In July 2016, Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing unveiled an astonishing hypercar named ‘Valkyrie’. Now, a year since that initial prototype, Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies have unveiled details about the car’s exterior and interior design.
Valkyrie is a highly ambitious project that sees the greatest minds at Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing aiming to create a road car capable of performance that is greater than a modern day Le Mans LMP1 racing car. This incredible aim has been perfectly reflected by the extreme yet beautiful nature of Valkyrie’s aesthetic.
Focused almost entirely on performance, Adrian Newey’s pursuit of absolute downforce and aerodynamic efficiency has brought around a few exterior changes. Possibly the largest change are openings in the body surface between the cockpit and the front wheel arches; these openings have allowed for a considerable gain in front downforce.
Whilst Valkyrie may be all about extreme performance, all exterior requirements have been faithfully incorporated into the design by Aston Martin’s Design Team. This synergy between both form and function has meant that Valkyrie features some striking and delightful details – two of the best examples possibly being the headlights and the Aston Martin ‘wings’ badge.
Taking inspiration from Formula One’s need for pure functionality, the revolutionary headlights have been entirely stripped back by Aston Martin’s designers to expose their beautiful intricate details whilst the cutting-edge chemical etched aluminium Aston Martin ‘wings’ badge, that adorns Valkyrie’s nose, is just 70 microns thick – 30 per cent thinner than a human hair.
Talking of Valkyrie’s design, Aston Martin Creative Director of Exterior Design, Miles Nurnberger, said:
“I would say we’re around 95 per cent of the way there with the exterior design. Much of what you see is actually the structure of the car, so this had to be signed-off relatively early in the project. The remaining areas of non-structural bodywork are still subject to evolution and change as Adrian [Newey] continues to explore way of finding more downforce. The new outlets in the body are a case in point. Ordinarily the last thing we’d want to do to one of our surfaces is cut a hole in it, but these vents work the front wings so much harder that they’ve found a significant gain in front downforce. The fact that they are so effective gives them their own functional beauty, but we’ve finessed them without impacting on their functionality. That they also serve as windows through which to view the fabulous wing section front wishbones is a welcome bonus!”
Maximising interior space, both the driver and passenger seats are mounted directly to the tub. As standard, Valkyrie will be offered with a four-point harness whilst a six-point harness will be on offer should customers wish to equip it. Further boosting Valkyrie’s racing car feel, the seating position for both passenger and driver will be a reclined ‘feet-up’ position that is reminiscent of the seating position adopted in both Formula One and Le Mans Prototype racing cars.
Distractions within Valkyrie’s cabin have been kept to an absolute minimum in order to allow the driver total focus on the road ahead. In order to achieve this, Valkyrie utilises a steering wheel that is reminiscent of a Formula One car’s steering wheel; featuring a single OLED screen, this removable wheel displays all of the car’s vital data whilst also being home to all of the relevant switchgear.
Allowing for uninterrupted aerodynamics on the exterior of the car, traditional wing mirrors have been replaced by two discreet rear-facing cameras that feed video to two screens within the cabin – this is yet another feature that resonates with the Le Mans Prototypes that Valkyrie’s performance will be equivalent.
Talking of the incredible interior, Aston Martin Creative Director of Interiors, Matt Hill, said:
“It’s been a tremendous challenge to make the interior packaging work. We’ve embraced Red Bull Racing’s Formula One ethos and approached from a different angle than conventional road car design. In this instance, we’ve started from a position where you think something is impossible and work at it until you find a way to make it work. We’ve been fighting for millimetres everywhere, but the battle has been worth it, as it’s been fantastic seeing customers try the interior buck for size. They love the ritual of getting in and how it feels to be sat behind the wheel. They’re also genuinely surprised at how the car just seems to swallow them. You really do have to sit in it to believe there is genuine space for two large adults.”
Valkyrie is an incredibly exciting project that we shall continue to bring you updates on as and when they are released. We’d like to hear what you think of this astounding new car from Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing – join the conversation on social media and be sure to follow Aston Martin Nottingham on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all future updates.