Words: David Lillywhite | Photography: Aston Martin
Aston Martin has revealed the Spider version of its new Valkyrie, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, California.
The Valkyrie’s unique 1155PS hybrid V12 powertrain remains unchanged, but the Valkyrie Spider’s carbonfibre structure has been revised and the active aerodynamic and chassis systems recalibrated to suit the open-top dynamics, making the best of the ultra-lightweight construction and high-downforce aerodynamics.
The upper-body surfaces of the teardrop-shaped cockpit and lower-tub contours follow the envelope of space available between the full-length venturi tunnels that run either side of the cockpit floor. These draw huge quantities of air beneath the car to feed the rear diffuser, and are key to generating the Valkyrie Spider’s massive levels of downforce – 1400kg at 240km/h in track mode – while keeping the upper-body surfaces free from additional aerodynamic devices that would corrupt the styling.
Aston says there’s “just a marginal weight difference to the Coupé”, while a top speed of 330km/h-plus with the roof removed (350km/h-plus with roof on) makes the car the fastest and most extreme open-top, road-legal Aston Martin ever built.
The removable carbonfibre roof latches onto the tub at the rear and to the windscreen surround at the front, along with a pair of polycarbonate roof windows, hinged on either side. On opening the doors, the roof can be lifted off and stowed away. Modifications to the carbonfibre tub have been made to support the removable roof panels and the new front-hinged dihedral doors that are unique to Valkyrie Spider.
Aston Martin chief executive officer Tobias Moers said: “The Valkyrie is the product of incredible innovation and technology, but above all it has always been about emotion. With the Valkyrie Spider we are taking that passion and emotion to the next level. The driving experience promises to be truly sensational. The sound of that 6.5-litre V12 engine revving to over 11,000rpm with the roof removed is something I cannot wait to hear.”
Red Bull Racing’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey said: “Right from the very beginning of the Aston Martin Valkyrie project we were driven by exacting targets that went way beyond any previous road car, and the Valkyrie Spider brings that same ethos to the open-cockpit hypercar category. What you see is a simple removable roof panel, but the challenge of remaining true to the Valkyrie concept was anything but. Maintaining aerodynamic performance with the roof removed was of paramount importance, likewise keeping any unavoidable weight gains to an absolute minimum while maximising enjoyment for the driver.”
The 85 examples of the Valkyrie Spider are said to be oversubscribed, with first deliveries scheduled for the second half of 2022.
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