The sights and sounds of the Valkyrie are going to make your day

The Aston Martin Valkyrie is one of the most highly anticipated hypercars to ever hit the market. It’s not out yet — though deliveries are expected to start in late 2020 — but the development process is churning along smoothly to the point that we now have the first evidence that the Valkyrie is no longer a figure of mythology, but an actual rampaging monster.

Our first look at the latest developmental version of the Valkyrie comes to us by way of YouTuber Mr. JWW, who managed to score a behind-the-scenes look at the 1,160-horsepower hypercar with the help of some fine folks from Aston Martin who were instrumental in the development of the Valkyrie. It’s a 16-minute video that offers plenty of details on the hypercar’s developmental process. As an added bonus, we get to see — and hear — the Valkyrie on the track for the first time, too. That glorious naturally aspirated V-12 engine singing in high notes is an absolute delight to the ears.

A Technological One-of-One

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To say the Aston Martin Valkyrie is a complicated car to build is a huge understatement.

It’s arguably the most technically complicated car ever built, and even saying that doesn’t do justice to the level of intricacy and specificity that went into the development of the Valkyrie.

Fraser Dunn, the chief engineer of Aston Martin’s Special Projects, discussed the intricacies of the Valkyrie’s development with Mr. JWW, and among the many notable details revealed by Dunn was the level of detail that went into the design of the hypercar.

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According to Dunn, every single component on the Valkyrie was designed specifically for the car.

Whereas normal car programs, even the ones of the exotic variety, sometimes use shared parts or technologies with other models, the Valkyrie is different because every single component that it has is completely brand new.

That kind of attention-to-detail is remarkable, even for the abnormally high developmental standards of the hypercar segment. But it’s not all that surprising, too, if you consider the people who worked on the Valkyrie, including the one and only Adrian Newey, a man who is considered one of the best car designers and aerodynamicists in the world.

Dunn described the Valkyrie as Newey’s dream project, in part because he was given the design freedom to incorporate F1 technologies into the car without having to worry about specific race regulations that would’ve forbid him from designing a car the he wants to.

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You can see certain elements of that design freedom in the Valkyrie, none more prominent than the massive rear venturis on the tail section.

The size of these venturis — or diffusers, in easier lingo — isn’t allowed in Formula One, but you can see them, plain as day, on the Valkyrie. Their sheer size and overall shape, combined with the aerodynamic shape of the Valkyrie’s underside, results in the kind of downforce the Valkyrie needs to reach a high level of grip on the road surface, all while dramatically reducing forms of aerodynamic drag that would’ve otherwise compromised the hypercar’s performance.

These venturis play just one part of the Valkyrie’s complicated aerodynamic puzzle.

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The Aston Martin’s rear wing isn’t as big as the ones we’ve seen in other hypercars.

In keeping with how every detail about the Valkyrie is laid out meticulously, there’s a reason the hypercar doesn’t have a big rear wing. The ground effects generated by the venturis already accomplish some of the tasks that a bigger rear wing accomplishes. That said, the wing still plays a critical role in reducing the amount of drag generated by the hypercar, particularly at high speeds.

Metallic license plates, anyone?

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If you need any more proof of the uniqueness of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, look no further than the hypercar’s license plate holder that sits just below the top-mounted exhaust pipes.

Dunn disclosed that the amount of gas temperature that comes out of the tailpipes can run up to 950 degrees Celsius, or almost 1,750 degrees Fahrenheit. The gas temperature released by the exhausts forced Aston Martin to get creative on the surrounding components that would’ve otherwise melted when subjected to that kind of heat, including the license plates that are located just below the exhaust tips.

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So, instead of using normal plates that would otherwise melt like a blob of cheese from the gas temperature released by the exhausts, Aston Martin resorted to a neat solution.

The carmaker managed to secure an agreement with relevant authorities to develop special metallic number plates specifically for the Valkyrie, and the Valkyrie alone.

Zero shortage of power and performance

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Part of what makes the Aston Martin Valkyrie so desirable is Aston Martin’s decision to use a Cosworth-built 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V-12 engine.

The powerplant not only produces a whopping 1,000 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque but is also capable of redlining at 11,000 rpm.

A hybrid battery system developed by Rimac is included in the powertrain. The hybrid battery acts as a kinetic energy recovery system and is capable of producing 160 horsepower, bringing the Valkyrie’s total horsepower output to 1,160 ponies.

All that power is delivered to the wheels via a seven-speed, single-clutch paddle-shift transmission that was developed specifically for the Valkyrie by Ricardo. From a standstill position, the Valkyrie is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

Aston Martin Valkyrie specifications
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
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The Aston Martin Valkyrie is also a one-of-one in another sense.

It surpasses the 1:1 power-to-weight ratio — it weighs just 1,030 kilos or 2,271 pounds — that very few cars in the industry manage to reach.

The Valkyrie finally gets to play on a race track

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All that power and performance should translate to a spectacle on the road.

For the first time ever, we get to see the Aston Martin Valkyrie in action at Silverstone with the company’s development driver, Darren Turner, behind the wheel.

The onboard view of the Valkyrie rampaging along the famous British race track gave us a quick glimpse at the cabin of the hypercar, and you can tell off the bat that it’s not the most spacious interior in the world.

Granted, the cabin is still set up for testing purposes, which explains the array of computers, extra display screens, and wires all over the place.

This sort of equipment is there to send telemetry back to Aston Martin’s engineers in the garage as testing and development of the hypercar continues. The interior should look markedly different without this temporary hardware and Aston Martin gets to dress it more to its likeness.

If you’ve made it that far in the video, you at least get the chance to listen to that hell-raising naturally aspirated V-12 get put through its paces. The sheer symphony of noise is intoxicating, and if you haven’t dialed up the volume by now, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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