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  • Ahmed Saleh

Aston Martin unveils Valour, a special edition honoring tradition

In honor of its 110th anniversary, Aston Martin is proud to unveil Valour, a spectacular, ultra-exclusive V12-powered, manual transmission special edition designed to honor the brand's long tradition of producing superior front-engined sports cars and to please purists who crave unadulterated and exhilarating driving experiences.

"Valour is a celebration of Aston Martin's passion for driving and extraordinary heritage, but it is also emblematic of today's vibrant and revitalized brand," said Aston Martin Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll in reference to the exciting new limited edition. Valour, a modern icon that fuses classic personality with contemporary execution, embodies the excitement and exclusivity that characterize this legendary automobile manufacturer. Valour is further evidence of Aston Martin's position as the driver's champion and manufacturer of the most thrilling, exclusive, and desirable ultra-luxury high-performance cars in the world.

Valour's commitment to era-defining performance and stimulation is unequaled and second to none. It is the only front-engined V12 sports car available with a manual transmission in 2023 and is an exhilarating homage to the golden age of driving.

This illustrious past served as inspiration for the creation of Valor, which made use of cutting-edge tools, techniques, and materials. As such, it combines the essential characteristics that have come to characterize Aston Martin's finest front-engined models. Valour is the best of Aston Martin's past and the antidote to automobiles that attempt to isolate drivers from the driving experience.

The lineage of Valor is second to none. It was inspired by the original V8 Vantage and the magnificent Vantage-based RHAM/1 'Muncher' Le Mans racer from 1980, and it possesses the unbridled force that is characteristic of Aston Martin's finest sports cars. In the 1990s, the twin-supercharged V600 Vantage was the world's most potent production automobile. Valour's immaculate design and execution are reminiscent of the exquisite One-77 supercar, while its intense driver-centric personality connects it to the unique Victor.

With production limited to only 110 vehicles worldwide, Valour will be among the most collectible Aston Martins due to its rarity. A mouthwatering end-of-era specification that first couples the legendary 715PS/753Nm twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 with a custom six-speed manual transmission solidifies Valour's place in the hall of fame of all-time great driver's cars.

Valour's immense power and torque outputs are unrestricted, providing the driver with complete performance and the utmost control in every gear thanks to a unique powertrain calibration. With the added support and reassurance of electronic traction and stability control systems, a mechanical limited-slip differential enhances the sensation of a direct analog connection between car and driver. The driving modes of the Valour—Sport, Sport+, and Track—have also been fine-tuned for precise throttle response, torque management, and aural character.

Valour's adaptive absorbers, springs, and anti-roll bars have been fine-tuned specifically for the vehicle, highlighting its dynamic credentials. The geometry of wheel alignment has specific camber, castor, and toe configurations. These characteristics ensure that Valor's ride and handling characteristics are distinct and well-defined. First and foremost, a road car necessitates striking a sporting equilibrium between taut, precise vertical body control and resolute resistance to body roll while providing the compliance to excel on great driving roads.

Valour's custom body structure includes front and rear shear panels, a rear suspension tower strut brace, and gasoline tank bracing to further hone its distinctively dynamic personality. These components maximize both torsional and transverse stiffness, providing the suspension with an optimized platform for enhanced body control and refinement. In addition, a new steering system eliminates undesirable sources of compliance to provide the driver with an even greater sense of sensitivity, connection, and immediacy.

Carbon ceramic brakes are a standard feature on the Valour. The front discs measure 410mm x 38mm and are gripped by 6-piston calipers for substantial stopping power. At the rear, 4-piston calipers are joined with 360mm x 32mm discs. These CCB discs are designed to resist brake fade at temperatures as high as 800 degrees, allowing the driver to explore the Valour's full performance potential with maximum confidence and control.

Beautiful 21" lightweight forged alloy 'Honeycomb' wheels are fitted with the very latest AML-specific Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 tires—275/35 R21 front and 325/30 R21 rear—for inspired handling and road-holding in wet or dry conditions.

Simon Newton, Aston Martin's Director of Vehicle Performance, stated, "Inspired by the iconic muscle vehicles of our past, we have equipped the Valour with an abundance of power and torque while employing modern technology and engineering to make this performance more exploitable and enjoyable. To honor this driver-pleasing personality, we paired our magnificent V12 engine with a manual transmission. It was a unique part of the brief, and the result is something genuinely unforgettable: a cutting-edge driver's car that thrives on being pushed to its limits and has the true heart and spirit of a timeless analog classic'.

