Aston Martin Valiant: Fernando Alonso’s track-focused take on the British muscle car | CAR Magazine

Aston Martin Valiant: Fernando Alonso’s track-focused take on the British muscle car

Published: 26 June 2024

► Based on the Valour
► Same V12, but more power
► Originated from a Fernando Alonso commission

This is the Aston Martin Valiant, a track-focused version of the Valour commissioned by the unofficial king of Spain himself: Fernando Alonso. A collaboration between Aston Martin’s bespoke Q department and the double-world champion, the Valiant takes the muscle car vibes of the Aston Martin Valour and adds performance in every area. And yes, it still uses the same V12 as the Valiant, though with a power hike. 

Just 38 units will be made globally, with deliveries to begin in the final part of this year. They’re almost certainly all accounted for, but you’ll be able to close to an example of the Valiant at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it’ll be driven by Alonso. 

Valiant - side

‘Valour was a spectacular celebration of Aston Martin’s 110th anniversary, and stirred me to create a more extreme, race car inspired version that was track focussed, while also delivering a thrilling drive on-road,’ he said. ‘Valiant is born from my passion for driving at the limit and I have enjoyed working closely with the Q by Aston Martin team on both the design and technical specification and believe we have created a masterpiece.’

Just look at it! 

The Victor and Valour are brutes, but the Valiant goes even further in the name of lap times. The most obvious change, then, comes in the form of new carbonfibre bodywork that taps into Aston’s muscle car roots. Gaydon says its designers have also used the marque’s ‘Muncher’ Le Mans racer as inspiration too. 

There’s a deep front splitter at the front, while a new carbonfibre grille increasing cooling to all-new brakes and an upgraded front-mounted V12. Aero discs inspired by the Muncher, with each reducing turbulence and drag whilst improving cooling. At the rear a new fixed wing sits above the same sharp Kamm tail as the Valour. Gaydon’s engineers have stuffed a huge, carbonfibre diffuser the bottom of the Valiant along with four exhaust pipes. One can only imagine the CFD numbers its generating. 

Valiant - diffuser

It looks like a classic 70s or 80s racer, but everything underneath is cutting-edge, designed to increase performance and save weight. To that end the Valiant uses a 3D printed subframe to save 3kg without a reduction in stiffness, along with a magnesium torque tube for a saving of 8kg. The largest savings come room the introduction of a lithium-ion spec battery which saves a huge 11.5kg, and the new lightweight 21-inch magnesium wheels which reduce unsprung mass by 14kg while increasing agility.

The brakes are upgraded too; now ceramic and measuring 410mm x 38mm at the front and 360mm x 32mm at the rear axle.

New Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) dampers finish off the handling improvements. Capable of switching to one of 32 damping curves in less than six milliseconds, Gaydon says they bring the most noticeable change over the softer, less taut Valiant.    

What about the V12?

Valiant - bonnet

Don’t worry, the 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 of the Valour is still here, now with an increase in power to 735bhp and 555ft lb of torque. That’s around 30bhp more than before. It’s still fitted to a six-speed transmission too, with power fed to the rear wheels. 

In order to make use of the extra power, Gaydon’s engineers have tweaked the driving modes: Sport, Sport+ and Track to makes things a little easier on the driver. 

What about inside? 

Valiant - interior

The inside of the Valiant is ‘Aston Martin does motorsport,’ so expect a mixture of premium materials and lightweight trinkets and a steel half cage that allows four-point harnesses. It starts with an old-school steering wheel to minimise driver distraction, and the seats are also Recaro Podium units – but trimmed with Alcantara.

Valiant - gearbox

The manual gearbox is celebrated inside too: Gaydon’s interior designers have exposed the H-pattern gear knob’s linkage, creating a nice blend between motorsport and intricate luxury.

Hasn’t there been an Alonso edition car before? 

Quiet you! And yes, sort of. A few years ago, Alpine released an Alonso version of its lightweight, hardcore A110R sports car – only Fernando had already announced he was leaving the team when it was unveiled. Whoops.

In contrast, the Valiant isn’t an Alonso signature model, but rather a limited run tribute to a car already commissioned by the F1 veteran. Plus, he’s still driving for Aston Martin’s F1 team, at time of writing. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes