one other difference? While we’ll get to see the concept Valhalla in all its glory come October, this one won’t make its way to customers’ garages until late 2023.
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