Aston Martin is ticking off its 110th anniversary this year. Naturally, it's celebrating in the way only the English can—with a jaw-dropping V12 coupe in British Racing Green. Oh, and did we mention it's a manual?
The Aston Martin Valour promises to be a celebration of everything the brand is about. It's a proper front-engined sports car with a mighty 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 under the hood. Even better, it's got the full three pedals, with a bespoke six-speed manual transmission shunting power to the rear wheels as the Queen intended. Indeed, the Valour will even feature a mechanical limited-slip differential, providing a more analog feel for the driver.
Aston Martin's design language has been very smooth and flowing of late, but the Valour diverges into a brawnier, chunkier look. Vents and strakes abound, with the large horseshoe duct on the bonnet a particular highlight. Where the Vantage could be a lithe and delicate dancer, the Valour shapes up as a jacked street brawler. Its very stance tells you everything you need to know about the engine note before you even start the car.
The Valour is inspired by earlier butch Astons, like the original V8 Vantage, and the "Muncher" Le Mans car that was spawned from it. The latter was a true weapon in the 1980s, boasting a mighty 423 horsepower from its carbureted 5.3-liter V8. Aston Martin also gives a nod to the bonkers V600 Vantage of the 1990s. Twin superchargers boosted it to 550 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful factory-built street cars of the time.
As for the Valour itself, it's set to top those numbers with a mighty 705 horsepower, putting it above even the V12 Vantage in power output. Where some of its distant forebearers prioritized brawn over all else, the Valour is also intended to be sharp as a tack, dynamically speaking. Its bespoke suspension setup will feature full camber, caster, and toe settings, while adaptive dampers will aim to provide a combination of quick handling and a comfortable ride. The Valour is a road car first and foremost, after all.
To match its prodigious power, the Valour will feature carbon-ceramic brakes as standard. In addition to offering reduced fade, they also shave off a full 50 pounds of unsprung mass, further aiding handling. The Valour will ride on forged "Honeycomb" design wheels, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 tires.
The interior hits on classic British hallmarks, with woolen tweed inserts contrasting with the modern carbon fiber of the seat shells, and the rest of the interior. It's a nice blend of the old and the new, and it's all tied together by the shifter that sits pride of place in the center of the cabin. It's available in aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber if you so desire, but the walnut option would surely be the pick of the bunch. The shift mechanism is exposed, too, putting the mechanical glory on display.
To get one, you'll have to be one of the lucky few. Aston Martin will only build 110 examples of the two-door beast. At launch, it will be the only front-engined V12 coupe available with a manual. Admittedly, that's always been a rarefied genre, but especially so in an era where even luxury automakers are concerned with fuel economy and downsizing.
From our vantage point, the Valour is shaping up to be a truly legendary Aston Martin. The big engine and manual transmission should make it incredibly engaging to drive. Meanwhile, it should also have the performance to get the sweat pooling in the small of your back when you push it to the limit on a high-speed sweeper. For the 110 souls lucky enough to own one, it ought to be a memorable and special thing.
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