The Formula 1 design legend’s quest for downforce, downforce and even more downforce is plain to see in this updated second prototype. But while F1-style solutions dictate the aerodynamic function, Aston Martin’s design team under Marek Reichman have married it to an aesthetic form entirely true to the original but – in our view at least – even more spectacular.
That, of course, is entirely befitting of what is billed as the closest thing yet to an F1 car for the road, offering LMP1-matching pace on a circuit while still able to take two people on a touring holiday in air-conditioned comfort.
It was always clear that the only Valkyrie so far seen – most recently on the Michelin stand at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard – had a way to go before the 150 road cars (plus 25 track-only versions) were built. The original car’s headlights, for example, were merely drawn on. Other details were far from resolved.
Now 95 per cent of the car, according to director of exterior design, Miles Nurnberger, is finished. Handily that’s exactly two months before what promises to be its nemesis, the Mercedes-AMG hypercar powered by a real F1 engine, is due to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Alas at this stage while we can savour the best pictures yet of the Aston’s interior and exterior design, we still can only speculate on figures such as 1,000bhp, 1,000kg weight and a price between £2-3 million, with first deliveries in 2019.
What we do know is that, incredibly given the car’s compact size and almost fragile appearance, somewhere under that carbon fibre skin is a drivetrain comprising a bespoke 6.5-litre naturally-aspirated V12 Cosworth engine, with a Rimac hybrid battery electric system and a tailor-made seven-speed paddle shift transmission from Ricardo. Guess it takes the packaging genius of Adrian Newey – F1’s most successful designer with a record 10 world championship-winning F1 cars – to pull that off.