GAYDON, ENGLAND - With a redline of just over 11 100rpm, the 6.5-litre V12 engine that’s fitted to the Aston Martin Valkyrie has been described as the ultimate expression of the internal combustion engine.
Why then, would you not want to hear it in all its glory? The answer to that question comes in the form of the long-overdue Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider, which is an open top version of the British carmaker’s most extreme car ever.
The Valkyrie’s V12 hybrid powertrain remains unaltered, with 850kW and 900Nm on command, but Aston Martin has made alterations to the hypercar’s carbon fibre structure, while also reconfiguring the active aerodynamic and chassis system to ensure that the driving experience remains optimal when the roof is down. To accommodate its open-top format, the regular Valkyrie’s gullwing doors make way for front-hinged units that swing upwards.
Aston Martin says the Valkyrie Spider is only marginally heavier than its closed-roof counterpart, however it has not listed the kerb weight or acceleration figures as yet. The company does, however, mention a top speed of 330km/h with the top down, and 350km/h when the lightweight removable roof panel is in place.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider has a truly impressive aerodynamics package that allows the car to achieve downforce levels of up to 1400kg at 240km/h. A key component here is its set of full-length Venturi tunnels, located on either side of the cabin, which pull huge quantities of air beneath the car to feed to the rear diffuser.
As per the closed-roof Valkyrie, the Spider has a driver-focused cabin that positions the driver close to the centre of the car. In keeping with the car’s track-focused character, occupants are strapped in with six-point harnesses.
“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,” said Red Bull Racing’s technical boss Adrian Newey.
“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.”
Production of the Aston Martin Valkyrie Spyder will be limited to just 85 units, in both right-hand drive and left-hand drive configurations.