Published on August 13th, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Is The Closest Thing To A Road-Legal F1 Car
Gaydon loses the roof to spawn a Spider version of the Valkyrie
The Aston Martin Valkyrie took a long time to materialise, but once it did, it hit the ground running and hasn’t looked back since. It was only last June when Aston Martin unveiled the hardcore, track-only AMR Pro variant and now, here comes the Spider, which the brand says is capable of delivering “the most comparable experience to that of an F1 car.”
Limited to just 85 units in both left and right-hand drive versions, the Valkyrie Spider comes with a removable hardtop made of carbon fibre with two polycarbonate roof windows hinged on either side. The roof, according to Aston Martin, can simply be “lifted off and stowed away” when the doors are open.
The presence of the removable roof means the coupe’s gullwing doors had to go. Replacing them are front-hinged dihedral doors that tilt forwards. As with other open-top supercars, some changes were made to the carbon-fibre tub, as well as the active aerodynamics and active chassis systems to ensure the Valkyrie Spider is on top of its game.
Of course, there is a weight penalty but Aston Martin says it is “marginal” compared to the coupe. Powering the Valkyrie Spider will be the same Cosworth-built 6.5-litre naturally-aspirated V12 engine, which is assisted by an electric motor mounted in the seven-speed automatic gearbox. The total output is 1,155 PS and 900 Nm of torque.
Despite the additional weight, Gaydon’s latest offering is said to have a performance similar to that of an LMP1 racer. 0-100 km/h sprint time is unknown but the hybrid hypercar is capable of achieving a top speed of over 330 km/h with the roof off or 350 km/h with the roof on. The recalibrated aerodynamics allow the car to generate 1,400 kg of downforce at 240 km/h in track mode.
The new Valkyrie Spider, unveiled today at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is a thrilling next-step in the progression of the Aston Martin Valkyrie bloodline. It promises an even more intense experience. One shaped by the unbeatable sensory stimulus that comes with roof-off driving in one of the world’s most extreme hypercars. One that delivers the most comparable experience to that of an F1® car, not limited to the track.
The pursuit of open-top luxury comes with the challenge of ensuring the core experience remains true to Aston Martin and Adrian Newey’s exacting performance objectives for the original Aston Martin Valkyrie programme. As these positioned Valkyrie at the very cutting-edge of hypercar design and engineering it means the Valkyrie Spider has benefitted from unique engineering solutions born from the combined talents of Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT).
While the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s unique 1155PS hybrid V12 powertrain remains unchanged, the Valkyrie Spider has received revisions to its carbon fibre structure, plus precise recalibration of both the active aerodynamic and active chassis systems. All with an eye to maintaining optimal Valkyrie performance when driven in a roof-off condition.
Key to Valkyrie Spider’s unprecedented performance is the ultra-lightweight construction and high downforce aerodynamics package. The upper body surfaces of the teardrop-shaped cockpit 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 Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider’s extraordinary levels of downforce – >1400kg at 240km/h in track mode – while keeping the upper body surfaces free from additional aerodynamic devices that would spoil the purity of the open-top styling.
By following the same exacting Valkyrie ethos, and with just a marginal weight difference to the Coupe, Valkyrie Spider remains a quintessential package of efficient and lightweight solutions. Capable of achieving a vMAX of 330km/h+ with the roof removed (350km/h+ with roof on), its the fastest and most extreme open-top, road-legal Aston Martin ever built. Delivering LMP1 levels of performance, Valkyrie Spider is simulated to set impressive lap times, not normally achievable in a road-going car.
The same driver focused cabin sits at the heart of Valkyrie Spider. F1® inspired low hip-to-heel height and near-central seat positioning, along with a 6-point safety harness to keep the occupants safely in the car. A centre rear-view camera system along with front and rear parking sensors will aid the driver at both high and low speeds, with displays sitting just above the Instrument Panel.
Valkyrie Spider features a bespoke, removable lightweight roof comprising of a carbon fibre central panel, latching 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 simply be lifted off and stowed away. Modifications to the carbon fibre tub have been made to support the removable roof panels and the luxury open-top layout, as well as new doors. The now front-hinged dihedral doors, which are unique to Valkyrie Spider, have been redesigned to tilt forwards.
The task of implementing these changes will be completed by Aston Martin’s engineering team, who are also responsible for managing the test and verification process. Extensive use of powerful simulation tools means development of the Valkyrie Spider is already well underway, ahead of the build and physical testing of the first development prototypes.
Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Tobias Moers said: “The Aston Martin 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 whilst maximising enjoyment for the driver.”
Following unprecedented demand, the 85 examples of the Valkyrie Spider are over subscribed and allocations will begin shortly, available in both left and right-hand drive derivatives, with first deliveries scheduled for H2 2022.
Valkyrie Spider will be on display at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California (USA) from 12 August – 15 August 2021, viewing by invitation only.