Aston Martin Finally Releases Some Details on Its Hypercar

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Aston Martin has been working on improving the Valkyrie since it was first revealed last year.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie, which first debuted in July 2016, is the result of a collaboration with Red Bull Advanced Technologies. At the time, it looked like a near-finished product, although it was noticeably missing headlights. But that isn’t all Aston Martin has been working on, further improving the hypercar’s aerodynamics, body styling, and cockpit packaging. As the car gets closer to its launch, the company has revealed more details on its exterior and interior design.

In explaining the car’s exterior design, Aston Martin highlighted the full-length Venturi tunnels that run either side of the cockpit floor, saying they are the key to generating “extraordinary” levels of downforce. They also help keep the upper body surfaces free from additional aerodynamic devices that would ruin the hypercar’s styling.

For the most part, the original Valkyrie’s exterior styling remains unchanged, but some changes have been done to the bodywork to improve downforce and aerodynamic efficiency. One of the biggest changes on the latest model are openings in the body surface between the cockpit and the front wheel arches, with Adrian Newey saying they are key to achieving considerable gains in front downforce.

We also finally get a look at real headlights, which take inspiration from the “pure functionality of a Formula One car’s components,” the automaker said. The low and high beam elements are attached to an intricate exposed anodized aluminum frame, and are 30 to 40 percent lighter than the lightest series production headlamps from Aston Martin. And to emphasize just how much thought was put into weight loss, Aston Martin considered the regular “wings” badge on the nose too heavy. Believing that a simple sticker just wouldn’t fit the car, the Aston Martin Design Team created a chemical-etched aluminum badge that’s 30 percent thinner than a human hair, while weighing 99.4 percent lighter than the regular enamel wings badge.

SEE ALSO: Aston Martin: You Better Not Sell Your Valkyrie Build Slot

Officially exposing the cockpit for the first time, Aston Martin said the seats in the Valkyrie are mounted directly to the tub in order to maximize interior space. As a result, the ultra-efficient interior packaging achieves space for two 98-percentile adults, while featuring a Formula One-style reclined driving position and minimalist ergonomics. A four-point harness will come as standard on the hypercar, while an optional six-point harness will be available for those that intend to do more track driving.

All switchgear is located on the steering wheel, and all the vital signs are shown on a single OLED display screen. To help getting in and out of the Valkyrie easier, the steering wheel can be detached. And yes, in case you haven’t noticed, the Valkyrie does away with traditional door mirrors, which have been replaced my rear-facing cameras discretely mounted on the flanks. The cameras feed two displays that are positioned at the base of each A-post to mimic the view provided by conventional door mirrors. Aston Martin also says because of the all-enveloping bodywork and roof-mounted engine air intake, there’s no rear window – which means there isn’t a need for a rearview mirror.

It doesn’t sound like this is the final, production version of the Valkyrie either, according to Aston Martin creative director of exterior design, Miles Nurnberger: “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 a 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!”

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Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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