Few cars exemplify this like the Aston Martin Valkyrie, which you can see on display at the Earls Court Motor Show presented by Sky Cinema. When the Valkyrie starts to hit the streets at the end of 2019 it should be nothing short of the best performing car in the world.
Aston Martin has been developing the car in conjunction with Formula 1 outfit Red Bull Racing – in fact it was originally known as AM-RB 001, before gaining its traditional Aston Martin V-name.
It’s unsurprising then to find that the car uses a lot of F1 and F1-derived technology. There’s no steel used anywhere in the vehicle structure, just carbon fibre. Huge ducts under the car’s floor provide significant downforce in conjunction with the car’s upper bodywork.
Along with the extensive use of carbon fibre, Aston Martin has paid a lot of attention to weight saving. Even the traditional enamel “wings” badge on the nose is a new, lightweight alternative. This etched aluminium badge is only two-thirds as thick as a human hair and weighs so little that it’d take 200 of them to balance out a regular item. That helps the Valkyrie to its kerb weight target of around 1,100kg.
The interior uses a lot of carbon fibre as well. This includes the two seats, which are padded only in the areas you’re likely to come into contact with them. There’s no traditional instrument binnacle, just an LCD screen in the centre of the steering wheel.
You’ll also find a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), similar to those found in F1, to deploy extra power via an electric motor from Integral Powertrain. With Croatian EV supercar specialist Rimac providing the battery, the electrical system generates around 160hp, with 280Nm of torque.
That’s a mere helper alongside the main power unit. This is a brand new, 6.5-litre V12 engine from Cosworth, which provides 1,000hp, at 10,500rpm, along with 750Nm (555lb ft) of torque at 6,000rpm. Cosworth doesn’t rely on turbocharging here either – the engine is naturally aspirated. With the combined power of the two, the Valkyrie should easily eclipse the 1:1 power to weight ratio – 1hp for every 1kg. Even the engine itself is only 200kg.
The Earls Court display is a rare opportunity to get up close with the Valkyrie, but Aston Martin is already conducting road tests in its disguised verification prototype car. First deliveries should start later this year, but all 150 examples are already sold.