If the tranquil grounds of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance don’t seem like a perfect place to start a war, guess again. Aston Martin is firing its latest round in the hypercar wars at the famed classic car event with the debut of the 2022 Aston Martin Valkyrie.
Powered by a 6.5-liter V-12 hybrid powertrain producing 1,160 horsepower, revving to 11,000 rpm and reaching 250 mph, the car delivers what its looks promise: F1-level performance for street use. Its appearance is a far cry from the marque’s customarily restrained design.
It’s all about emotion — and technology
“The Aston Martin Valkyrie is the product of incredible innovation and technology, but above all it has always been about emotion,” said Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Tobias Moers in a statement.
That emotion is delivered thanks to a partnership between Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies. The car that emerged from that pairing employs ultra-lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and a design with high aerodynamic downforce.
The removable roof and the car’s tub are also made of carbon fiber; the windows, polycarbonate. The Valkyrie’s dihedral doors are front hinged, and tilt forward, because a car like this can’t have normal doors.
In addition, the Valkyrie incorporates active aerodynamic and active chassis systems that maintain performance even with the roof lowered.
“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,” said Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey.
“Maintaining aerodynamic performance with the roof removed was of paramount importance, likewise keeping any unavoidable weight gains to an absolute minimum whilst maximizing enjoyment for the driver.”
Aerodynamics and weight explain why the car lacks side mirrors. The Valkyrie’s design means it also lacks a rearview mirror. Instead, the rear-facing cameras transmit their images to two displays on the car’s A-pillars,
The inside story
The 2022 Aston Martin Valkyrie’s cabin is teardrop shaped with room for two. Like a Formula One car, the car’s controls are placed on the steering wheel, including an OLED display. Uniquely, the steering wheel is removable, easing entry and exit.
As you might expect, there are some interior choices. Switchgear can be finished in silver, black or red. A four-point harness is standard; a six-point harness is optional. Both are offered in six different colors. And there’s a plethora of seat fabric choices.
There is also a center-mounted infotainment screen, which is deleted on the AMR Pro model.
Want one? Good luck
The company is planning to produce both left- and right-hand drive versions. A total of 85 will be built, and the company is already sold out despite a the estimated seven-figure price tag. Deliveries are expected to begin next year.
And the car’s name? Well, given what it symbolizes, it might be a warning not to use this car’s power foolishly. In Norse mythology, Valkyries are handmaidens of Odin who choose those who live in battle and those who will die. Valkyries then take the slain soldier’s souls to the afterlife hall of Valhalla.
One of many
For those who are paying attention, the number of hypercars is growing.
According to Polaris Market Research, the hypercar market will grow to $110.9 billion by 2026. Many of them are built in Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, the top three hypercar producing nations. These include entries from Koenigsegg, McLaren, Rimac, Mercedes-AMG, Bugatti, Hennessey, Pininfarina, SSC, Lotus, Pagani, Zenvo, Maserati, Ferrari, Gordon Murray, Czinger, Lamborghini and Elation.
All are extremely limited in number and employ electric or hybrid electric powertrains that provide Formula One acceleration, exotic fabrication and outrageous styling. Prices are typically in the seven figures, and the subject of fanboy YouTube videos.
Given what seems like insatiable demand, one might wonder where its coming from, and who has the money to buy them. But there’s a more basic question, one raised by Jim Glickenhaus, a producer of hypercars, in the Los Angeles Times. “Why you would ever need a 2,000-horsepower electric hypercar? I just don’t understand. You’re never going to drive a hypercar to pick up groceries.”
2021 Aston Martin Valkyrie — Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the Aston Martin Valkyrie?
Very pricey. The 85 units are “oversubscribed,” despite an estimated seven-figure price tag, according to Aston Martin.
Is the Aston Martin Valkyrie road legal?
The standard Valkyrie is street legal, but the AMR Pro trim isn’t, as it’s built for track use.
What is the top speed of the Aston Martin Valkyrie?
It can go 400 kph, or 250 mph.