Formule 1-techniek in Aston Martin Valkyrie | Sjoerds Weetjes 292

Formule 1-techniek in Aston Martin Valkyrie | Sjoerds Weetjes 292

Show Video

My name is Sjoerd van Bilsen. I put a magnifying glass under some of the peculiarities of car models. Or discuss with you some of the special items to be found on a car. Welcome to a new episode of Sjoerds' Weetjes. It is six years ago since I visited the Aston Martin factory in Engeland to celebrate the birth of a new model; the Aston Martin AM-RB-001. The designation AM-RB-001 stands for Aston Martin Red Bull. And Red Bull advanced technologies was the partner in this joint development.

So this is the production version of the car which I saw six years ago in the Aston Martin factory. Back then; it was still a design study. But that design study was to be developed into this hypercar. Development of the car proved to be somewhat of a challenge. And that is why only now can I show you the production version of that AM-RB-001 car. And we are now in the year 2022. But it is an insane car; as crazy as hypercars can get. And it looks different in real life as opposed to the images in the media or even on this video. But then this is a kind of LMP1 car for the public road. But in its DNA are a lot of technical parts that can be directly based on the technology used in the Formula One. Of course; the partner of Aston Martin was Red Bull Advanced Technologies. And I am not talking about the powerdrink, but about the company which operates in the Formula One world. To put it another way; this car is brimming with Formula One technology. And everything about this car is extreme.

It was actually the personal dream of Adrian Newey; the well-known engineer responsible for Formula One cars, to develop a car full of Formula One technology, but one which would be road legal. And that dream of Adrian Newey became a reality. Thanks to the efforts of the teams both at Red Bull Advance Technologies and Aston Martin. But they soon discovered that Adrian was one hell of a smart engineer.... They made it work somehow; to develop a road legal car full of Formula One technology. It is quite bizarre, isn't it? And the codename of this car is AM-RB-001...Which sounds like there would be a 002 and more to follow. And Aston Martin confirmed that ... The 003 model would become the car now known as the Aston Martin Valhalla. That car will be introduced later. And then there is the 002. That is the racing version of this car. That would be track legal and not for the public road. But then there are actually three versions of the AM RB001. The AM-RB-001 now lives by the name Valkyrie and there are three versions; the Coupe seen here called the Valkyrie. Then there is the track-only version called the Pro and on top of that there is a Spyder version; the open version of this car.

But when I visited Aston Martin back in 2016; I asked the then boss of the Motorsport department David King whether a Spyder version was on the cards; he answered "of course not". And that is because a car like this, with this DNA, is by its very nature a Coupe version. And the reason is because a fixed roof makes out the very difficult structure of a carbon monocoque. It is simply needed for stiffness. But then; this car is available in a Spyder version. There will be 85 Spyder versions, 40 units of the track only not road legal Pro version and 150 units of the car I am standing next to; the Valkyrie coupe. So why did the Spyder version eventually make it past the drawing board phase? Well, probably in order to make the project break even or at least financially sound. Because I can tell you that this project costed a lot of money. And selling more cars means that you can keep the asking price within a certain limit. The price tag is hefty anyhow; this car will cost you, before taxes; 3 million Euros. And after taxes? Well, something in the region of 3,3 million Euros.

But hey; you will get a Dutch registration plate after paying all that money. This car has a CO2 emission level of 543 grams/kilometre. It is one big tax bomb for the Dutch government; since they calculate the amount of tax based on the CO2 emissions. I think the Dutch ministry of Finance will be very thankful to the new owner of this car; since he or she will pay some 200.000 Euros in taxes. But then this is a hypercar since it produces more than 1,000 horsepower. The final price is 3,3 million Euros. But then if you ask me; that is a bargain. Because everything with this car comes down to the smallest detail. It is worked out in the tiniest of details. It has a great story to tell in terms of the total development history. And of course; if Aston Martin were engaged in the development of this car; it also means that it wears an Aston Martin logo. Even if that has to be a very light logo. But that is true to the DNA of this car; keeping the total weight as low as possible. The logo actually only weighs 0,4 grams. Because the true nature of this car is to be inspired by Formula One technology; then that means that the logo has to be light as well. Aston Martin might have chosen to just put a sticker on the car...but then they found that solution not fitting with the brands' philosophy. The logo is actually placed under the bare paint of this that it does not even impede the aerodynamics as such.

Aerodynamics play an important role with this car. Just look at the driver and passenger compartment. It was not drawn from the inside out.... But rather the aerodynamics played the important role in the development. So the passengers just have to live with a cramped space I suppose. Aston Martin did have their doubts about the living space inside the cabin and argued that a broader cuppola might be handy. But then the project as such was started again a few times.... You will have to consider that you are designing a car which is street legal and therefore offer some more level of comfort than a Formula One car.

If I open the door to the cars' inner compartment. You will see that the central console between the driver and the passenger is very small; actually it is only 3 centimetres wide.... the wiring harness runs right through the middle of it. But it all houses the packaging. There was discussion about the format and size of the cuppola. Aston Martin might have indicated that they needed a central console, fitted between the drivers' and passenger seat which was 4 centimetres wide...I am only quoting a figure here, since I don't know it exactly. But then Adrian Newey, the chief engineer, might have said that the central console might get a width increase of just 3 mm and a about someone who is really talking about the smallest detail and then the detail in focus.

