The stunning new Aston Martin Valour, a V12-engined, manual-shifting special edition inspired by the Victor, sold out within two weeks of its unveiling.
Just 110 units will be made, priced from more than £1 million before options (most are expected to cost much more than this), and each was accounted for within a fortnight of the car's debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
High-margin special editions such as this form a crucial pillar of Aston Martin's growth strategy, and sales of the Valour – alongside the open-top DBR22 Speedster and final-edition DBS 770 Ultimate – will be pivotal in helping the firm achieve its lofty financial targets.
With design cues taken from the original V8 Vantage and Aston Martin’s snarling 1970s RHAM/1 prototype racer – known as ‘The Muncher’ – the new Aston Martin Valour is the firm’s 110th birthday present to itself and a celebration of its hallowed 12-cylinder engine.
Each buyer is invited to customise their car through Aston Martin’s Q bespoke service, offering one-off liveries, an exposed carbonfibre body finish and a raft of interior personalisation options.
Whereas the Victor was based on a surplus One-77 prototype chassis, the Valour is built around a bespoke body structure derived from the V12 Vantage.
The 5.2-litre V12, based on that of the DBS, sends 705bhp and 555lb ft to the rear wheels through a specially designed six-speed manual gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Mating the V12 to a manual gearbox (the DBS, DB11 and Vantage all use ZF-supplied automatic gearboxes) was “a big part of honouring that driver-pleasing character”, said Aston Martin engineering boss Simon Newton.
The dynamic brief for the Valour, said Newton, was to provide a “state-of-the-art driver’s car” with “the true heart and soul of a timeless analogue classic” – a point emphasised by the manual gearbox’s visible shift linkage. Modifications include the fitment of front and rear shear panels, a rear suspension tower strut brace and fuel tank bracing, boosting rigidity.
The car also receives adjustable dampers and a new power steering set-up intended to provide more granular feedback through the wheel. Stopping power is provided by standard-fit carbonceramic discs measuring 410mm by 38mm with six-pot calipers up front and 360mm by 32mm discs with four-pot calipers at the rear.
They are tucked behind staggered-width 21in ‘honeycomb’ alloys – familiar from the Victor and DBS 770 – shod in Michelin Pilot Sport S 5 tyres. The Valour is not solely about brute force. The brake set-up provides a 23kg reduction compared with steel equivalents, the exhaust system is made to a sub-millimetre thickness to save a further 7kg and the bodywork is made entirely from carbonfibre.
The design is a slightly softer take on the brutal Victor but retains its bulging bonnet and abrupt Kamm-tail rear end. The front splitter and arch vents work with the rear windscreen louvres to generate a vortex and flow air neatly over that tail, said Aston Martin.
The model serves as “further proof of Aston Martin’s position as the driver’s champion”, said company chairman Lawrence Stroll. Deliveries of the Valour will start between September and December this year.