The broad stance and highly developed physique of Valour vividly illustrate these enormous performance capabilities and intense driving characteristics. The bodywork is made wholly of carbon fiber and combines Aston Martin's contemporary design language with cues from the iconic 1970s V8 Vantage. The outcome is striking and unmistakable from every angle.

The clamshell hood features a large 'horseshoe' vent and twin NACA intakes to provide adequate ventilation for the twin-turbocharged V12 engine housed beneath. The iconic grille shape of the Aston Martin has been modified to improve both form and function. Aluminum strakes define its central section, while large carbon fiber intakes on either side feed the engine and brakes with cold air. They also frame the Valour's distinctive round LED headlights, which are inspired by classic design and rest beneath an eyebrow-like grille with a menacing effect.

Modern aerodynamic principles have been seamlessly integrated into the design, with expert airflow management optimizing stability while achieving a distinctively assertive appearance. The prominent front splitter and front fender vents integrated into the Valour's flanks work in tandem with the rear screen panel's vortex-generating exoblades, exquisitely upswept Kamm tail, and prominent diffuser to achieve aerodynamic equilibrium.

The rear end also features a striking taillight motif, with clusters of LED light blades (six on each side) reminiscent of the revolutionary Valkyrie hypercar. A full-width aluminum accent—milled from a solid billet and polished to a flawless finish—delineates the rear end, separating the upper and lower portions to create a dramatic effect. A triple-tailpipe exhaust system made from lightweight stainless steel is positioned between the deep elements of the rear diffuser as the focal point of Valour's extraordinary rear design. With a wall thickness of less than 1mm, this special tubing reduces the weight of a conventional system by 7kg while emitting a magnificently heavyweight sound.

The interior of the Valour continues to honor Aston Martin's heritage with an immutable two-seat cockpit of uncommon simplicity and seductive tactility. Central to this is the gear lever for a manual transmission. With a choice of machined aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, or walnut for the gearknob and an exposed shift mechanism to emphasize the mechanical connection, the Valour focuses on restoring the physical and emotional engagement lost to progress.

Aston Martin has long been known for its masterful use of materials, so it comes as no surprise that the Valour's interior features original and highly effective material combinations from which customers can construct their own unique specification. For instance, traditional woolen tweed inspired by the seat coverings of Aston Martin's 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1 contrasts beautifully with the high-tech weave of carbon fiber used to form the shells of Valour's lightweight performance seats, bespoke door cards, fascia air vents, upper center console, and transmission tunnel.

A flexible technique of livery customization adds to the customization options. By dividing the body of the Valour into four sections—front, bonnet, sides, and rear—customers can select from a vast array of hand-painted patterns and graphic designs that can be applied in any of 21 paint colors.

If a customer wishes to go beyond the standard palette of Valour options, they may hire Q by Aston Martin to create a genuinely unique specification. This includes the design of a unique livery, fully exposed 2x2 twill carbon fiber bodywork with a choice of red, blue, or green tint, painted rims, Mokume carbon fiber interior detailing, and a selection of Johnsons of Elgin tweed and cashmere fabrics for the seats and headlining.

Aston Martin's Director of Design, Miles Nurnberger, stated, "At Aston Martin, our design is always innovative, but when it comes to commemorating a significant milestone—in this case, our 110th birthday—we grant a little leeway. Valour is therefore magnificently unrepentant—an old-school brute refined and reimagined through the lens of 2023. Reverting to a chiseled form, moving away from the more sculptural forms that characterize current series production at Aston Martins, and incorporating contemporary details and materials We were adamant that its aesthetics reflect the driving experience. The brute physicality of the design should tell you everything you need to know about the ferocious performance and analog thrills of taming a 715-horsepower manual-transmission sports car, while the obvious use of cutting-edge technology suggests a vehicle with contemporary manners and exceptional dynamic capabilities".

Valour production is scheduled to begin at Aston Martin's Gaydon headquarters in the third quarter of 2023, with initial deliveries commencing in the fourth quarter. Valour is a valuable collector's item that demands to be driven, as it is destined to become one of the most coveted vehicles in Aston Martin's unrivaled collection of emblematic front-engined special series sports cars.

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