Aston Martin Just Introduced The RM11.8 Million Valiant. Here’s Everything We Know

Last summer, when Aston Martin unveiled the Valour—a $1 million-plus (RM4.72 million-plus) V-12 model with a manual transmission and limited to 110 examples—Aston’s Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso was intrigued. Yet the former F1 World Champion challenged the British automaker’s bespoke division, Q by Aston Martin, with a commission that called for the Valour’s comely design but would be built as a lighter, more muscular, and more track-focused expression. The result was the extremely lithe and powerful Valiant.

Priced at what Aston Martin cites as “upwards of £2 million (more than RM11.8 million), the Valiant is, effectively, what you’d get if Alonso was allowed to design a homologated race car for the road. The Valiant’s output is owed to the same 5.2-liter, twin-turbo V-12 engine given to the Valour, though engineers have recalibrated it to squeeze out an additional 29 hp, bringing the total to 734 hp, while both models deliver 555 ft lbs of toque. And the six-speed gearbox employs a manual and mechanical limited-slip differential.

We recently got a sneak peek at the full carbon-bodied Valiant at Aston’s New York City showroom, and a number of the design flourishes leap out: those 21-inch forged magnesium wheels with carbon aero discs (inspired by the 1980 RHAM/1 “Muncher” Le Mans car); the Kamm tail, featuring that handsome ducktail sweeping up below the fixed wing; the quad-exit titanium exhaust; and the removal of the sides of the transmission tunnel in order to expose the linkages before rising to a gated shifter.

What’s happening within the chassis is equally artful. Take the mechanical limited-slip diff, selected over an e-diff due to its positive throttle engagement out of corners. “We carefully focused on the ramp angles of the diff to give optimum balance for stability on turn-in and corner exit,” says Simon Newton, Aston Martin’s director of vehicle dynamics. And no, it doesn’t have rev-match; drivers will, according to Newton, get “the full experience of working harder.”

Then there are the Multimatic Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) dampers, largely reserved for race cars like the Ford GT. The ASV units afford higher levels of response, simultaneously adjusting each corner unit in less than six milliseconds for optimal performance and handling. Newton cites the integration of the ASV dampers as the largest engineering challenge of the project, adding that now “it’s part of the fabric of the car.”

The real validation, though, will come when Alonso first hops into that custom Recaro seat and hurls the Valiant around an F1 circuit. “Fernando will drive it at Silverstone, and then we’d like to give him other environments, such as Nardò Ring [in Italy] and some tracks in southern Spain,” says Newton, who mentions that Alonso will also have road time in the test mule since “working on the road as well is a key part of the Valiant.” Newton is anticipating feedback around what Alonso loves most about a car, “a good front end with good turn-in response.”

The fact that all 38 examples of the Valiant are already accounted for is no surprise. “A V-12 manual is increasingly rare, but demand is there,” acknowledges Alex Long, the marque’s head of product and marketing strategy. “In pairing [a manual] with our V-12, it brings alive the engine; you feel the torque in a completely different way than when a torque converter smooths it out for you.”

Long admits that developing this new V-12 power plant, which Aston will use through 2030, has been a “massive investment on our part, one we sweated over on whether to double down on,” but believes the team chose wisely, opining that “EV sports-car demand isn’t there.” More V-12 manuals will be emerging from Gaydon, per Long, though they will be in very restricted volumes.

As for the Valiant, the public will get an opportunity to see (and hear) it sprint up the hill at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it will be piloted by Alonso, of course. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the fall.

More photos of Aston Martin Valiant

Aston Martin

Previously published on Robb Report USA

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