Aston Martin’s 1139-HP Valkyrie Spider Loses Roof, Gains Thrills
Aston Martin has already sold all 85 copies of the newly revealed Valkyrie Spider.
The car has the same 6.5-liter Cosworth V-12 as the regular Valkyrie, working with a hybrid system to reach total output of 1139 horsepower.
That top is removable, not folding, as the sinuous shape of the Valkyrie left no room for a mechanism.
When we rode next to Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers in a Valkyrie prototype at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last month, he hinted that we would be seeing another Valkyrie variant. We didn’t have to wait long; the British sports-car company has just unveiled the open-topped Valkyrie Spider at Pebble Beach in California.
Just 85 examples of the Spider will be built and, in bad news for any multimillionaires who are just reading about the car for the first time, Aston says the whole run has already been allocated to buyers. And that’s despite an undisclosed price that is likely higher than that of the $3.5 million coupe.
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Mechanically the Spider is unchanged from the roof-wearing Valkyrie, with power coming from a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated Cosworth V-12 that will rev to 11,500 rpm and make up to 987 horsepower by itself. This will work in conjunction with a hybrid system that takes the total output to 1139 horsepower. As on a race car, the Spider’s engine is mounted directly to the car’s carbon-fiber tub without an insulating subframe. From our passenger ride at Goodwood, we already know the engine is almost painfully loud when working hard, yet it sounds amazing. The lack of a roof will likely enhance both of those qualities still further for occupants.
The Spider’s roof is removable rather than being a conventional folding hood; the Valkyrie’s tightly sculpted shape leaves nowhere for a bulky mechanism to go. The three elements are a central carbon-fiber spar that forms a targa-style link between the windscreen and rear of the car’s carbon tub, then a pair of hinged clear polycarbonate “roof windows” that clip in on each side. These locate against new front-hinged dihedral doors that have, necessarily, replaced the Valkyrie coupe’s roof-hinged gullwings. Unusually for a roadster, the side windows seem to always remain in place, since the minimal doors have no space for an opening mechanism.
The upshot is that, with its roof in place, the Spider should be able to get close to matching the aerodynamic performance of the Valkyrie coupe—with most of the car’s downforce created by the vast diffuser and Venturi tunnels that run around the cockpit. Aston claims it will have up to 3080 pounds of downforce at 150 mph in its track mode. While roof-off performance won’t be as aerodynamically efficient, rushing airflow will likely make the car feel even more thrilling. Aston has not revealed if the Spider carries any weight penalty but says it will be able to achieve a top speed of more than 217 mph with its roof in place and 205 mph with it removed.
Production of the Valkyrie Spider will follow that of the coupe, with customer deliveries starting in the second quarter of 2022. So what do you think, roof or not?