Production of the 1,139bhp Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar is underway, with the first of 150 cars signed off at Gaydon
The Aston Martin Valkyrie has entered full production with the completion of the first customer car announced. The groundbreaking hypercar was first teased in concept form five years ago, and early customers can now expect delivery of their finished versions in the coming weeks.
150 units of the Valkyrie coupe are being hand-built at Aston Martin’s UK headquarters in Gaydon, taking more than 2,000 man-hours each to create. All are already sold. A further 85 Valkyrie Spiders and 40 track-only Valkyrie AMR Pros will follow, commanding a premium over the £2-3 million price tag of the standard coupe.
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Each Valkyrie will be shaken down at the Silverstone circuit – the development ground for the project – before delivery, ensuring that each example is customer-ready and track-fit.
Speaking on the announcement, Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers said: “It is an immensely proud moment for us to complete our first ever hypercar. The Aston Martin Valkyrie programme has tested everyone who has worked on it to the limit but the commitment to the dream has produced a truly incredible car, an F1 car for the road. The Valkyrie is born out of the steadfast dedication of a large group of highly skilled engineers and technicians who have worked tirelessly to get Valkyrie to the production stage. I’m sure our customers will be delighted with what they have achieved.”
Aston Martin has already released a comprehensive specification for the Valkyrie, claiming that the car's V12 hybrid powertrain would produce a combined output of 1,160bhp and 900Nm. Since then, however, the final power figure has dropped slightly to 1,139bhp – it’s unclear whether the 1,000bhp combustion engine or 160bhp electric motor is less potent than planned.
The production model Valkyrie will feature a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), similar to that used on Formula One racers. The car’s hybrid technology was developed in tandem with Integral Powertrain Ltd and Rimac, who supplied the electric motor and battery packs respectively. The electric motor is mounted in the Valkyrie’s gearbox, and provides 280Nm of torque on its own.
Aston Martin’s naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 produces maximum power at 10,500rpm and 740Nm of torque at 7,000rpm, while its red-line is fixed at 11,100rpm. It was developed with Cosworth and Red Bull Racing, using expertise gained from their Formula One exploits.
To increase the engine’s reliability, most of its interior components (camshafts, crankshaft, pistons and so on) are milled from solid material. Also, its conrods are Titanium, to help keep weight to a minimum. The result is an engine which tips the scales at 206kg.
Interestingly, the V12 is used to hold the rear of the Valkyrie together. It’s a structural component of the car’s chassis, which supports the rear wheels and suspension and its removal cuts the Valkyrie in half, erasing the physical connection between the front and rear wheels.
The Valkyrie has low and uncompromising bodywork, and is designed to be as close as possible to a road-going Formula 1 car. As such, the car’s design is dominated by the laws of aerodynamics. Two huge Venturi tunnels run either side of the cockpit, skirting around the engine. Along with two vents in the Valkyrie’s front splitter, Aston Martin say they provide “considerable gains” in downforce.
The body is lightweight, being built mainly from carbon fibre and giving the hypercar a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. The suspension is a completely new set-up designed to be both usable on the road and able to cope with the amount of downforce the body will generate which, in AMR Pro models, will be as much as 1,000kg.
The Valkyrie’s interior is a symphony of minimalism, with naked carbon fibre adorning most of the visible surfaces and a dash which only features a couple of buttons and a central touchscreen. The removable steering wheel appears to have been lifted straight from a Le Mans car, with a series of buttons and toggle switches in place of conventional stalks to operate the major controls and drive functions.
The seats are mounted directly to the carbon-fibre tub, with Aston expecting drivers to adopt a “reclined ‘feet up’ position reminiscent of today’s Formula One and Le Mans Prototype race cars”. A four-point harness will be fitted as standard, but an optional six-point system can be specified if buyers intend to spend a lot of time on the track.
A screen on the wheel acts as the instrument binnacle, while two screens attached to cameras on each side of the car act as replacements for conventional door mirrors. Rear visibility is likely to be poor, however, as the space normally occupied by the rear screen is claimed by a large engine intake.
Michelin will provide the Valkyrie’s tyres. Aston have confirmed that its hypercar will run on the French company’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 compound, sized at 265/30 ZR20 for the front and 325/30 ZR21 at the rear. The tyres will be wrapped around magnesium alloy wheels featuring race-spec centre lock nuts in a bid to reduce unsprung mass.
Alongside Cosworth and Red Bull Racing, Alcon and Surface Transforms have joined the fold, providing the Valkyrie with a lightweight, powerful braking system. The German technology manufacturer, Bosch, will also supply the hypercar’s Traction Control System, Electronic Stability Programme and Engine Control Unit.
The gearbox is a new design, developed by Newey and the Red Bull racing team specifically for the Valkyrie. Newey admitted that he’s wanted to build a road car for a long time; he told us that it’s an ambition he’s had since the tender age of six. “The opportunity to develop and realise those ideas with Marek and the team from Aston Martin is tremendously exciting,” he said. “It allows us to translate the technology we have developed in F1 into a new arena.”
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