Could the Valkyrie be quicker than the 919 Evo?
According to the Principal of the Red Bull Racing team… yes.
Christian Horner, Team Principal of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, has made an interesting claim in light of Porsche’s outright record at the Nürbugring last week. He claimed that the Aston Martin Valkyrie, and not his team’s F1 car, stood the best chance of beating the absolutely insane lap time of 5:19.545.
“I’m not sure a Formula 1 car could actually do it, but I think that the Valkyrie—certainly the track version of the Valkyrie—could be a contender,” he told RaceFans.
Porsche’s 919 Hybrid Evo knocked almost a minute off the long-standing record of 6:11.3, which was set by a Porsche 956 35 years prior; clearly the 919 will take some beating. But could Horner be right… could the Adrian Newey-inspired hypercar do better? First off, if you haven’t seen the video of Porsche’s lap, do yourself a favour: go watch.
The Valkyrie has been co-developed with the Red Bull Racing team; it benefits from a mid-mounted F1 powertrain, a naturally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 (thanks to the British firm Cosworth), and a lightweight hybrid battery system (which differs greatly from a traditional one) that enhances torque during take-off and bestows a significant amount of additional power. Combined, we should expect north of 1000 bhp.
Aston Martin have utilized materials and parts, probably mined from asteroids, that are more advanced than anything found in top rung racers. The team have built the car around a carbon fibre tub prioritising aerodynamics over aesthetics. Although, admittedly, it’s a beautiful machine. Perhaps beauty is not so much in the eye of the beholder, as it is in the streamline of an object.
Key to the Valkyrie’s aerodynamics are the full-length “venturi” tunnels, prominent features that run along the cockpit floor either side of the passenger pod. These direct air beneath the car in such a way that a massive amount of downforce is generated; notice that the team have avoided drag inducing wings. The car could end up producing more than 1810 kg of downforce at top speed.
Just to give an idea of the extent to which the team have gone to optimise efficiency and performance: the front badge, which was deemed too heavy, is now a chemically etched aluminium badge at 70 microns thick, covered in a thin layer of lacquer to protect it.
Unsurprisingly, only 150 road-legal Valkyries will be made, 99 of them arriving this year with 24 track-only editions following. The price tag lies somewhere between £2-3 million, just a tad more expensive than a Chiron. Which is fair enough, especially if it holds its own among the next gen of hypercars, which will include the highly anticipated Mercedes-AMG Project One.
Roll on Nürbugring!