The manufacturer opens up to us about the Valkyrie's potential.
It’s a foregone conclusion that Aston Martin’s incredible Valkyrie is going to be fast. Correction – very fast, and not just in a gut-sucking acceleration sort-of way. We had a chance to chat with Aston Martin Vice-President and Chief Special Operations Officer David King about that, and while we couldn’t pull any juicy new Valkyrie information from him, he did have quite a bit to say about production and performance aspirations for the hypercar, the latter of which are bold to say the very least.
“We’ve publicly stated that there’ll be 150 road cars and a smaller number of track versions, which will be even more highly developed for track use,” he explained. “The road car version is obviously very capable of going on a track as well, but they'll be homologated for the road so they’ll carry all the features you need to make a road legal car, which means they are carrying a little bit more weight, ride a little bit higher and have more creature comforts in.”
As for actual performance of both Valkyrie variants, King is still silent. However, he didn’t deny that one of the benchmarks was to simply have the fastest road-going car ever. Considering current machines like the Bugatti Chiron and the onslaught of electric hypercars that are already setting records, such an achievement is not easily attained. Even more telling, however, was his comment about the track-only version of the Valkyrie.
“Even the road car is going to be extraordinarily fast on a track in the right hands,” he said. “Certainly for the track version we’re into lap times approaching Formula One lap times. That’s definitely within sight.”
There’s certainly room for interpretation as to just what “within sight” means, but to properly understand the enormity of this claim, consider the fastest time ever set by a Formula One car at the Nürburging Nordschleife was 6:58. . . over 40 years ago. The series hasn’t been on the big circuit since 1976, and most people believe modern F1 cars would complete a lap in six minutes or less. If the Valkyrie can get close to a six-minute Nürburgring lap, it would be a complete and total game changer in the automotive realm.
Thing is, we may never know. King suggests Aston Martin isn’t terribly interested in capturing a ‘Ring record.
“The focus at the moment is on conventional race tracks,” he explained. “The simulator work is being done on modern F1 tracks. You make a lot of radical adjustments to come to the Nordschleife with how high the car has to ride for the bumps. I’m sure we’ll give it a run at some point. We had a Vulcan here a few weeks ago. It’s the ultimate track, so it has to be ticked off. But we haven’t set our hearts on any particular lap records at this stage.”
One thing we know for sure is the Valkyrie is coming, and Aston Martin isn’t cutting any corners or leaving anything to chance when it comes to the hypercar’s overall level of performance, be it straight-line or on a track.
“We're getting ready to build prototypes at the end of the year and the physical testing and development of the car, which is along the simulator work that’s still going on,” said King. “For me it’s a really exciting part of the project when you move away from the CAD screens to actually seeing the real car. There’s been a very demanding design phase, as it should be for a car like this. Lots of micro-refinement of performance to a level that we’ve never done before in pursuit of perfection.”