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Aston Martin reveals the track-focused Valiant, inspired by Formula 1 star Alonso


The story goes that Fernando Alonso was the inspiration for the Valiant, because he wanted a more extreme, more rarefied version of the already extreme and rare Valour. That was quite an ask, but here’s the result: a track-focused, road-legal special edition, of which a mere 38 will be made and specced via in-house bespoke division, Q by Aston Martin. And yes, they’re all already allocated – but you can see the first at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

As with the Valour, the Valiant is powered by a twin-turbo 5.2-litre V12 mated to a six-speed manual transmission. In the Valiant, it develops 745PS and 753Nm of torque. But it’s lighter, thanks to a number of clever engineering tweaks to reduce weight and dial-in the chassis for serious track use. A 3D-printed rear subframe saves 3kg without compromising stiffness, and a magnesium torque tube reduces mass at the centre point of the car by 8.6kg. Lightweight 21-inch magnesium wheels reduce unsprung mass by 14kg while also improving steering response and wheel control, and a motor sport-spec lithium-ion battery saves a further 11.5kg.

The braking system is a standard-fit carbon-ceramic set-up, but the big change in the chassis is the fitment of Multimatic Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) dampers, capable of simultaneously adjusting each damper to one of 32 discreet damper curves in less than six milliseconds. Aston Martin says this provides its engineers with virtually limitless scope for tuning ride and handling characteristics, with an operating control bandwidth “previously exclusive to the highest echelons of motor sport”.

With this new suspension set-up and greater aerodynamic downforce than the Valour, each of Valiant’s pre-set driving modes – Sport, Sport+ and Track – have been recalibrated to aid the driver in progressively exploring the car’s full performance.

Speaking of aerodynamics, the carbonfibre body has a deep front splitter to help pin the nose to the Tarmac, with multi-layer end planes to guide and smooth airflow around the front wheels. A new full-width carbonfibre grille increases the flow of cooling air to the engine, and reduces mass ahead of the front axle. Those heavily scalloped side fenders and carbonfibre aero discs on the mag wheels help to smooth airflow along the flanks, reducing turbulence, drag and lift. Incidentally, the inspiration was the wheel covers fitted to the legendary 1980 RHAM/1 ‘Muncher’ Le Mans racer.

At the rear, the Kamm tail and upswept deck lid – a nod to 1970s and ’80s Vantage V8s – is topped by a prominent fixed wing, designed to balance downforce gains made by the front splitter. The fixed, one-piece clamshell rear features a hinged rear screen panel, allowing access to a load space that’s big enough for a race suit and helmets. Lower down, you’ll see the functional rear diffuser, framing the quad-exit titanium exhaust system. 

The Valiant’s two-seater interior mixes the required race-bred functionality with clever use of high-quality materials: that’s a lot of exposed satin-finish carbonfibre with lightweight upholstery, either Alcantara or semi-aniline leather. The Recaro Podium seats come with innovative pads featuring passive thorax ventilation for increased comfort during extreme driving, plus there’s a new, slimmer steering wheel and – as with the Valour – an exposed gear linkage and bespoke spherical gearknob to emphasise the six-speed manual transmission. No flappy paddles here! A built-in half-cage provides extra safety and the mounting points for the four-point race harnesses.

Customer deliveries will begin in Q4 of 2024, but the Valiant makes its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 11-14, 2024) with dynamic demonstrations on the famous hill. One of the runs will be in the hands of Fernando Alonso, the Valiant’s very first customer. 

And what does Alonso make of it so far? “Valour was a spectacular celebration of Aston Martin’s 110th anniversary, and stirred me to create a more extreme, race car-inspired version that was track focused, while also delivering a thrilling drive on-road. Valiant is born from my passion for driving at the limit, and I have enjoyed working closely with the Q by Aston Martin team on both the design and technical specification. I believe we have created a masterpiece.”

For Alonso’s first impressions of driving the Valiant at Goodwood, click here. For our full road test of the Valour, click here.

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