• 2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie

The most innovative supercar yet?

LISTEN 11:56

One of Britain’s most iconic automakers, Aston Martin is mostly known for its exquisite grand tourer and fast race cars. While not the kind of automaker you’d go to in order to buy a supercar, Aston Martin made a small first step into this segment in 2009 with the bespoke One-77. In 2016, the Brits launched their second supercar, the Vulcan, but only as a track car. It was followed by a beefed-up AMR Pro version in 2017, but Aston Martin isn’t going to stop here. Following a partnership with Red Bull Racing, Aston Martin created the AM-RB 001, an innovative concept car that will go into production under the Valkyrie name.

Developed with input from Formula One genius Adrian Newey, the Valkyrie was designed with the most aggressive aerodynamics in mind and many of the techniques used in professional racing. Newey is also looking to achieve a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio, something only Koenigsegg obtained with the limited-edition One:1 supercars. Set to use a naturally aspirated V-12 engine to move about, the Valkyrie will be produced in both road-legal and race-only versions. Production of both will be very limited, so it’s safe to assume that it will be highly expensive.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Official video

Exterior

2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie
- image 803256
Very similar to the prototype, the Valkyrie employs a radical design that has very little in common with modern supercars.

Very similar to the prototype, the Valkyrie employs a radical design that has very little in common with modern supercars. Apart from the prototype-inspired body shape, the Valkyrie is unlike other production cars, featuring innovative aerodynamics that seem more extreme than even those developed for full-fledged race cars.

While the teardrop-shaped cockpit is a rather familiar design, especially among prototype race cars, the massive Venturi tunnels that run either side of the cockpit floor have never been used before on a production car. Drawing huge quantities of air beneath the car to feed the rear diffuser, these tunnels enable the car to generate "extraordinary levels of downforce while keeping the upper body surfaces free from additional aerodynamic devices that would spoil the purity of the styling." Sounds pretty fancy, but we’ll have to wait for Aston Martin to back these claims with actual figures.

2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie High Resolution Exterior
- image 722973
The Valkyrie uses discreet rear-facing cameras instead of traditional side mirrors.

Much like the AM-RB 001 prototype, the Valkyrie uses discreet rear-facing cameras instead of traditional side mirrors, in order to avoid any "unwanted aerodynamic disturbance or stylistic clutter."

While all of the above are identical to the AM-RB 001, there are quite a few features that have been updated for the Valkyrie. One of the biggest changes are the openings in the body surface between the cockpit and front wheel arches, which brought considerable gains in front downforce. The headlamps are also lighter than usual, with Aston Martin claiming that they weigh 30 to 40 percent less than the lightest series production headlamps available on Aston Martin vehicles.

2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie High Resolution Exterior
- image 722975
The small badge on the nose was also redesigned, mostly because it was considered too heavy.

The small badge on the nose was also redesigned, mostly because it was considered too heavy. Not wanting to use a simple sticker, the Aston Martin Design Team came up with a chemical etched aluminium badge just 70 microns thick. That’s 30 percent thinner than a human hair, and 99.4 percent lighter than the regular enamel badge. Granted, it sounds like a rather useless addition to a supercar, because let’s face it, a regular badge isn’t that heavy, but I guess it’s the kind of attention to detail you’d expect from an exclusive vehicle.

Around back, Aston Martin brags about having developed the smallest center high-mounted stop light. Specifically, the red light mounted on the tip of the small shark fin that runs down the spine of the car’s airbox is just 5.5 mm wide and 9.5 mm high. Why is this important? In the company’s own words, it’s evidence of how "every element of the Aston Martin Valkyrie is scrutinised in the pursuit of eliminating unnecessary weight and drag."

Interior

2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie
- image 803257
Made almost entirely out of carbon-fiber, the cockpit has a rather spartan design.

The Valkyrie’s cockpit is obviously race-inspired, and as soon as you open the butterfly-type doors you enter a cabin that’s very similar to Le Mans prototypes. Made almost entirely out of carbon-fiber, the cockpit has a rather spartan design. While the flowing styling cues make it seem modern and organic, the dashboard is devoid of any buttons and switches. Only a large display, gold trim, and lightweight door latches disturb the clean layout, while the center console is incredible narrow and comes with only two buttons.

The steering wheel is arguably the most cluttered element of the cabin, but it’s nowhere near as complicated as most motorsport-spec steering wheel. It looks pretty exotic though, with gold paddles and buttons contrasting the black Alcantara it’s wrapped in. The center section is a large display that provides information about water and oil temperature, fuel, battery, rpm, speed, and gears, among other functions. The steering wheel is also detachable, both to aid ingress and egress, and to serve as an additional safety device.

2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie High Resolution Interior
- image 722968
Carbon-fiber is the dominant material, being used on the dashboard, door panels, seats and floor.

Carbon-fiber is the dominant material, being used on the dashboard, steering wheel column, door panels, seats and floor. Speaking of the seats, they are mounted directly on the tub in order to maximize interior space. This also means that the occupants will seat in a reclined, feet-up position similar to that of modern Formula One cars and Le Mans prototypes. This enhanced safety and provide better support at the race track. A four-point harness comes as standard, while an optional six-point harness will be available for those who intend to do more track driving.

