Automotive

Yes, it's street legal – a closer look at the Aston Martin Valkyrie

The Aston Martin Valkyrie could be headed to a public road near you
The Aston Martin Valkyrie could be headed to a public road near you
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The underbody is where all the clever aerodynamics are hiding on the Valkyrie 
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The underbody is where all the clever aerodynamics are hiding on the Valkyrie 
The lightweight doors on the Valkyrie add a dash of supercar drama
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The lightweight doors on the Valkyrie add a dash of supercar drama
The shape of the Valkyrie will be like nothing else on the road
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The shape of the Valkyrie will be like nothing else on the road
The underbody of the Valkyrie is designed to channel air through the rear diffuser
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The underbody of the Valkyrie is designed to channel air through the rear diffuser
The Aston Martin Valkyrie could be headed to a public road near you
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The Aston Martin Valkyrie could be headed to a public road near you
The Valkyrie will be powered by a V12 
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The Valkyrie will be powered by a V12 
The headlamps on the Valkyrie are 40 percent lighter than the headlamps on regular Aston Martins 
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The headlamps on the Valkyrie are 40 percent lighter than the headlamps on regular Aston Martins 
The stunning Valkyrie, which launches in 2018
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The stunning Valkyrie, which launches in 2018
The seats in the Valkyrie are fixed to the carbon tub 
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The seats in the Valkyrie are fixed to the carbon tub 
The pared-back interior of the Valkyrie 
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The pared-back interior of the Valkyrie 
The wheel of the Valkyrie is actually removable 
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The wheel of the Valkyrie is actually removable 
The wheel of the Valkyrie is an odd shape, shared with the Vulcan
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The wheel of the Valkyrie is an odd shape, shared with the Vulcan
The slim cabin of the Valkyrie could have been stolen directly from an LMP1 car
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The slim cabin of the Valkyrie could have been stolen directly from an LMP1 car
The body of the Valkyrie is free of scoops and spoilers
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The body of the Valkyrie is free of scoops and spoilers
The profile of the Valkyrie's diffuser is otherworldly
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The profile of the Valkyrie's diffuser is otherworldly
The single wiper on the Valkyrie is a rare nod to road-car normality
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The single wiper on the Valkyrie is a rare nod to road-car normality
The profile of the Valkyrie is unlike anything else on the road
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The profile of the Valkyrie is unlike anything else on the road
The doors on the Valkyrie would usually be a highlight, but they pale in comparison to the rest of the car
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The doors on the Valkyrie would usually be a highlight, but they pale in comparison to the rest of the car

The bespoke AM-RB001 Valkyrie became one of the most talked about cars in the world when Aston Martin and Red Bull announced it in Melbourne last year, and the hype hasn't faded in the intervening 18 months. We've now been given a detailed look at the road-legal version of the Valkyrie, complete with unbelievably intricate underbody aerodynamics and a stunning, pared-back interior.

We can't quite believe it either, but apparently the stunning slice of British design and engineering you see here will be road legal. Imagine seeing one sitting at the traffic lights, rubbing shoulders with mundane hatchbacks and hulking four-wheel drives. Most journos scoffed when Aston said the Valkyrie, known as the AM-RB001 at that point, would be an LMP1 car for the road, but this is one case where we're sure they're very happy to be proven wrong.

Red Bull Racing aerodynamicist Adrian Newey is responsible for the insane underbody setup, designed to draw as much air as possible over the shapely carbon fiber diffuser through twin venturi tunnels. Newey actually told New Atlas the car debuts technology and aerodynamic devices deemed too radical for the (frustratingly restrictive) F1 rule makers.

The unique underbody aerodynamics bring a number of advantages. Aston Martin says the car develops more than 1.8 tons of downforce at high speed, so the system clearly works, but it also makes for a fascinating profile. There are a lot of interesting cutouts and shapes lurking under the smooth bodywork, but the top of the car is unmistakably an Aston. The pairing of Newey and Marek Reichman, Head Designer at Aston Martin, is one we'd love to see more of in future.

The single wiper on the Valkyrie is a rare nod to road-car normality
The single wiper on the Valkyrie is a rare nod to road-car normality

The body cleverness extends beyond the underbody, with some beautifully nerdy solutions for saving weight. The headlamps use an anodized aluminum frame to shave between 30 and 40 percent from the lightest headlight assembly used in current Aston Martins, and the high-mounted central rear light is the world's lightest. Meanwhile, the badge is just 70 microns thick – making it 30 percent thinner than a human hair.

This fanatical gram-shedding continues inside as well, where the luxurious detailing from the DB11 and Vanquish has been replaced with a pared-back look. The seats are mounted directly to the carbon tub, and four-point harnesses are standard. Aston says the feet-up driving position is reminiscent of modern Le Mans and F1 racers.

Anything that could distract from driving (very quickly) has been stripped from the dash, leaving three screens and a detachable steering wheel festooned with buttons. Crucial info about the car is displayed on the large OLED screen behind the wheel, while the compact units on the A-pillars are there in place of conventional rear-view mirrors.

The seats in the Valkyrie are fixed to the carbon tub 
The seats in the Valkyrie are fixed to the carbon tub 

It's nice to see rear-view cameras and screens make the jump from concept to reality, where they offer all-weather visibility and neat aerodynamics that a regular mirror can't. There's even room for taller drivers in the cabin, with Aston Martin saying people in the 98th percentile for height can squeeze in.

"It's been a tremendous challenge to make the interior packaging work," says Matt Hill, Aston Martin 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 millimeters 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."

The Valkyrie is set for production in 2018. Aston Martin says the design may still change before it reaches owners, but it's about 95 percent complete.

Source: Aston Martin

13 comments
Imran Sheikh
I have some serious concerns about car getting airborne from front like "speed boats" do, in case of "irregular front air streams". Not the steady air streams like you have in which in the tunnels. Please cross check.. before release..
ekh1
I love cars. This has to be the ugliest one ever made, maybe even worse than the Skoda or the Renault 2CV, though in a wholly different idiom. Thank god I could never afford one!
tony
Dog ugly and utterly irrelevant, most of these will never see the road.
Kpar
All the weight savings reminds me of the old Ford GT40- they used taillights from a 1960 Chevrolet Corvair, because they were the lightest on the market. As to the new car? Looks kinda like a catamaran on wheels...
CharlieSeattle
WhaaZzat? No picture of the Engine and drive train? .........EDIT, EDIT, EDIT, PLEASE!
Signguy
Imran: guess you didn't read the article where it describes 1.8 tons of downforce at full speeds.
Mexoplex 5 Million
oh please. Who cares about your 'serious concerns' about this car? As if you're about to buy one. I'm almost 100% positive the engineers at Aston Martin have put in countless more hours of work into this car than you did. So don't worry about the air streams. Get over yourself, and have a nice day.
Paravectorno Extactini
This is how people get down to an 'ideal weight' under 60kg. Or appear to be a subtle road flounder with one or two nearly-flush eyes skyward. The sideshot makes it look like there is no floorboard, but the dash shot shows that darkness will consume you. Protest street cred for the street protester! (Bring whole milk, scissors, tempra paint, batarangs and maybe one of those roll-up synth keyboards.)
ikarus342000
Congratulations, at last a car with lots of good ideas. I like the approach of the underbody aerodynamic. Now when you see this car on the road you know direct what maker it is. Unusual today, many times you have to look at the makers logo to know which maker it is. To unconventional? Can I have one to test it.
ezeflyer
Stunningly weird.
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