It's apparently business as usual at Aston Martin, where engineers on the Valkyrie project have moved testing from the track to the road this month. They're working to get the 1,176hp hypercar and its ultra-high-revving Cosworth V12 ready for its delivery date in the second half of 2020, using the public roads near Aston Martin's development centre at Silverstone to get the job done. The team is the same as before; esteemed high-performance test driver, Chris Goodwin, continuing to work with engineers from both Aston and its partner, Red Bull Advanced Technologies.
If the Mercedes-AMG One's development is anything to go by, this on-road stage will be the Valkyrie's toughest yet. AMG's F1-engined machine had struggled with heat management at low speeds, which is not surprising given the original intentions for that turbocharged and hybrid V6 powerplant. Cosworth's 6.5-litre may hold a natural advantage on the road thanks to its lack of blowers, but then again, this hybridised motor revs to 11,100rpm. A jam on the A43 probably won't be its preferred habitat.
Aston knows a thing or two about road tuning, though, with Goodwin and the firm's engineers having proven their worth time and time again in its latest sports cars. The Valkyrie's active suspension may even enable the chassis to soften off somewhat; indeed, we know high performance doesn't always equate to horrendous road holding - see Ferrari's bumpy road mode for arguably the strongest example of that. And with rear view cameras aboard, visibility around the cocooning cockpit need not be restricted.
Of course, that assumes that many of the 150-run Valkyries will be subjected to regular road use. Each will be priced from £2.6 million, with practically everything to go onto their carbon frames and bodies honed to enable prototype-aping track performance. Don't forget, this is a car that's set to generate up to 1,816kg of downforce and is pledged to lap Silverstone as fast as a Formula 1 car. Road driving, you might imagine, will be used mostly to get to the car to and from the nearest circuit.
Previous story - 29/11/19
Aston Martin wowed the Silverstone crowds when it debuted the Valkyrie on track before July’s British Grand Prix. Those not in attendance were left in considerably less awe by the resulting video, however, which failed to really capture much of the drama of the 1,176hp hypercar’s Cosworth V12.
That’s a wrong that’s been partly righted by a new video posted to Youtube by anytimespy. We say partly because, while it claims to show the first fully-functional Valkyrie prototype being demoed for customers earlier this month, there are a couple of factors holding both car and driver back.
Firstly there are the conditions, which are of the sort you might expect in Northamptonshire in November, compelling the driver to short shift before the engine gets close to its 11,100rpm redline. Then there’s the presence of a muffler, a fixture which won’t be present on the production version, but serves to dampen things further still.
Nonetheless, the drive-bys captured here give the best indication yet of how fantastic the Valkyrie should sound in its final form. And besides, it’s not too often that you get to witness a high-revving V12 in a new car these days, best enjoy it while we can!
You'll know all about the Valkyrie by now. In fact, so well covered has its protracted development process been that you'd be forgiven for thinking this moment came and went months ago. It has finally happened for real, though, the 1,176hp machine's public debut took place on Saturday, and what better location to debut a British marque's F1-derived hypercar than the Silverstone GP?
Aside from being its first public outing the lap was one of the first times that the Valkyrie has been driven full stop, all the work previously has involved months of digital modelling and simulation by both Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies. It won't be the last time spectators get a chance to see the car on track, though, with Aston Martin having confirmed its entry into the new WEC hypercar class, set to begin in 2021.
The lap itself was largely uneventful, with driver Chris Goodwin understandably staying well within the car's comfort zone. It did, however, mark an important milestone in the project's development, with the first deliveries from the sold-out 150-car run expected to commence by the end of the year.
On completing the lap, Chris Goodwin said, "I've driven this car around Silverstone for countless hours on the simulator at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's HQ and in many other sportscars throughout my career, but to drive Aston Martin Valkyrie here today feels exceptionally special. Of course, we still have a lot of development work to go but we can now begin to really push the physical testing process and realise the capabilities of what we have developed over the past months. Putting that aside, today has brought a real smile to my face and I hope that the crowds watching from the stands enjoyed it as much as I did."
Valkyrie designer and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing CTO, Adrian Newey, added: "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."
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