AMAZ­ING VALKYRIE IN DE­TAIL

Motor Equipment News - - FRONT PAGE -

Take three of the world’s clever­est au­to­mo­tive cre­ators, mix to­gether, light blue touch­pa­per and BOOM, it’s the As­ton Martin-Red Bull Valkyrie, ar­guably the most rad­i­cal pro­duc­tion car we’ll see for a long while.

Lat­est news is that the car will be road le­gal, although we don’t see any­where for num­ber plates in this wild de­sign. But never mind that – let’s see what else it HAS got.

The teardrop-shaped cock­pit’s up­per body sur­faces and lower tub con­tours fol­low the en­ve­lope of space avail­able be­tween the huge full length Ven­turi tun­nels that run ei­ther side of the cock­pit floor.

Draw­ing huge quan­ti­ties of air be­neath the car to feed the rear dif­fuser, th­ese tun­nels are the key to gen­er­at­ing the As­ton Martin Valkyrie’s ex­tra­or­di­nary lev­els of down­force while keep­ing the up­per body sur­faces free from ad­di­tional aero­dy­namic de­vices that would spoil the pu­rity of the styling.

To max­imise in­te­rior space the seats are mounted di­rectly to the tub, with oc­cu­pants adopt­ing a re­clined “feetup” po­si­tion rem­i­nis­cent of to­day’s For­mula One and Le Mans Pro­to­type race cars, en­sur­ing driver and pas­sen­ger are ex­tremely safe, per­fectly sup­ported and feel com­pletely at one with the car.

The As­ton Martin De­sign team was keen to keep dis­trac­tions to a min­i­mum and fo­cus the driver on the road ahead. To this end all switchgear is lo­cated on the steer­ing wheel, with all the vi­tal signs shown on a sin­gle OLED dis­play screen. The steer­ing wheel is also de­tach­able, both to aid ingress and egress, and to serve as an ad­di­tional se­cu­rity de­vice.

To avoid any un­wanted aero­dy­namic dis­tur­bance or stylis­tic clut­ter tra­di­tional door mir­rors have been re­placed by dis­creetly mounted rear fac­ing cam­eras in each of the As­ton Martin Valkyrie’s flanks.

While the essence of the orig­i­nal As­ton Martin Valkyrie ex­te­rior de­sign re­mains un­changed, Red Bull’s leg­endary F1 de­signer Adrian Newey’s pur­suit of down­force and aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency has driven many de­tail changes to the body­work.

One of the big­gest changes in this lat­est model are open­ings in the body sur­face be­tween the cock­pit and front wheel arches, Newey hav­ing found that they were the key to achiev­ing con­sid­er­able gains in front down­force.

While aero­dy­nam­ics and down­force are the dom­i­nant story, As­ton Martin Valkyrie fea­tures some de­light­ful de­tails. Some of the most strik­ing are the head­lights, which take in­spi­ra­tion from the pure func­tion­al­ity of a For­mula One car’s com­po­nents.

As­ton Martin’s de­sign­ers stripped things back to the bare es­sen­tials, cel­e­brat­ing the en­gi­neer­ing rather than con­ceal­ing it be­hind cladding. The same ap­proach has been taken with the As­ton Martin “wings” badge that adorns the nose. With the reg­u­lar badge con­sid­ered too heavy, and a sim­ple sticker not be­fit­ting for a car of the As­ton Martin Valkyrie’s qual­ity and cut­ting-edge na­ture, the As­ton Martin De­sign Team came up with a chem­i­cal etched alu­minium badge just 70 mi­crons thick.

Fur­ther de­tail in­no­va­tion can be found at the rear of the car, with the cen­tre high mounted stop light (CHMSL). Mounted on the tip of the small shark’s fin that runs down the spine of the As­ton Martin Valkyrie’s air­box and rear body­work, the light is just 5.5mm wide and 9.5mm high.

Sev­eral man­u­fac­tur­ers (other than As­ton Martin and Red Bull) have taken part in the Valkyrie’s con­struc­tion, th­ese be­ing Cos­worth, Ri­cardo, Ri­mac Au­to­mo­bili, Mul­ti­matic, Al­con, Bosch, Sur­face Trans­forms, Wi­pac, and Miche­lin.

The car con­tains a 6.5-litre nat­u­rallyaspi­rated V12 tai­lored by Cos­worth, which was ini­tially sup­posed to make around 1,000hp (74 kW), but it was an­nounced in June that the car would make 1,130hp (843kW). At the same time the power out­put was re­leased, the weight was also men­tioned, at 1,030kg, which sur­passes the in­tended 1:1 power-to-weight ra­tio, with 1,097hp (818 kW) per ton.

A Ri­mac-built hy­brid bat­tery sys­tem, which per­forms as a KERS sys­tem, is in­stalled along with the en­gine. The power is de­liv­ered by a seven-speed pad­dle-shift trans­mis­sion con­structed by Ri­cardo.

Bosch sup­plies the Valkyrie’s ECU unit, trac­tion con­trol sys­tem, and ESP, and brakes and calipers are pro­vided by Al­con and Sur­face Trans­forms. The front and rear lights are con­structed by Wi­pac.

Ev­ery­thing is made of car­bon fi­bre and there is not a sin­gle steel com­po­nent in its en­tire struc­ture.

The car is in­stalled with a MonoCell from man­u­fac­turer Mul­ti­matic. Miche­lin sup­plies the Valkyrie with the com­pany’s high-per­for­mance Sport Cup 2 tyres, with 265/35-ZR20 at the front and 325/30-ZR21 at the rear. The wheels are con­structed out of light­weight mag­ne­sium al­loy wheels (20-inch front, 21-inch rear) with race-spec cen­tre-lock wheel nuts to re­duce mass.

There are 150 road cars planned, all at the price of US$3.2 mil­lion, and there will be 25 track ver­sions.

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