Adrian Newey really knows what the effect will be when even the smallest of changes are made to a car. I spoke with Marek Reichman who is the chief designer at Aston Martin. He is impressed by the enormous anologue way of thinking that Adrian Newey possesses. He really can pinpoint to the smallest detail. And he quoted some figures with regard to size and when the engineers at Aston Martin subsequently processed those figures in the computer; they came up with the same results. Marek Reichman found the collaboration with Adrian Newey very interesting and was impressed by the mans' knowledge and attention to detail.

But then there are so many things I can tell you about this car. We were talking about the compartment where driver and passenger sit. The seats are actually fixed to the carbon monocoque. You see; if you create seats which can be moved; then there is the constraint of the living space within the cuppola. There is really very limited space. That will undoubtedly lead to persons who cannot buy this car; or even get into it. Perhaps persons longer than 2 metres. There were more than 370 people interested in buying this car. Aston Martin invited them to sit in the car at their headquarters in Gaydon, England. But a number of people had to cancel their order, simply because they did not fit into the car. Aston Martin argued that it was a pity for the individuals concerned, but they did not want to change the character of the car. These were the boundaries. Not a car fitted to the individual, but a concept with which you would have to fit in.

Perhaps one of those 370 people interested to buy one of the 150 units available, did buy the car even if they did not fit in. But that would be for investment reasons or because you are a lover of Aston Martin cars or can appreciate it as a work of art. You might call it the Rembrandt of 2022. But as I said; the seats are fixed. And that is because then the engineering team did not have to consider the boundaries of the size inside the passenger compartment. The steering wheel as well as the pedal box can be adjusted though. There is a funny story to the pedal box. Not only did the engineers look at different shoe sizes, but at different sorts of shoes as well.... Aston Martin do offer a special racing package; which comprises of a racing overall and, more importantly, racing shoes... There are actually only two pedals; not only to save weight, but simply because it has to do with the powertrain of this car.

Then there is the way in which you sit into this car. You are slightly positioned towards the middle, like sitting in a V-form, if we look both at driver and passenger. But sitting....well probably it is more lying into the interior of this car. Like in aFormula One car I suppose. Sorry about all the superlatives...but this car is so exciting to see and to talk about. But then; this really is a car with the sole purpose of bringing the Formula One driving experience to the public road. Then there is the steering wheel; it looks the same as the steering wheel of a Formula One racing car. But then the design is the same as that of the Formula One Red Bull racing car of 2015 and racing driver David Coulthard was asked to help with the design. It has alcantara lining. And questions like; what is the ideal form and what is the ideal grip were answered and worked upon. The functions that are most used whilst driving are incorporated into the design of the steering wheel. So there is a button for the neutral gear of the car, but also one to operate the windscreen wiper. Then there are lights to show when to change gears.... So the most used functions are incorporated in the form of buttons. Secondary functions are integrated in the touchscreen function in the heart of the steering wheel.

The team really used the knowledge of former racing driver David Coulthard to optimize the technical abilities of the car, such as the working of the steering wheel. You will also see on the middle of the centre console a second digital touchscreen.... This central touchscreen sits on a bar which sticks well into the interior. The reason is that the dashboard is placed quite a bit towards the front windscreen. There are two reasons why the dashboard is placed so far towards the windscreen. Firstly; if you would extend it into the interior; there would be less space to move in an already cramped interior.....But a longer dashboard would also mean extra weight. That would not comply with the aim of the engineers of this car; to create a Formula One racing car for the public road which weighs as little as possible. The whole aim was to hollow the car out.... What you see on the place of the rearview mirror; is in fact a screen which projects the image that it gets from the camera fitted on the rear of the car. The car does not have a rear window as such. The two digital screens at either side of the dashboard are actually screens which project the images that they get from cameras fitted to the sides of the car. The Valkyrie does not have traditional side view mirrors.

If you start this car; its idling or stationary level is 2,850 rpm ! But then the sound it produces is 98 decibel. That promises to be quite an orchestra! It makes me lyric, although I have still to hear it in person. So what Aston Martin did was to provide the driver and the passenger with special microphones and earplugs. Even if they sit very close; the whole structure of the car means that that V12 engine and the sound it produces, makes any kind of conversation difficult. The whole interior functions like a kind of soundbox. So they will provide a headset, which is integrated in those harness seat belts. Eve nif passenger and driver only sit at 2 centimetres from each other. I can only think of the amazing sound that that mighty V1 engine in the rear must produce.

