Aston Martin 003 hypercar goes after McLaren Senna

Aston has previewed its £1million mid-engine hypercar at Geneva, which will go into production in 2021 and could be called Valhalla

The Aston Martin 003 Concept is turning up the heat on hypercar rivals Ferrari and McLaren. The new model was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, and it will feature Formula One technology taken from Aston Martin’s partnership with Red Bull Racing. And it’s likely the 003 name will change before it’s for sale, with the name Valhalla a possible substitute. 

Only 500 examples of the 003 will be produced, all of which will be road legal, with first examples of the hypercar due to be delivered at the end of 2021. Around 12 months later, Aston’s fourth mid-engined model, a version of the Vanquish Vision concept, will go into production.

• New Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept revealed

The 003 gets its name from the fact it’s the third mid-engined Aston to appear, and it shares a lot of its DNA with the flagship Valkyrie. Most obvious is the styling, with the wide and exposed front bumper design, pronounced haunches and large rear diffuser being the main similarities. Aston’s design director Miles Nurnberger said the 003 is a ‘distillation of the Valkyrie and not a dilution.’

“People will view Valkyrie in the same context as LaFerrari and Senna – its not. It’s a different world altogether. I don’t think there has ever been a car like Valkyrie and I don’t think there will ever be again, because legislation won’t allow it,” Aston boss Dr. Andy Palmer told Auto Express. “The 003 is the bridge – it’s in the £1million area so does directly compete with Senna and LaFerrari. It uses Valkyrie technology and aerodynamic construction and matches that with a V6 which will be used in the Ferrari 488 competitor.”

Like the Valkyrie, the 003 will be based around a carbon fibre structure, and feature carbon fibre body panels to keep weight as low as possible. A range of active aerodynamic features will also be fitted to deliver ‘outstanding’ levels of downforce.

As a sign of Aston’s focus on aerodynamics, a new technology called FlexFoil will appear on the 003. The tech, which is a first for a production car and has been validated by NASA, will be used on the rear wing of the 003 to improve the amount of downforce generated by physically altering the shape of the wing at speed.

Aston is keeping performance and engine specifications under wraps for now, but it has confirmed that the 003 will be powered by a hybrid powertrain comprising an all-new V6 engine. It’s expected to be paired with a KERS system similar to that found on an F1 car to help boost performance under hard acceleration.

As the 003 has been designed as a road car, the cabin features several changes over that of the Valkyrie. A section of the roof has been incorporated into the design of the dihedral doors to make getting in and out a little easier, while the 3D printed centre console is wider to give passengers more shoulder room. A digital readout sits on the steering wheel column, and instead of offering any sort of infotainment system Aston’s solution is to ‘bring-your-own’, and utilize your smartphone for maximum ‘simplicity and flexibility’.

Palmer added: “The ultimate mid engine car is an F1 car, but I didn’t fancy running an F1 team – Red Bull is a perfect partner for us. We have a design studio on the Red Bull site and have 130 engineers based there doing advanced engineering for the cars. So the legitimacy of our mid-engine range comes with working with [Red Bull F1 designer] Adrian Newey and the team and the osmosis of having your lunch with an F1 team.”

Click here for all the latest from the 2019 Geneva Motor Show…

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