Aston’s hypercar melds both aesthetics and aerodynamics
Since its first reveal in July 2016, Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies have been working intensively to further develop the aerodynamics, body styling, and cockpit packaging of the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar.
The teardrop-shaped cockpit’s upper body surfaces and lower tub contours follow the envelope of space available between the huge full length Venturi tunnels that run either side of the cockpit floor.
Drawing huge quantities of air beneath the car to feed the rear diffuser, these tunnels are the key to generating the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s extraordinary levels of downforce while keeping the upper body surfaces free from additional aerodynamic devices that would spoil the purity of the styling.
The seats are mounted directly to the tub to maximize interior space with occupants adopting a reclined ‘feet-up’ position reminiscent of today’s Formula One and Le Mans Prototype race cars. It also assures the driver’s and passenger’s safety while feeling completely at one with the car, and features a standard four-point harness, while an optional six-point harness will be offered for those who are really in to track driving.
To minimize the distractions and to make the driver more focused on the road, the Aston Martin Design Team put all the switchgears on the steering wheel, and the car’s vital information are shown on a single OLED display screen. The detachable steering wheel aids the Valkyrie’s ingress and egress, and to also serve as an additional security device.
The glasshouse design ensures virtually uninterrupted forward and peripheral side-to-side vision. The stylistic ‘clutter’ traditional door mirrors have been replaced by mounted rear faced cameras in each of the car’s flanks to avoid any unwanted aerodynamic disturbance.
One of the biggest changes in this latest model are openings in the body surface between the cockpit and front wheel arches to achieve considerable gains in front downforce. It was then the job of the Aston Martin Design Team to integrate these new apertures into the overall design and ensure they had aesthetic merit as well as aerodynamic function.
Apart from aerodynamics and downforce, the Aston Martin Valkyrie also features striking headlights, which was inspired from the pure functionality of a Formula One’s car components. With the low and high beam elements attached to an intricate exposed anodized aluminum frame, not only are the headlamp units a work of art, but they are 30-40 percent lighter than the lightest series production headlamps available to Aston Martin.
The Aston Martin ‘wings’ badge that adorns the nose, the design team came up with a chemical etched aluminum badge just 70 microns thick that’s 30 percent thinner than a human hair, and a remarkable 99.4 percent lighter than the regular enamel wings badge. The badge (nicknamed the ‘lacewing’) is then attached to the painted body and covered with a perfectly smooth coat of lacquer.
Further detail innovations can be found at the rear of the car, with the center high mounted stop light (CHMSL). Mounted on the tip of the small shark’s fin that runs down the spine of the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s airbox and rear bodywork, the light is just 5.5mm wide and 9.5mm high. Illuminated by a red LED it is the world’s smallest CHMSL and evidence of how every element of the Aston Martin Valkyrie is scrutinized in the pursuit of eliminating unnecessary weight and drag.