Aston Martin Valkyrie attacks the track at Silverstone
We all know what the Aston Martin Valkyrie looks like, courtesy loads and loads of photos available online. However, that didn’t stop spectators at the 2019 British Grand Prix from getting wowed when they saw the Valkyrie in the flesh, tearing up the track! Piloted by Aston Martin High Performance Test Driver Chris Goodwin, the 1160bhp machine, took to Silverstone’s world-famous Grand Prix circuit for its first public demonstration run. With the focus not on outright lap time, the showcase offered a glimpse of the future of this extraordinary hypercar.
The Valkyrie has a 6.5-litre V12 engine, which is the largest naturally-aspirated engine in a production car, mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission developed in association with Cosworth. To transfer its massive 1160bhp power output to the road, the engine revs to 11,100rpm. A large amount of carbon has been employed in the construction of the car, with the brand claiming not a single steel component in the entire car’s creation. There are no exact estimates to the final weight of the car, with the brand claiming a 1:1 power to weight ratio, hinting at a dry weight of about 1100 to 1200kg.
The exterior of the car is extremely aerodynamic, with a largely open underfloor. This helps adhere the car to the track by employing the venturi effect (when high-speed winds are pressurised through a small opening, aiding in high-speed stability), making it capable of producing 1814kg of downforce at its 402kmph (claimed) top speed. Gaps from on top on the car, such as from the front axle and the roof intake and a large front splitter also aid in generating downforce. The wheels are also designed to manage the airflow and be as light as possible at the same time.
The Valkyrie, a platform for a future FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) challenger, is the combined vision of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, and VP and Chief Special Operations Officer David King. The Valkyrie was created as a result of a technical and strategic collaboration between Aston Martin, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing.
On completing the lap, Chris Goodwin said, “I’ve driven this car around Silverstone for countless hours on the simulator at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s HQ and in many other sportscars throughout my career, but to drive the Valkyrie here today feels exceptionally special. Of course, we still have a lot of development work to go but we can now begin to really push the physical testing process and realise the capabilities of what we have developed over the past months. Putting that aside, today has brought a real smile to my face and I hope that the crowds watching from the stands enjoyed it as much as I did.”
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda president and group CEO said, “Today is a real milestone in not only Aston Martin’s history but for our industry as a whole. The Aston Martin Valkyrie continues to redefine what you and I recognise as a hypercar, possessing unrivalled levels of performance in a package that is technologically beyond anything else. While Chris’ demonstration today was not delivered at full speed, there is no doubt in my mind that we will one day return to deliver its full potential around this magnificent circuit.”
Following the on-track demonstration run, the final production prototypes will now begin an extensive physical testing regime, before deliveries start commencing in the fourth quarter of 2019.