Aston Martin’s Valkyrie can indeed transport you into a different world, a world where adrenaline supercedes every other hormone.
Words Aninda Sardar
In Norse mythology, the king of the gods Odin had 12 handmaidens who would guide slain warriors into the hallowed Valhalla. They were the Valkyrie. Now Aston Martin isn’t Scandinavian and is as British as the Union Jack. Yet, I would think that their name for their newest supercar, the Valkyrie, is an apt one. For starters this isn’t just any other Aston supercar. This is a supercar, or maybe it’s better to call this a hypercar, that sees the coming together of the combined might of Aston and Red Bull for the first time ever to create a road legal missile of this kind.
The design team that created this unique form included some of the best names in the world. Among them Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer for the Red Bull Racing Formula One team. Newey was the architect of the cars that got Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill the F1 World Championships for team Williams before he moved to West McLaren Mercedes and designed cars that two-times F1 Champion Mika Hakkinen and team mate David Coulthard would dominate the 1998-99 seasons in. In 2010, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastien Vettel won the F1 World Championship, again in a car that Newey had designed. This earned him the distinction of being the only ever F1 car designer to have won Championships with three different teams. Meanwhile, Marek Reichman is the Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin. Although all Aston badged (obviously), Reichman’s portfolio is pretty distinguished as well and includes the One-77, the Vanquish, DBS and Rapide. When he was with BMW after Rover, where he worked, was bought by the Germans Reichman created the new Rolls-Royce Phantom VII. Finally, there is Miles Nurnberger who is Director of Design at Aston Martin.
The design of the Valkyrie challenges all established notions, naturally. Its aero-efficient form and open under-floor helps maximise aerodynamic downforce. The body work is made entirely of carbonfibre, the same stuff that is used to create F1 cars, and there is no steel used at all anywhere in the construction of the chassis. In the interests of speed and performance, the creators of the Valkyrie have remained loyal to a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio, which is incredibly difficult to achieve for it not only involves massive outputs from the powertrain but also serious weight loss from the overall structure without compromising the vehicle’s structural integrity and safety. The fusion of Formula One tech from Red Bull is evident in the steering wheel, which could probably be the closest you’d get to the steering wheel of an F1 car in a road legal vehicle. Aston says the Valkyrie corners and brakes as aggressively as Red Bull’s ballistic F1 cars while an active computer controlled suspension maintains max grip on the road at all times.
What is critical to all of this however is the engine that powers the Valkyrie from its location between the two axles. At the heart of it all is a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre 65° V12 engine, which weights just 206kg, sourced from Cosworth. For those of you who have followed some form of motor racing, the name Cosworth will tell you that this isn’t just any other engine. This is an engine that has been crafted by the same engine manufacturing firm that was the first to break the 100hp/litre barrier. Cosworth powered cars were driven by the likes of Graham Hill, James Hunt and Sir Jackie Stewart to umpteen F1 victories. Even today, Cosworth is first and foremost a developer of race engines. The unit that the firm has created for Aston puts out a massive 1000hp at a heady 10500rpm. Peak torque from the engine is a humungous 740Nm at 7000rpm. But that’s not where the Valkyrie’s bid for power ends. Supplementing this is a battery-electric system created by the Croatian company Rimac who built the lightweight battery and Integral Powertrain Ltd who built the electric motor. This battery electric system pushes out an additional 160hp and 280Nm, taking total cumulative output in the Valkyrie to an astounding 1160hp and 900Nm!
Although Aston is yet to reveal the Valkyrie’s performance figures, estimates suggest that this hybrid baby will tear away from the post Covid world with a nought to 100kmph in less than 3 seconds and going on to post a top speed of over 400kmph. Good enough to guide you into another world of experiences, a whole new dimension. Not unlike Odin’s girls, eh?