Aston Martin Valkyrie is a masterpiece of modern engineering, a hypercar that takes Formula 1® technology as its base and then goes beyond to achieve next-level performance in aerodynamics and engine technology.
“It’s the absolute out and out design around aerodynamics that distinguishes the Valkyrie,” says Head of Vehicle Engineering Drummond Jacoy. He estimates that around eight years’ worth of simulated aerodynamic running time was generated during the car’s development process.
“Obviously, the powertrain and the hybrid system are also remarkable, as they’re based on F1® technology with very high-revving, naturally aspirated V12. Going from a passive car to an active car improves cornering speed as well as the maximum G-forces you can achieve around corners. You can then bleed off the aero as you come out of the corner for faster exits. An F1® car simply does not have that capability.”
Engineering involvement was also integral in shaping the interior of Valkyrie. As a consequence of being inspired and shaped by Formula 1® and LMP1 prototype race cars, the interior packaging is unique, based around a uniquely reclined seating position. This involves enormous ergonomic demands, and there has always been an intention to avoid any compromise in comfort. To achieve this, each Valkyrie is tailored precisely to its owner. The project’s designers and engineers consider shoe size and shoe type to accommodate access to the pedal box, while the thickness of the seat padding is to the owner’s individual taste. The six-point racing harness means limited movement, so many key functions are accessible on the steering wheel.
The constraints on the interior ergonomics are evident in the Valkyrie’s carbon tub, the structural heart of the car. Built at specialist engineer Multimatic, it takes 950 man-hours to lay the 14 separate carbon fibre preforms into the forming tool. Paired with inserts and fixing points machined from 58kg of aerospace-grade Titanium, the tub is immensely light and strong.
Valkyrie’s active aerodynamics are deeply embedded within the car; in addition to the front and rear wings, there are four additional active control surfaces, including two floor diffusers. The car has required a journey of innovation and discovery. “There are very few standard suppliers,” Jacoy says. “We’ve gone to specialists from aerospace and motor racing, using materials like aluminium, carbon fibre and titanium. It’s difficult to find anything on the car that is off-the-shelf. So many components have been designed and machined specifically.”
This story is an extract from an article featured in the AM49 issue of Aston Martin magazine, out now. If you're not already a subscriber, visit magazine.astonmartin.com/magazine-subscription so that you can read the full story.