Motors

Aston Martin promises room for two to experience ride of the Valkyrie

Aston Martin continues to tease us with nuggets of information about the Valkyrie

William Scholes
27 June, 2017 12:00

FOR those of us who may not even get to see the car on this page in the flesh, never mind experience what it is like to drive, its creators are continuing to tease - or should that be taunt? - us with a tantalising drip-feed of information, writes William Scholes.

The car is called the Valkyrie and it is being built by Aston Martin, with a bit of help from Adrian Newey, Formula One's most successful designer, and the Red Bull Advanced Technologies outfit he works for.

The Valkyrie exists somewhere well beyond superlative and deep in super-superlative territory; it's what happens when Formula One's most fertile mind is let off the leash of the sport's restrictive rules and regulations.

We have featured the Valkyrie on these pages before and this latest batch of pictures and information tells us more about the design of the car's bodywork, in particular its extraordinary attention to aerodynamic detail.

The cockpit is teardrop-shaped, and looks like something from a fighter jet. Its surfaces and the contours of the 'tub' that the driver and their passenger sit on are mounted between huge venturi tunnels that run the full length of the car's floor.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

These suck huge quantities of air under the car to feed the rear diffuser and generate race car levels of downforce, while also keeping the upper body surfaces free from spoilers and wings, which would spoil the styling.

The seats are mounted to directly to the tub, and the two occupants sit in a reclined 'feet up' position, just as do the drivers of F1 and Le Mans racers.

All the switchgear is located on the steering wheel, with all the vital signs shown on a single display screen.

Just like a single-seat racing car, the steering wheel is also detachable - a move which also helps getting in and out of such an extreme seating position.

We've started from a position where you think something is impossible and work at it until you find a way to make it work

To understand just how obsessive the designers - and customers - for a car like this are, consider the lengths Aston Martin has gone to with the design and manufacture of the car's badge.

The normal version of the company's 'wings' which adorns its other road cars was considered too heavy, and a simple sticker would not be fitting for a car of the Valkyrie’s quality and cutting-edge nature - not to mention multi-million pound price tag - so the design team came up with a chemical etched aluminium badge just 70 microns thick. As you do.

As you may know, 70 microns is 30 per cent thinner than a human hair, and the finished badge - nicknamed the 'lacewing' - is 99.4 per cent lighter than the regular enamel wings badge.

The badge is attached to the painted body and covered with a perfectly smooth coat of lacquer.

The Valkyrie does without door mirrors. Instead, rear-facing cameras display images on screens at the base of the glass canopy.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

"It's been a tremendous challenge to make the interior packaging work," said Matt Hill, Aston Martin creative director of interiors.

"We've embraced Red Bull Racing's Formula One ethos and approached it from a different angle than conventional road car design.

"In this instance, we've started from a position where you think something is impossible and work at it until you find a way to make it work.

"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."

We will have to take his word for it...

Aston Martin Valkyrie

27 June, 2017 12:00 Motors

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