If you watched the Formula One over the weekend, you probably saw more than just a fantastic race, you would have also seen the debut of something very exciting – the Aston Martin Valkyrie. After years of calculations and simulations, the future of hypercars has finally taken to a real race track and we couldn’t be more excited.
It feels like ages since Aston Martin announced that they’d be teaming up with Red Bull Racing and Adrian Newey to create a road car that could drive around Silverstone as fast as a modern Le Mans Prototype and to finally see (and hear) the real thing for the first time makes everything seem evermore real. After all, there have been many projects over the years that promised so much but then eventually came to be cancelled or just went quiet. Thankfully, it seems that Valkyrie is not one of them.
The exact car that took to Silverstone before qualifying on Saturday was actually the first verification prototype and it had Chris Goodwin, Aston Martin’s High Performance Test Driver (you’ll have seen him in pretty much every Valkyrie video) at the wheel. Aston Martin say that the debut lap was more than just a test, it was the start of an ‘extensive physical testing regime’.
Up until now, Valkyrie has only been tested through the use of complex simulations, with Goodwin configuring and tailoring the car to be the very best that it can, alongside a team of Red Bull Racing engineers. But what exactly did the real thing feel like? After driving Valkyrie for the first time, he told Top Gear:
“On the spectrum of road cars I’ve driven, it’s not even on that. It’s totally off that scale,
“It’s more along the lines of Formula One cars I’ve got experience of. I’m racing GT cars all the time - and it’s not like that.”
As this is one of the first times that an Aston Martin Valkyrie has ever taken to the track, everything was turned down and Goodwin didn’t go for it – it is, after all, still early days. Once testing goes further, however, Chris will be able to take to the track with the full 1,160bhp and 664lb ft that the Valkyrie’s V12 hybrid has to offer. Revving to 11,100rpm, that’s something you need to hear.
If you’ve been following the progress of Valkyrie, then you’ll note that the idea of the project is to create a road car that can set lap times as fast as a modern Le Mans Prototype; that’s also something that Goodwin was quick to mention.
Speaking to Top Gear, he mentioned that going fast around a race track was easy, the hard part is making that same car work on a public road. That’s arguably the most exciting bit – can you imagine seeing something as wild as Valkyrie on your daily commute?
The whole thing is just very exciting and, much like when Mercedes-Benz started officially testing the Project ONE, makes this outrageous project seem more of a reality. Alongside all of the announcements about the new Le Mans hypercar category, the future of extremely high performance vehicles is looking very bright.