Aston Martin Valkyrie Hypercar: Exterior and Interior Design Revealed
since the first reveal of the aston martin ‘valkyrie hypercar‘ in july 2016, aston martin, red bull advanced technologies and AF racing have been working intensively to further develop the ‘valkyrie’s’ aerodynamics, body styling and cockpit packaging. a glance inside the otherworldly vehicle’s cockpit reveals a F1-style reclined driving position, and minimalist ergonomics.
all images © aston martin
the aston martin ‘valkyrie’s’ teardrop-shaped cockpit’s upper body, and lower tub contours, follow an envelope of space 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 generate the hypercar’s extraordinary levels of downforce, while keeping the upper body surfaces free from additional aerodynamic devices that would spoil the purity of the styling.
to maximize interior space the seats are mounted directly to the tub, with occupants adopting a reclined ‘feet-up’ position reminiscent of today’s formula one and le mans prototype race cars, ensuring driver and passenger are extremely safe, perfectly supported and feel completely at one with the car. the british manufacturer’s design team were keen to keep distractions to a minimum and focus the driver on the road ahead. with this in mind, all switchgears are located on the steering wheel, with all the vital signs shown on a single oLED display screen. the steering wheel is also detachable, both to aid ingress and egress, and to serve as an additional security device.
great attention has been taken with the glasshouse design to ensure forward and peripheral side-to-side vision is virtually uninterrupted. to avoid any unwanted aerodynamic disturbance or stylistic ‘clutter’ traditional door mirrors have been replaced by discreetly mounted rear facing cameras in each of the ‘valkyrie’s’ flanks. these feed two displays which are positioned at the base of each a-post to mimic the view provided by conventional door mirrors. the all-enveloping bodywork and roof-mounted engine air intake means there is no rear window, negating the requirement for a rear-view mirror.
while aerodynamics and downforce are the dominant story, aston martin’s hypercar features some attractive details. some of the most striking are the headlights, which take inspiration from the pure functionality of a formula one car’s components. the ‘valkyrie’s’ designers stripped things back to the bare essentials, celebrating the engineering rather than concealing it behind cladding. with the low and high beam elements attached to an intricate exposed anodised aluminum frame not only are the headlamp units a work of art, but they are 30-40 per cent lighter than the lightest series production headlamps available to the brand.
the same approach has been taken with the aston martin ‘wings’ badge that adorns the nose. with the regular badge considered too heavy, and a simple sticker not befitting for a car of the ‘hypercar’s’ quality and cutting-edge nature, the design team came up with a chemical etched aluminum badge just 70 microns thick. that’s 30 per cent thinner than a human hair, and a remarkable 99.4 per cent 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 details can be found at the rear of the car, with the centre high mounted stop light (CHMSL). mounted on the tip of the small shark’s fin that runs down the spine of the ‘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 is scrutinized in the pursuit of eliminating unnecessary weight and drag.
aston martin’s creative director of exterior design, miles nurnberger, comments, ‘I would say we’re around 95 per cent of the way there with the exterior design. much of what you see is actually the structure of the car, so this had to be signed-off relatively early in the project. the remaining areas of non-structural bodywork are still subject to evolution and change as adrian [newey] continues to explore way of finding more downforce. the new outlets in the body are a case in point. ordinarily the last thing we’d want to do to one of our surfaces is cut a hole in it, but these vents work the front wings so much harder that they’ve found a significant gain in front downforce. the fact that they are so effective gives them their own functional beauty, but we’ve finessed them without impacting on their functionality. that they also serve as windows through which to view the fabulous wing section front wishbones is a welcome bonus!’