This Valkyrie has harness seat belts. A normal seat belt mechanism never came into question; because the rolling mechanism of such a seat belt would add extra weight. So the four point harness seat belts are directly fitted onto the carbon fibre monocoque. The door is also very light. All part of the DNA of this car. The strap inside means you can close it. The side windows are made out of polycarbonate to reduce weight whilst the front windscreen is made out of normal glass. But then that would be the case because of safety regulations. So the front windscreen is made out of conventional glass because of European safety regulations. This car has to be homologated. Then there is the windscreen wiper which has a reservoir of one litre. But that is the minimum requirement that the European Union has for road legal cars. And because Aston Martin strived for the lowest weight possible; they kept the reservoir at just one litre. Aston Martin originally thought that the windscreen wiper would come in at a weight of 4,5 kilograms. They managed to cut that weight down to just 2,1 kilograms. But just look at how tiny and intricate it is made out of carbon fibre. But then of course the manufacturer has to comply too with the boundary that the windscreen wiper really cleans a big amount of the glass as possible.

So the body of the Valkyrie is made out of carbon fibre as is the carbon fibre monocoque. If you look under the car; you can clearly see the architecture of a Formula One racing car.... You have all those Venturi wind channels and that enormous diffusor at the rear. Just look at the architecture of those rear light clusters. They have to comply with European safety regulations of course...but they look so intricate. And then there's the design of the rear diffusor.

As I mentioned; carbon fibre plays a big role in the cars' architecture. Then there are those enormous tailpipes. In England; they had a problem that the registration plates used there simply melted away with the enormous heat production of the engine. What is almost an exact copy of the Formula One is this rear end cluster of the rear camera, the 12 Volt socket as well as the towing hook. But added to the camera beneath the diffusor, is the camera fitted onto the engine bay lid. And that camera project the images onto the rearview mirror in the interior. Then there is the tiniest third braking light that I have ever seen on a production car. You can hardly even see it!

I can now open the engine bay lid and what you see clearly is the way the mighty V12 engine is fitted into the body structure of this car. It is a mighty engine but one which had to be specifically designed for this car. You see; Aston Martin produces their own V12 engine, but that was simply too heavy for this car. So a new engine had to be designed to fit within the architecture of this car. So that the aerodynamics as such would not be negatively impacted. The English tuning firm Cosworth were commisioned to design the engine. A 6,5-litre V12 with an angle of 65 degrees.

Commissioning Cosworth to design a new engine probably cost a lot of money. But then there are 150 Valkyrie Coupes to be produced, alongside 40 Pro versions (track only cars, not road legal) and 85 Spyder versions. The engine is coupled to a sequential gearbox with seven speeds and a reverse gear which works on electro power. The Aston Martin Valkyrie weighs a little more than 1,400 kilograms but the engine produces 1,160 horsepower. The electric engine produces 120 kW. The top speed is 355 km/hour. The spyder will produce a top speed of 350 km/hour but with the roof open...more like 330 km/hour.

The whole architecture of the Valkyrie is such that a downforce of 1,400 kilograms is created at a speed of 240 km/hour. You might think that the car is too much pressed to the ground on such an occasion. But Aston Martin have introduced a lifting system whereby the car is lifted a bit as not to put too much pressure on the tyres. The tyres have been exclusively designed for this car; they are the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. There is a track version of that tyre as well; the Cup 2 R version. They are also specifically designed for the Valkyrie model. And as we are talking now about the track possibilities of this car. Aston Martin offer the possibility of ordering two different bodies for this car. It might cost a few quid, but hey you don't want to see scratches on the bodywork do you? There is even the possibility to order a second engine. One you might use for the track...and...anyhow it will set you back half a million Euros. It truly is a sensational has so many details. If you want to know more about can check out the website from our Autovisie commentator Bart Lenaerts who wrote several books on the development of the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

I am telling you the general story about this car; but Bart is keen to share with you all the nitty gritty about the development of the Aston Martin Valkyrie. I anyhow wanted to show you one of the first cars delivered in Holland. Did I already tell you about the carbon ceramic brake pads? They measure 385 mm at the rear and 405 mm in the front. This car has no brake assistance as such. So you want to improve your driving skills before you get behind the steering wheel...the brake pressure on the pedal is some 120 bar. With a normal car; fitted with ABS and brake assistance; that is some 40 bar. So if you are going to drive this car; you will have to handle it with some fierceness...for instance when braking. But I wonder how this car actually drives? The driving experience must be magical. Not to mention that if you are driving your Mini on the highway and you see this in your rearview mirror? You might think, what the hell is that? You might think that a pure racing car somehow got loose and managed to escape onto public territory.... But then this car is made to be a racing car and that is what it is meant to be. But if we talk about servicing such a car; that will not be done by the local Aston Martin dealer. Rather, a team of flying doctors will visit the client and perform maintenance or repairs. That also has to do with the engine, which is of course specifically designed for this Valkyrie.

If the team don't happen to have the neccessary spare parts; then the car will be transported to the factory. As you can see; a special space has been constructed in the inner part of the door; to make room for the side of the headrest.... Aston Martin even offer the possibility of designing your own garage box or pit box at home, if wanted in the colours of your car.... The racing suit and the racing shoes might also be specified in a similar colour as the car itself. So as to work together as a a Formula One racing team. I am sure that I will forget to mention minor details that are interesting to share on this car. But it will not be the last time we will feature it in our program.

We can only hope that the cars which are delivered to lucky Dutch owners, will get a Dutch numberplate and that we can see them on Dutch territory soon.

2022-05-08 12:11

Show Video

Other news