Aston Martin has released some more tantalising details about the upcoming Valkyrie hypercar, along with rather lovely photography of the latest prototype.
The fresh details focus mainly on packaging and aerodynamics, although there are some awesome detail nuggets thrown in as well. More on that later.
We already knew that the driver and passenger have to adopt a position similar to that of a Formula 1 driver; heavily reclined with their legs stretched out and their feet up higher than their hips. Aston has confirmed that four-point harnesses will be standard, with six-point harnesses optional for the full racecar experience.
We also now know that two people even as tall as the 98th height percentile will be able to fit into the car, despite the tub looking barely large enough for one driver and a coffee. All switchgear is on the steering wheel to allow drivers to keep their mitts where they’ll need to be. The steering wheel is detachable both for easier access and for security.
Downforce benefits have been continually added until quite recently, but among the latest mods – as seen on the leaked video we brought to you last month that has now been taken down – are channels between the cockpit and the front wheels, which bring about massive downforce gains by working in harmony with the flat floor and big front wing. Whether the rumours are true or not, we can’t wait for the official numbers on this thing.
Aston Martin’s Creative Director of Exterior Design, Miles Nurnberger, says the exterior design is 95 per cent of the way to completion, leaving the door open for further changes before production starts.
“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!”
Drag has been reduced by binning the idea of conventional door mirrors. Small screens at the inside bases of the A-pillars link to rear-facing cameras on the sides.
The attention to detail with weight reduction (bro) in mind is incredible. The headlights aren’t conventional clusters. Instead, the low and high beam elements are attached to an exposed and gorgeously detailed aluminium frame that, overall, is 30-40 per cent lighter than the lightest series-production headlight clusters that Aston has access to.
Then there’s the ‘wings’ nose badge. Most Aston Martins wear an enamel version, but to the Valkyrie engineers you might as well have glued a brick to the bonnet. A lightweight sticker was dismissed as too cheap and nasty for a car as hyper-exclusive as this, so the team developed a chemical-etched aluminium badge that’s just 70 microns thick. That’s 0.07 of a millimetre. The new badge, dubbed the ‘lacewing’, is 30 per cent thinner than a human hair, and a staggering 99.4 per cent lighter than the enamel badge.
Come on Aston, we’re drooling plenty already, now give us some numbers!