Aston Martin Valkyrie preview: ‘A car to bring on a fit of the vapours’

geneva motor show 2018 preview aston-martin-valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie preview: ‘A car to bring on a fit of the vapours’; photograph: astonmartin

 


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Aston Martin Valkyrie preview: ‘A car to bring on a fit of the vapours’” was written by Martin Love, for The Observer on Sunday 18th March 2018 06.00 UTC

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro hypercar
Price Don’t ask
Engine V12
Top speed 225mph

You can’t buy this car. Well, you could. But they’re only making 25 and, despite the fact they won’t be ready until 2020, all have already been sold. For autophiliacs, it’s this sort of hypercar, complete with thunderous 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine which churns out 1,100bhp – comfortably exceeding the magic 1 to 1 ratio for power-to-weight – that brings on a fit of the vapours. But then that is just what the Geneva international motor show is all about.

For the past 10 days there has been a steady stream of car launches, reveals and endless automotive hoopla. The headlines this year were all made by cars championing electric and hybrid engines, connectivity and autonomous driving technology, and the big manufacturers queued up to throw the covers off their latest models. From Audi there was a new A6, BMW showed off its X4, Volvo had its V60 estate on the stand and Toyota dropped the curtain on its stunning Gazoo Racing Supra.

All laudable drives, but for car fans it’s the outlandish prototypes and outrageous fire-throwing beasts that catch the eye – none more so than this rare Valkyrie. The car was unveiled to a gawping public by Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner and Adrian Newey.

Taking the world’s most extreme road car as its basis, the AMR Pro version distills the combined knowledge, expertise and aspirations of Adrian Newey, chief technical officer of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, and Aston Martin’s most talented design and engineering teams, led by Marek Reichman and David King, to create a car with the performance capabilities of a Le Mans LMP1 prototype or Formula One car.

Full technical details of the Valkyrie will be revealed in due course, but the headline figures that can be disclosed provide a remarkable statement of intent. Key to the car’s unprecedented track performance are its lightweight construction and high-downforce aerodynamics – a combination that will result in a car that weighs 1000kg, yet is capable of generating more than its own weight in downforce.

To achieve this remarkable figure all the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro’s aerodynamic surfaces have been revised. The most obvious changes are wider bodywork and much larger front and rear wing elements. In order to save weight the bodywork uses a lighter construction of carbon fibre. Likewise the removal of items, such as the heater/de-mister blower and infotainment screens fitted to the road car, and through the fitment of new ultra-lightweight track-specific components such as a polycarbonate windscreen (with heater elements) and side windows, carbon fibre suspension wishbones, moulded race seats and a lighter exhaust system.

The single-minded pursuit of top speed has never been part of the Valkyrie ethos, yet even in high-downforce track configuration the AMR Pro is still capable of hitting 225mph. Of far greater benefit to lap time is the track-only Valkyrie’s ability to achieve lateral acceleration in excess of 3G.

Adrian Newey said: “The AMR Pro version has allowed me to work beyond the constraints of road legality, or indeed practicality! We’ve told a few of its secrets, but by no means all. I will leave it to the public to ponder the lap time predictions. Suffice to say they’re quite impressive.”

Commenting from the Geneva Show stand, Andy Palmer said: “Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a true racer at heart, so to see the track-only Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro together with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Formula One and Aston Martin’s World Endurance Championship cars here at Geneva is fabulous. The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro is something truly mind-bending.”

Email Martin at martin.love@observer.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @MartinLove166

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