Following its dynamic debut last summer, F1 drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon have put the Aston Martin Valkyrie to the test
Our very first glimpse of the Aston Martin Valkyrie in motion came last year, with the flagship hypercar taking to the circuit at the 2019 British Grand Prix with test driver Chris Goodwin at the helm. Ahead of first scheduled deliveries in Q2 of this year, the marque has given Max Verstappen and Alex Albon time behind the wheel.
Following his drive, eight-time Grand Prix winner Verstappen said: ‘Of course, it’s still in the development phase but you can already feel the pace, which compared to a normal car is… pretty different!’ Both Albon and Verstappen will be offering valuable feedback to the engineering team, and chief test driver, in order to help bring the hypercar up to production spec.
Though a total of eight are set to be produced during the development programme, an additional two prototype vehicles are now being used for testing. Aston Martin test driver Chris Goodwin said: ‘To have three cars now running will see the rate of physical development for this exceptional hypercar increase exponentially.’
Aston had previously revealed the Valkyrie’s design and the specification of its incredible V12 engine. We’ve seen – and heard – the new naturally aspirated V12 in action, and we know that the 6.5-litre V12 will produce a staggering 745kW at 10,500rpm, making it the most powerful naturally aspirated road car unit ever. It also means the engine will deliver an astounding specific output figure of 114kW per litre. For context, a Lamborghini Aventador SV’s naturally aspirated V12 produces 83kW per litre. Torque for the Valkyrie motor is rated at 740Nm at 7000rpm.
This is of course not including the KERS-style hybrid assistance, which adds a further 119kW and 280Nm of torque to the powertrain, creating headline totals of 865kW and 900Nm. The electric motor and battery packs have been developed with help from electric supercar manufacturer Rimac, which is quickly becoming the industry’s go-to supplier of high-performance electric motors.
The new information comes with yet another preview of the car’s engine sound, featuring the Valkyrie’s Cosworth-developed V12 running on a dyno. The engine blitzes through revs startlingly fast and makes a noise similar to that of an early 1990s V12 F1 car.
But the Valkyrie is far from nostalgic – it’s been conceived by Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing and will borrow cutting-edge F1 tech, not least the KERS-like electric boost. The car will need all the F1 influence possible, because it will go head-to-head with the Mercedes-AMG Project One – with its full F1 turbocharged V6. Only 150 Aston Martin Valkyries will be built, with 25 track-only editions set to follow soon after. The price for the road-going version will be somewhere between $3m and $6m.
The most recent batch of images released of the Aston Martin hypercar show it in near-finished form with production-ready lighting and a full interior. Throughout the design process Adrian Newey, chief technical officer at Red Bull Racing, continuously honed the Valkyrie’s aerodynamics, which were subsequently translated into the Valkyrie’s overall design by vice president and chief creative officer Marek Reichman’s team at Aston.
A quick glance at the Valkyrie not only confirms Newey’s influence, but the importance Aston Martin has placed on aerodynamics to achieve the incredible performance it will undoubtedly deliver. Because the car is built around a carbonfibre tub, Newey has had greater scope to create the slippery shape and integrate aero elements such as the vast Venturi tunnels underneath the car that deliver huge downforce, rendering heavy active aero systems and drag-inducing wings obsolete.