Aston Martin reveals Valkyrie hypercar in near-enough production form
After all the leaks, renders and teasers, here is the Valkyrie in near-production form
Ahead of the F1-derived hypercar's release in 2019, Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies have chosen to show us the Valkyrie in a state that should be 95% similar to that of the full production car.
The information released along with the pictures of the car goes into detail about the Valkyrie’s aerodynamics, body styling and cockpit packaging. And it's safe to say that it is shaping up to be the most extreme road car we've ever seen.
Full length Venturi tunnels travel from one end of the car to the other, feeding a truly monstrous rear diffuser that you can imagine will produce a frightening amount of downforce. The teardrop cockpit and the lower shaping of the carbon tub sit between these two vast tunnels, showing that Adrian Newey has very much enforced his aerodynamic priorities on the design.
The sheer size of the diffuser and the efficiency of the downforce creation means that the Valkyrie doesn't need huge wings and canards to create any further downwards pressure, making the car unbelievably sleek and 'simple'.
Inside, the Formula 1 credentials just keep on coming. The seats are mounted directly to the central tub and are reclined so that the occupants are sitting almost horizontally. Not only is that more comfortable for driving at the speeds the Valkyrie will achieve on track, the reclined position also maximises safety when coupled with a four-point harness, with a six-point harness also optional for those owners that are serious about their track driving.
To make sure the driving experience is devoid of distractions, all of the switchgear can be found on the steering wheel, with a digital LCD readout showing all the vitals. The wheel is also detachable to help ingress, egress and general security.
This is about as minimal as an interior can get
Aston Martin seem to be obsessed with decluttering the design, as even the wing mirrors have been chopped in place of cameras which read out to screens built into the A-pillars. The engine intake travels down the rear of the cockpit therefore there's no want or need for a rear window or a rear-view mirror either.
Matt Hill, Aston Martin Creative Director of Interiors has said “It’s been a tremendous challenge to make the interior packaging work. We’ve embraced Red Bull Racing’s Formula One ethos and approached from a different angle than conventional road car design. We’ve been fighting for millimetres everywhere, but the battle has been worth it, as it’s been fantastic seeing customers try the interior buck for size. They love the ritual of getting in and how it feels to be sat behind the wheel. They’re also genuinely surprised at how the car just seems to swallow them. You really do have to sit in it to believe there is genuine space for two large adults.”
Although the engineers have done a cracking job of retaining the design ethos from the first renders to this near-production spec, there has been a couple of aerodynamic changes. The main change is openings in the bodywork between the cockpit and front wheel arches, which Adrian Newey found would be the key to achieving considerable gains in front downforce.
Weight saving has also been manic during the car's development, with Red Bull managing to strip the front headlights down to a mass that comes in at 30-40% lighter than any series production Aston Martin light. The famous winged badge is also a chemical etched aluminium badge just 70 microns thick instead of the cumbersome, heavy badge found on other AM road cars. That makes the new bonnet badge 30% thinner than a human hair and 99.4% lighter than the regular enamel winged badge. Seriously geeky (but necessary) stuff.
In relation to whether this design will be final for production, Aston Martin Creative Director of Exterior Design, Miles Nurnberger, has said “I would say we’re around 95 per cent of the way there with the exterior design. Much of what you see is actually the structure of the car, so this had to be signed-off relatively early in the project. The remaining areas of non-structural bodywork are still subject to evolution and change as Adrian [Newey] continues to explore way of finding more downforce".
The Valkyrie should see Aston Martin revolutionise the term 'road car' along with Mercedes-AMG's Project One hypercar, due to be released next year. They may have gone down very different routes in terms of powertrain (V12 hybrid vs V6 hybrid) but with the potential downforce on show here, it's safe to say the hypercar industry will be in-line for a genuine Concorde moment.