► Mid-engined Valkyrie hypercar
► Fresh design for nat-asp 6.5 V12
► Up to 175 to be made, due 2019
Aston Martin’s revolutionary hypercar – the Valkyrie – has had an evolutionary design tweak to hone its aerodynamic abilities. Formerly dubbed the AM-RB 001, it’s the product of a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing. Deliveries begin in 2019, a year later than originally planned, and it’ll set you back between £2m and £3m.
There’s plenty on hand to help justify that price tag, however. This lightweight, mid-engined two-seater is powered by a new high-revving naturally aspirated V12, no doubt ticking a box for many a potential owner.
Tell me about this refreshed design
Aston says that it’s been working extensively to sharpen the Valkyrie’s aerodynamic prowess, but Creative Director for Exterior Design, Miles Nurnberger, says the look still isn’t quite finished yet. “I would say we’re around 95 per cent of the way there with the exterior design. 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 biggest change to the exterior design is the opening between the front wheels and the cockpit – of which you have Newey to thank – and a roof scoop incorporated into the shark fin rear end. Nurnberger adds: ‘That they also serve as windows through which to view the fabulous wing section front wishbones is a welcome bonus!’
Smaller details like the front light clusters, rear lighting and even the badge has changed. Aston knew a regular enamel badge would be too much of a weight detriment but a sticker was ‘not befitting for a car of the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s quality and cutting-edge nature’ unlike, ahem, Porsche. The badge on the Valkyrie is made of chemical-cut aluminium and is 70 microns thick – 30% thinner than a human hair and 99.4% lighter than a regular enamel badge.
What about the interior?
It’s simple and clean. The seats are mounted directly onto the carbon tub to save space and those lucky enough to sit inside will experience an F1-style ‘feet up’ driving position. A four-point harness is standard, while a six-point one is optional.
There’s hardly any interior clutter, as all controls have been mounted onto the detachable steering wheel. There’s no rear window, so Aston has instead used cameras discreetly hidden into the flanks.
Aston Martin Valkyrie's technical partners
As of the Red Bull Racing link isn’t enough, Aston is also working with a number of stellar names in order to bring the Valkyrie to fruition. The 6.5-litre V12 is designed and built by the Cosworth, while the seven-speed paddle-shift transmission comes from Ricardo Engineering.
And the carbonfibre tub? That comes from Multimatic, the experts in lightweight composite structures. All are working to the designs from F1 mastermind Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing's chief technical officer.
If you’re hoping it’s as quick as it looks, then you’re also in luck. Precise technical details have yet to be announced, but Aston states a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio, and suggests that the car is ‘sub 1000kg’. Either way you cut it, the car’s bespoke V12 is likely to be ferociously powerful – so the Valkyrie should have little trouble dispatching the 0-62mph sprint in under 3.0sec, and be capable of exceeding 200mph with ease.
That's seriously quick – especially considering that it's naturally aspirated...
Oh, it gets better. If you’re looking for something to really light up your weekends then you’ll be able to opt for a track-only version of the Valkyrie. Little has been stated about the flagship variant yet, outside of the fact that it will offer performance ‘in line with that of today’s LMP1 Le Mans sports prototypes.’
No wonder they're working with race brake specialist Alcon and Surface Transforms, to make sure the composite brakes can scrub off all that speed...
Consequently, you can expect the top-end version to deliver a sub-2.5sec 0-62mph time – and there’s no doubt that it’ll be capable of generating some serious high G, both in the corners and under braking.
Andy Palmer, boss of Aston, said: ‘As the project gathers pace its clear the end result will be a truly history-making hypercar that sets incredible new benchmarks for packaging, efficiency and performance and an achievement that elevates Aston Martin to the very highest level.’
What else is key to this car's performance?
Red Bull's tech wizard Newey has played a significant part in the project. Underpinning the Valkyrie is a carbonfibre structure that rides on a Newey-designed suspension system, which is reputed to deliver comfort befitting of a road car while being capable of enduring heavy aerodynamic loads.
‘The synergy between Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin is clear,’ said Newey. ‘I knew Red Bull Racing had the ability to handle the pure performance aspects, but Aston Martin’s experience of making beautiful, fast and comfortable GT cars is of great benefit to the project.
Speaking before the Valkyrie name was announced, he added: ‘I’ve always been adamant that the AM-RB 001 should be a true road car that’s also capable of extreme performance on track, and this means it really has to be a car of two characters. That’s the secret we’re trying to put into this car - the technology that allows it to be docile and comfortable, but with immense outright capabilities.’
Similarly, the Valkyrie’s seven-speed Ricardo transmission was penned by Newey and latterly developed by Red Bull. Newey’s underfloor aerodynamic design also generated much of the downforce required for the car, allowing Aston designer Marek Reichman relatively free reign on the exterior – resulting in the dramatic-looking car you see today.
Newey added: ‘from the age of six I have had two goals in life – to be involved in the design of racing cars, and to be involved in the design of a supercar. Whilst the former ambition went on to form my career to date, the latter has always bubbled away, resulting in countless sketches and doodles over the years.
‘The opportunity to now develop and realise those ideas whilst working with Marek and his colleagues from Aston Martin is tremendously exciting.’
So Aston's only going to build a handful, right?
Surprisingly, no. Up to 175 Valkyries will be made, with production taking place at Aston’s Gaydon plant. The company says that the production run will include between 99-150 road cars and prototypes, and 25 track-only models.
We’d hazard a guess that all of them have already been accounted for. If you’re one of the lucky few, however, you’re going to have to wait until 2019 to get your hands on one...
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