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Aston’s Ferrari 488 rival will look like a mini-Valkyrie

Aston Martin’s mid-engined Ferrari/McLaren rival is aiming for a 2020 launch

Aston Martin is building a rival to the likes of the Ferrari 488 and McLaren 720S. This much you know.

Now, we discover that this mid-engined supercar will look closer to the Valkyrie than it will the brand new Vantage. Speaking to TopGear.com at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, Aston boss Andy Palmer confirmed what you’ll see on the roads in the near future.

“It looks closer to Valkyrie,” he told us. “The fact I can say ‘it looks’ means I have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to look like – there’s a full-size model in the studio already.”

“How could I describe it? You’ll instantly recognise it as an Aston,” he continued. “In an Aston today, the A-pillar always intersects the front wheel, where in a mid-engined car everything moves forward.

“So you’ve got some challenges to get those classical proportions. And we’re not there fully. But the styling direction owes more to Valkyrie than it does to Vantage,” he added.

The as-yet unnamed mid-engined Aston is on track for a 2020 launch, with an as-yet unspecified powertrain. Though Palmer did note how the powertrain will be ‘very competitive’, and while Aston remains committed to the V12, it’s also got Merc’s twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 on hand to deploy where appropriate.

As to the car’s construction, Palmer told TG last year that “throwing carbon fibre at it is not the optimum solution”, because of the need for different materials in different areas. “I don’t think a pure carbon tub is the way to go.”

He noted how the team need ‘to have an obsession with weight and aerodynamics’ for a car like this. Indeed, Palmer is in the process of moving 130 engineers to the Red Bull campus in Milton Keynes, to allow them to develop the mid-engined car alongside the same people responsible for Valkyrie.

Speaking of which, does he want to run the Valkyrie around the Nürburgring, following Porsche’s mad lap last week? He laughs. “Whether we’re as quick as an unrestricted LMP1 car, let’s see. The car is mighty quick, for sure.

“We do all of our development – all of our ‘enthusiastic driver performance’ – at the Nürburgring, so its kind of a testing home for us,” he added.

So, a mini-Valkyrie, honed at the Nürburgring with a competitive powerplant above the £200k mark, heading your way with an Aston badge in 2020. Can’t wait.

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