The Aston Martin Valour is a gloriously bonkers V12-engined manual supercar | Top Gear
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The Aston Martin Valour is a gloriously bonkers V12-engined manual supercar

Aston celebrates 110 years in business by unleashing a modern day MUNCHER

Published: 11 Jul 2023

The one-off racing machine this new Aston Martin procures its inspiration from once held the land speed record for towing a caravan. While Aston makes no mention of the potential towing speed of this – the gloriously bonkers limited edition ‘Valour’ – one suspects it’ll be mighty.

Welcome then, to a thoroughly modern version of the V8 Vantage-based RHAM/1 ‘Muncher’ Le Mans racer. Keen Aston Martin enthusiasts will have already amassed a certain level of familiarity with this brand-new car, because of course it looks just like the gloriously bonkers Aston Martin Victor we saw back in 2020.

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Where that Victor utilised a free-breathing, tweaked and comically enormous 7.3-litre One-77-sourced V12, the new Valour opts for Aston’s 5.2-litre twin-turbo twelve-cylinder mounted in a bespoke version of the company’s bonded aluminium platform. Regardless of the displacement disparity, this is still a mighty powerplant. And one that’ll soon become unavailable.

So in what Aston describes as a “mouth-watering, end-of-an-era specification”, it punches out 705bhp and 555lb ft of torque. That’s sent to a bespoke, six-speed manual and mechanical limited-slip differential to record times of… well, we don’t know. But again, one suspects they’ll be mighty.

Aston’s keen on emphasising the driver-centric and old-school nature of the new Valour, and it’s hard to countenance against a big engine up front, manual gearbox in the middle and rear wheel drive. There are of course various driving modes, along with bespoke suspension – adaptive damping, new springs, anti-roll bars and wheel camber/caster/toe settings.

Indeed we’re told the Valour will be “taut, precise”, with little body roll and a road-based compliance. If the Victor is anything to go on, this Valour should provide some proper old-school thrills.

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More precision comes courtesy of monster brakes that’ll likely be better up to the task than that Seventies ‘Muncher’ (so named because it ate through its brakes throughout the 24hour race). It features 410mm/360mm front-rear carbon ceramic discs paired with six- and four-piston calipers. They’re lighter and better able to resist fade, hiding behind 21in lightweight wheels.

Though, there’s no hiding that brutal bodywork. The Valour shares much of the ‘headbutt-to-the-face’ attitude first deployed by 2020’s Victor, though a few tweaks appear for the 2023 design. The ‘horse shoe’ bonnet is present and correct, as are a pair of NACA ducts feeding air into the V12’s intakes.

Witness the new grille, round LED headlights, ‘prominent’ splitter, and the wide arches that flow into that ‘upswept Kamm tail’ and diffuser. And now we’re at the back, another flourish for the Valour: a set of vortex-generating exoblades positioned on the rear window. That’s complimented by a triplet of exhaust tailpipes; the end of a lightweight bespoke exhaust setup made of special tubing that’s 7kg lighter “than a traditional system”.

Quite traditional inside, mind, the interior is dominated of course by that manual gearbox lever. It’s a fairly simple setup – a wheel, a lever, some pedals, seats, a row of buttons, a screen, and a combination of tweed and carbon fibre marrying up the various worlds this Valour takes its inspiration from. Of course, Aston Martin’s Q division will happily customise your Valour to the nth degree.

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“At Aston Martin, our design is always progressive, but when it comes to celebrating a significant milestone – in this instance our 110th birthday – we allow ourselves a little latitude,” explains Aston’s design director Miles Nurnberger.

“Consequently, Valour is gloriously unapologetic; an old school brute refined and reimagined through the lens of 2023.”

Gloriously bonkers, too. Expect to pay something in the region of £1m-£1.5m, and while Aston said only 110 versions will be built, there’s already been ‘unprecedented’ demand. So one suspects they won’t hang around for too long. What chance one of them fancies a run at a caravan-towing world record?

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