Aston Martin is looking for a win. After a number of successful years, the historic nameplate has had a rough 2020 and I’m not talking about the global pandemic. On the verge of a financial crisis, Aston Martin required rescuing from billionaire Lawrence Stroll’s equity group. The brand, now on firmer ground, is again looking toward the future and hoping news of its first in-house developed engine in over half a century will help calm some seas.
Set to debut on the forthcoming Valhalla supercar, Aston Martin released that the engine has the codename “TM01.” The designation comes from Aston’s history and from the name Tadek Marek, one of the marque’s most important designers from the ‘50s and ‘60s.
As for the engine itself, just look at it. The shots provided by Aston Martin are engineering porn of the highest order. The Aston-built machine, which as you can see is already being tested on the company’s engine dyno, will be a 3.0-liter V6 and borrow the twin-turbocharged “hot-V” design from the Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-liter V8 found in the Vantage, DB11 V8, and DBX. It’ll also be somewhat light, weighing in at just “under” 440 pounds. Additionally, like the Valkyrie hypercar, Valhalla’s new engine will be hybridized, though the architecture of the hybrid system, like the engine’s performance stats, is still being kept in-house for the time being. It’s sound, however, is a top priority to Aston.
Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin’s CEO, recently told Car & Driver that not only will we see a power increase compared to the V8, but that sound, “tuning the pipes to make it sound like an Aston” is part and parcel to the engine’s performance. To ensure that Aston sound, the company said that the hybrid powertrain allows for “higher engine speeds” and “will offer the performance characteristics of a mid-engined sportscar on an extreme level.”
We'll let you be the judge on whether Aston has succeeded or not.
The Valhalla, however, won’t be the only car you see the brand’s new V6 in, as Aston has stated it will plop the new motor into the DBX, a Vantage variant, the as-of-today still-happening Vanquish, and future Aston Martins to come. There’s also a rumor that Aston is working on a manual transmission to blot to the new engine, which is something near and dear to both Aston Martin’s CEO Dr. Andy Palmer and the brand’s dynamics chief Matt Becker.
Of the new engine, Aston Martin’s Powertrain Chief Engineer Joerg Ross said, “This project has been a great challenge from the start,” adding, “Putting a team together to deliver what is going to be the future power of Aston Martin has been an honor. From the very beginning, we have had the freedom to explore and innovate in a way that we have not been able to do so in a very long time.”
Aston Martin’s President and CEO Andy Palmer added, “Investing in your own powertrains is a tall order, but our team have risen to the challenge. Moving forward, this power unit will be integral to a lot of what we do and the first signs of what this engine will achieve are incredibly promising.”
There’s still an uphill battle looming in Aston Martin’s future as the launch of the DBX SUV is absolutely critical to its long-term survival. Luckily, The Drive’s first taste was stellar, even on the dirt and gravel roads of Oman. But there’s now the added uncertainty of how the DBX’s launch and production will be affected by the global health crisis as production facilities have been ordered to close, including Aston’s.
As for the V6, it looks promising. Do we wish it was the naturally aspirated V12 residing behind the Valkyrie’s cockpit? Of course, but time waits for no one and we’d never bet against Aston Martin’s engineers to cook up something righteous.
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