The upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar has been revealed in near-production form this week, including a first look at the vehicle’s cockpit and new details about the extensive weight-saving and aerodynamic systems.
Behind the gullwing-style doors, the Valkyrie hides a minimalist interior, which features seats mounted directly to the tub, four-point harnesses, and a detachable racing-style steering wheel that houses all of the vehicle’s switchgear and a single OLED display screen.
There’s an additional central display mounted to the dashboard, along with two smaller displays mounted on each A-pillar which are connected to side cameras replacing conventional door mirrors.
According to the British marque, the seats are set up to mimic the reclined ‘feet up’ position employed by today’s Formula One and Le Mans prototype racing cars, which helps to ensure the “driver and passenger are extremely safe, perfectly supported and feel completely at one with the car”.
The standard four-point harness can also be swapped out for a six-point setup that is designed for track use.
“It’s been a tremendous challenge to make the interior packaging work,” said Matt Hill, Aston Martin’s creative director of interiors.
“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,” he added.
Compared to the concept version revealed last year, numerous revisions have also been made to the body to further enhance the Valkyrie’s aerodynamics and styling.
Full-length ‘Venturi’ tunnels run either side of the cockpit floor, which draw air beneath the vehicle to feed the rear diffuser. Aston Martin says these tunnels are key to generating the Valkyrie’s “extraordinary” levels of downforce while keeping upper body surfaces free from additional aerodynamic devices that would “spoil the purity of the styling”.
Meanwhile, the slim headlights are said to be inspired by the “pure functionality” of a Formula One car’s components, and are 30-40 per cent lighter than the lightest series production headlights available to Aston Martin.
Similar methods have been used on the company’s iconic ‘wings’ badge on the nose.
The regular badge used on other Aston Martins was deemed too heavy, so rather than just use a sticker, the company developed a chemical-etched aluminium badge measuring just 70 microns thick – 30 per cent thinner than human hair, and 99.4 per cent lighter than the standard badge.
Nicknamed the ‘lacewing’, the Valkyrie’s badge is attached to the painted body and covered with a smooth coat of lacquer.
At the rear, the centre high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) has also gone through significant weight-reduction, measuring 5.5mm wide and 9.5mm high, mounted on the tip of the small shark’s fin that runs down the Valkyrie’s spine. The company says it’s the world’s smallest of its kind.
Miles Nurnberger, creative director of exterior design at Aston Martin, said the Valkyrie’s body is about “95 per cent of the way there”.
“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.”
Nurnberger added: “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.”
First deliveries of the Aston Martin Valkyrie are scheduled to commence in 2019, with just 150 road-going examples – all of which are reported to be sold out – to be produced along with an additional 25 ‘track only’ units.
Power will be sourced from a Cosworth-sourced 6.5-litre naturally-aspirated V12 engine mated to a F1-style hybrid drive system. Recent reports have claimed the combined output of the hybrid setup will approach the 1130 horsepower (840kW) mark.
In addition to the world-beating grunt, the Valkyrie is believed to weigh in the vicinity of 1030 kilograms, meaning it will tip the scales lighter than a Mazda MX-5, while developing more power than the Ferrari LaFerrari.
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