This weekend, Aston Martin featured its Valkyrie hypercar at the British Grand Prix with test driver Chris Goodwin at the wheel. The lap of the F1 circuit is the first time the 1160bhp has been displayed in action. “Of course, we still have a lot of development work to go but we can now begin to really push the physical testing process and realise the capabilities of what we have developed over the past months,” said Goodwin. “Putting that aside, today has brought a real smile to my face and I hope that the crowds watching from the stands enjoyed it as much as I did.”
The new Valkyrie hypercar has been developed with Red Bull Racing and Cosworth and will produce a 1160bhp total power output at 10,500rpm and 664lb ft at 6000rpm. Aston Martin, which released the full performance specs of the V12, and the Rimac-sourced hybrid system, ensures the electric assistance will deliver up to 160bhp and 207lb ft.
“We’re approximately two years in, as we signed the first paperwork in Melbourne in 2017,” said Aston Martin executive VP and chief creative officer, Marek Reichman. “The first engines are being mounted to the first tubs that will form part of the crash program, but they’ll do a lot of our development testing as well.”
“Engines are providing all of the power we intended and, in fact, they’re actually a little ahead of schedule. The tub is on time, and now it’s putting the first full car together; we will have a car that will be running and testing before it goes into crash testing,” Reichman added.
Aston Martin has also stated the Valkyrie will include an AMR Track Pack that can ensure 8% quicker lap times. The Track Pack is a new front clamshell and an entire set of body panels for improved aerodynamics, super light titanium brakes, magnesium wheels with carbon aero discs and a new suspension system that features upgraded dampers and roll bars, as well as a 50mm decrease in ride height.
The engine has no turbos but does include a battery-electric boost system that will be revealed soon. The new engine is a customized naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 from Cosworth. “To get that much power, the naturally aspirated engine needs to rev very high,” said Aston Martin engineering chief David King. “To compensate, we’re also using electric hybrid power for extra low-speed torque.”
The Valkyrie is considered a successor to the McLaren F1, a sports car manufactured by McLaren Cars that was conceived by Gordon Murray. On March 31, 1998, the XP5 prototype with a modified rev limiter set the Guinness World Record for the world's fastest production car, reaching 240.1 mph (386.4 km/h), beating the modified Jaguar XJ220's 217.1 mph (349 km/h) record from 1992. The McLaren's record endured until the Koenigsegg CCR exceeded it in 2005, followed by the Bugatti Veyron. Only low production volume cars like the 1993 Dauer 962 Le Mans which reached 251.4 mph (404.6 km/h) in 1998 have been faster.
Reichman, however, wanted to differentiate the Valkyrie from Ferrari and McLaren. “The cooling comes from below and above, not from big side radiators. That gives a very different aesthetic.” He says the new design is “agile, lithe, elemental and with a unique Aston Martin form language, and a real bloodline from the Valkyrie. It’ll be a lighter and more efficient supercar.”
There will be approximately 150 Aston Martin Valkyrie built, priced at approximately £2.5 million each. King expects that half of the owners will “wrap them in cotton wool,” while the other half will use their cars frequently, including on track days.