For high speed enthusiasts, there is nothing more exciting than being in a Formula 1 car driving down the straights. Leave the race circuit and there is little that can compete with that experience on the road. Unless you are driving the limited edition, Valkyrie Spider from Aston Martin, according to the company.
Revealed recently at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California, Spider is the third variant in the Valkyrie series from Aston Martin. The concept car was revealed in 2016 and it has taken a while to come to production. But the company is adding some thrills to the duo of Coupé and Pro versions the company had revealed earlier.
Inspired by the sensory feel of the F1 car, the Spider is designed with a roof that you can remove and stow away. To accommodate the removable roof, designers replaced the gull-wing doors with dihedral ones that tilt forwards. "What you see is a simple removable roof panel, but the challenge of remaining true to the Valkyrie concept was anything but," said Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull Racing, who collaborated on the car's design. He added, "Maintaining aerodynamic performance with the roof removed was of paramount importance, likewise keeping any unavoidable weight gains to an absolute minimum whilst maximizing enjoyment for the driver."
To compensate for the loss in aerodynamics due to the open-roof design, the engineers delivered a higher downforce for the Spider. The contours on the car follow the space between the full-length Venturi tunnels on either side of the cockpit, which generate over 3000 pounds (1400 kg) of downforce. With just a marginal weight difference with the Coupé, Spider can reach a top speed of 205 miles (330 km) per hour in its open-roof configuration. With the roof placed back on again, it nears the 220 miles (350 km) per hour mark.
Along with bringing the F1 speeds to the car, Aston Martin also brings in the six-point harness that keeps the drivers safe inside the cockpit. Since the car will be used in real-world scenarios, it is also armed with front and rearview parking sensors to aid the driver at all speeds.
"The driving experience promises to be truly sensational," said Tobias Moers, CEO, Aston Martin. "The sound of that 6.5-liter V12 engine revving to over 11,000rpm with the roof removed is something I cannot wait to hear."
However, with only 85 cars to go into production, including the left and right-hand drives, only a lucky few will get their hands on this truly Formula 1 inspired car that is likely to be delivered in the second half of next year.