At the 2019 British Formula 1 Grand Prix in at the Silverstone Circuit, Aston Martin rolled out one of the most high-anticipated hypercars in the world: their very own Valkyrie. Previously, the car had only been shown unmoving or in photographs, though now the car is clearly far enough along to be driven hard around the difficult track.
Dubbed ‘ Verification Prototype 1’, the pre-production Valkyrie was wearing livery both to match the Torro Rosso team’s red and blue motif as well as to camouflage the car’s finer exterior details, though we don’t imagine any new or significant changes are slated for the car between now and its official reveal.
As it blasted around Silverstone to roaring fans as part of the pre-race theatrics at the company’s high performance test driver Chris Goodwin (previously of McLaren development and F1 commentary renown), the world finally heard the race-tuned V12 hybrid.
The car’s dynamic debut has come just months after Aston Martin revealed yet more about the fascinating powertrain and motorsport-derived (F1, specifically) design and engineering that has gone into the Valkyrie.
Co-engineered with Red Bull Racing and penned by Adrian Newey, it features never before seen aerodynamic principles applied to road cars, using most of its core structure and front-facing Venturi tunnels to create downforce, looking like a over-water trimaran at the same time.
“To finally see Aston Martin Valkyrie running five years from when I first sat down and started sketching what this car could look like is quite an emotional day. With the change in vision angle as it comes past and the noise, it is now doing what it is supposed to be doing which is to move and be dynamic. It has been an enormous push for the team to get it running here today at the home of British motorsport so this is also a special moment for them.” - Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
Mounted amidship is a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 built by Cosworth that revs to a stratospheric 11,000rpm. Paired to an F1-style Kinectic Energy Recovery System provided by Rimac, the Valkyrie’s electric augmentation elevates total system output to 865kW and torque close to 1,000Nm.
The engine is closely integrated with the car’s body, being a structural component and stress point of the chassis. It’s not a new idea, this – after all the Ferrari F50 and its 4.7-litre V12 featured the same structural link. But this is yet another example of motorsport-inspired innovation and vehicle design making their way into the Valkyrie’s final form.
“Today is a real milestone in not only Aston Martin’s history but for our industry as a whole. Aston Martin Valkyrie continues to redefine what you and I recognise as a hypercar, possessing unrivalled levels of performance in a package that is technologically beyond anything else. While Chris’ demonstration today was not delivered at full speed, there is no doubt in my mind that we will one day return to deliver its full potential around this magnificent circuit.” - Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO
Following this public demonstration, this specific Valkyrie will be spearheading a more extensive test programme in preparation for the full scale production is due to begin in Q4 of 2019. Unfortunately, despite the astronomical price, all 150 road-going examples of the car have long been spoken for.