12 July 2017
We were all flabbergasted last summer, when Aston Martin showed their concept design for the new Valkyrie hypercar they were developing with Red Bull Racing Formula One team.
This week, the production Aston Martin Valkyrie was revealed. To the surprise of industry pundits and AlphaLuxe, the production model is even more radical than the concept!
It has more Venturi flaps, fins, air channels and aerodynamic surfaces than the concept car or even a fighter jet. Their not finished; Aston Martin say that these photos only show a 95% completed design. “Quelle surprise!” Or in Austrian: “Was für eine Überraschung!”
The front wheel arches are now giant air channels for downforce while cunningly maintaining the Aston Martin side strakes. Who says form cannot follow function?
The wheels have a flat surface to reduce air turbulence. AlphaLuxe wonders if a dimpled surface like golf balls would be even better….
As Red Bull Racing’s Adrian Newey and his team eke out the remaining 5% of the aerodynamic tweaks, we may see more radical features.
The concept called for a minimalist cabin and dashboard to not distract the driver.
The cabin really applies function over form as it is a cramped tear-drop shaped tub sitting between the massive Venturi tunnels channeling air to effect downforce and brake cooling simultaneously.
The rear diffuser trailing edges of the Venturi tunnels are all curvy and sexy, as is the rear wing. The twin exhaust pipes and rear LED light clusters are incorporated and reminiscent of a ship from Star Trek.
The exhaust pipes vent gases from a mid-mounted 6.5L V-12 petrol engine working in tandem with a KERS hybrid system. The V-12 produces 1,000 hp making it the most powerful naturally aspirated petrol engine in a production car. The additional 130 hp from the hybrid electric motor seems inconsequential in the face of the massive output from the combustion engine but nobody’s complaining.
No one is saying how the power and torque will be managed by the undisclosed 7-speed transmission driving only the rear wheels. We’re not all brilliant drivers like Fernando Alonso so I hope they have fancy gizmos to tame the beast.
Aston Martin Creative Director of Exterior Design, Miles Nurnberger, said of the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s design evolution: “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 new outlets in the body are a case in point. Ordinarily the last thing we’d want to do to one of our surfaces is cut a hole in it, but these vents work the front wings so much harder that they’ve found a significant gain in front downforce. The fact that they are so effective gives them their own functional beauty, but we’ve finessed them without impacting on their functionality. That they also serve as windows through which to view the fabulous wing section front wishbones is a welcome bonus!”
The power-to-weight ratio targets are ambitious at 1:1 so for the expected 1,130 hp, that is a weight of 1,100 kg which is less than a Mazda Mx-5 Miata. Aston Martin has gone crazy with the weight saving exercise with visible, bare, anodised aluminium and composites in some areas. The seats are fixed directly to the cabin tub to save weight.
Finally, the same weight saving is applied to the Aston Martin ‘wings’ badge that adorns the nose. With the regular badge considered too heavy, and a simple sticker not befitting for hypercar, the Aston Martin Design Team came up with a chemical-etched aluminium badge just 70 microns thick. That’s 30 per cent thinner than a human hair, and 99.4 per cent lighter than the regular enamel wings badge. The badge (nickname ‘lacewing’) is then attached to the painted body and covered with a perfectly smooth coat of lacquer.
In this case of alpha luxury, you are paying More for Less….
Price on Application.
My sweepstake guess is $3.5 million.
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).