The glasshouse was designed to provide uninterrupted forward and peripheral side-to-side vision. The design is once again borrowed from prototype race cars, including the windshield wipers, which are mounted in center position, at the top of the windshield. The cameras that replace the conventional side mirrors feed images to two displays positioned at the base of each A-pillar. Their position is supposed to mimic that of the conventional mirrors, but that’s not entirely true, with both being significantly closer to the driver. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be a problem once you get used to them.

Drivetrain

2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie High Resolution Exterior
- image 722972
The Valkyrie features a high-revving, naturally aspirated V-12 engine

Originally rumored to develop 1,130 horsepower, the Valkyrie’s final power rating sits at 1,160 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The naturally aspirated, 6.5-liter V-12 engine alone generates 1,000 horses and 546 pound-feet of twist, while the electric motor cranks out an additional 160 horsepower and 207 pound-feet.

The battery-electric system, which acts as a KERS-style boost system similar to those fitted in Formula One cars, was developed by Integral Powertrain Ltd and Rimac. While the former supplied the electric motor, the latter designed the lightweight battery system.

Impressively enough, the hybrid drivetrain delivers its peak power at 10,500 rpm and peak torque at 6,000 rpm.

The power-to-weight ratio, lightweight construction and innovative aerodynamics, should return sub-2.5-second 0-to-60 mph sprints

Tipping the scales at only 2,270 pounds, the Valkyrie has a power-to-weight ratio that exceeds Aston Martin’s 1:1 goal. Specifically, the Valkyrie has 1.12 horsepower for every kilogram, which turns into a Megawatt car and places it slightly above the Koenigsegg One:1, the first supercar that achieved this goal.

Even though there are no specific figures to run by, this power-to-weight ratio, coupled with the lightweight construction and innovative aerodynamics, should return sub-2.5-second 0-to-60 mph sprints. The V-12 engine will mate to a race-spec transmission conceived from a clean sheet by Adrian Newey and developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies. Also penned by Newey, the suspension system will feature "innovative technology and employ principles honed over his thirty-year career." More information should become available soon, but until that happens, this is all we got.

Engine 6.5-liter V-12 engine and an electric motor
Combined output 1,160 HP
Combined torque 664 LB-FT
Power-to-weight ratio 1:1
Curb weight 2,270 Lbs
Transmission race-spec
0 to 60 mph 2.5 seconds

Prices

2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie High Resolution Exterior
- image 722976

Aston Martin is still mum on pricing details but did mention that production will be limited "between 99 and 150 vehicles," a figure that includes the prototypes and the 25 track-only versions. All told, it’s safe to assume that the Brits won’t build more than 125 road cars. First deliveries will commence in 2018. As far as pricing goes, the Valkyrie will probably cost more than the Vulcan, which retails from around $2.3 million.

References

2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001
- image 719976

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 (Valkyrie prototype).

Competition

Koenigsegg One:1

2015 Koenigsegg One:1
- image 703494
2015 Koenigsegg One:1
- image 703495

Given the unique and innovative design of the Valkyrie, there’s no current supercar to compare it. Sure, there are quite a few that are powerful and quick enough, but almost none of them comes with a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio or such intricate aerodynamics. The Koenigsegg One:1 is the only one that comes close. Although it’s no longer in production, it’s the only supercar that has a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. Introduced at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the One:1 tips the scales at 3,000 pounds and comes with 1,342 horsepower on tap. The latter is the equivalent of one megawatt, which makes the One:1 the world’s first "megacar." All that power comes from Koenigsegg’s in-house, twin-turbo, 5.0-liter V-8 engine and travels to the wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. The One:1 needs around three seconds to hit 60 mph, 6.6 ticks to reach 124 mph, and 11.9 seconds to hit 186 mph. Koenigsegg also claims it benefits from 1,345 pounds of downforce at 162 mph and 1,829 pounds at 273 mph. This statement means that the One:1 could reach a top speed higher than the Bugatti Veyron’s 269.86 mph and the Hennessey Venom GT’s 270.49 mph, but an official test was never showcased. Koenigsegg built only six units of the One:1 apart from the car it kept for itself. All were sold for at least $2.85 million a pop.

Find out more about the Koenigsegg One:1 here.

Conclusion

2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie High Resolution Exterior
- image 722964

While we still don’t know that much about it, it’s pretty obvious that the Aston Martin Valkyrie will revolutionize the supercar market, at least in terms of aerodynamics and design. It remains to be seen whether it will have a similar impact in the performance department, but that’s very likely to happen as well given the company’s claims and the 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. The fact that the extreme Valkyrie arrives only a couple of years after Aston Martin managed to get out financial trouble makes it that much more spectacular!

  • Leave it
    • Extremely expensive
    • Not much is known about it right now
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

Watch the Aston Martin Valkyrie Tame Mother Nature As It Rips Around the Track

How PlayStation’s Gran Turismo Changed The Future of Aston Martin

2021 Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider – A Valkyrie That Can Touch Speeds Of 205 mph With The Roof Off!

2020 Aston Martin Victor

2020 A $7 Part Killed the $3.25 Million Valkyrie’s Debut Run At the Goodwood Festival of Speed

2020 The 1000-Horsepower Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro Ditches Hybrid Tech For Track-Worthiness

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: