Three prototypes hit the track at Silverstone as development continues.
Aston first teased the Valkyrie nearly four years ago. No production car has yet emerged, though the development of the Aston Martin Valkyrie is ongoing. Progress, however, should increase exponentially now that Aston has three verification prototypes testing instead of just one. The two new verification prototypes took their first laps at Silverstone Circuit with Aston Martin high-performance test driver Chris Goodwin and Aston Martin Racing WEC drivers Darren Turner and Alex Lynn at the wheels. The addition of two more verification prototypes, of which there will be eight, also saw Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon get behind the Valkyrie’s wheel for the first time, and video takes us along for the ride.
The two Red Bull Racing drivers provided feedback to Aston about the car. Verstappen said, “It was amazing to get a first taste of it.” Albon said the Valkyrie looked awesome and that if felt like a race car. “It’s light; it feels sharp,” he said. “It’s pretty special. I just need to get my hands on one!” he added. The additional verification prototypes also signal the next steps of the car’s development.
The Valkyrie is a collaboration between the British automaker and Red Bull Racing, which is why one of the first Valkyrie wears Red Bull Racing’s F1 livery. Powering the Valkyrie isn’t an F1-derived engine though – like the Mercedes-AMG One. Instead, it uses a naturally aspirated Cosworth V12 that alone makes 1,000 bhp (745 kilowatts). However, that’s not the car’s only power source. It’s a hybrid, which means the electric motors boost the car’s total output to 1,160 bhp (865 kW) and 664 pound-feet (900 Newton-metres) of torque.
Once the eight verification prototypes are built, Aston plans to build just 150 examples along with 25 Valkyrie AMR Pro models with a starting price of £2.5 million each. However, all the build slots have buyers. Sorry, Albon.
Gallery: Aston Martin Valkyrie At Silverstone
ASTON MARTIN VALKYRIE: FIRST LAPS FOR FORMULA ONE PROS AS ADDITIONAL PROTOTYPES JOIN TEST REGIME
Goodwin said, “This event has been an incredibly important step in Aston Martin Valkyrie’s story. To have three cars now running will see the rate of physical development for this exceptional hypercar increase exponentially. Both Max and Alex were both really positive of the direction that we’re currently taking and could see that the ingredients for an exceptionally high-performing car are already there ready to be untapped. To have that second opinion and validation doesn’t mean the hard work is done already, but this is a great step on our journey”.
Eight-time Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen came away elated by his first laps in the Valkyrie. He said, “I was here at Silverstone to watch the first runs of the Aston Martin Valkyrie at the British Grand Prix last year but of course it’s always better to be behind the wheel yourself, and to be one of the first guys to drive an insane car like this was really exciting. It was amazing to get a first taste of it”.
He added, “Of course it’s still in the development phase but you can already feel the pace, which compared to a normal car is… pretty different! The Aston Martin Valkyrie and its levels of downforce are incredible, and it looks super aggressive. It was a lot of fun out there.”
For Alex Albon, the Silverstone outing was a first opportunity to see the hypercar in the flesh, and the young star wasn’t disappointed.
Albon said, “It was incredibly exciting to have this opportunity to drive the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the first thing that struck me was the visual aspect – it looks awesome! It also really feels like a racing car,” said the Thai driver. “Max had a go before me, so the anticipation was building, and to get a chance to drive it was really special. Obviously there’s still some development to do, but already it feels very good, especially the balance between the corners. It’s light; it feels sharp. Sure, compared to an F1TM car, you’re missing the outright downforce, but you still feel the Gs in the corners and it definitely reacts closer to an F1TM car than a normal road car. It’s pretty special. I just need to get my hands on one!”.
Aston Martin will continue to build further verification prototypes as the organisation continues to bring customer examples to life in H2 2020.