Aston Martin’s Formula One-inspired Valkyrie aims to take road-car performance to whole new level, but one of its most high-tech features may be the way it helps drivers get comfortable.
That’s because Aston plans to take 3D scans of customers’ bodies in order to make personalized driver’s seats. Aston Martin Asia Pacific president Patrik Nilsson revealed the plan to CNBC in a recent interview. Snug-fitting seats are important, as keeping the driver firmly planted behind the steering wheel is no laughing matter in a car like the Valkyrie.
“We’re not focused on maximum top speed. We are focused on how dynamic the car is,” Nilsson told CNBC. “Much like in Formula One, the winning car is the one that brakes the quickest, goes around the corner the quickest, and accelerates the quickest. Not necessarily the one with top speed.”
Custom seats are common in racing, although they’re usually created through the low-tech method of pouring foam around the driver. Aston customers will probably appreciate the automaker’s more sophisticated approach to personalization, although custom-fitted seats will also put some pressure on them not to gain any weight.
Formerly known as the AM-RB 001, the Valkyrie is the product of a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing, the energy drink giant’s Formula One team. The partners are planning both road and track cars, and expect the track version to be able to keep up with an LMP1 Le Mans prototype race car.
To achieve that performance, the Valkyrie will have a 6.5-liter V12 built by racing-engine specialist Cosworth, and a hybrid system from Rimac, the Croatian firm responsible for the insane Concept One electric supercar. Aston is aiming for a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio, meaning the Valkyrie will have one horsepower for every kilogram of weight. The only car to achieve that so far is the 1,341-horsepower Koenigsegg One:1.
All of this comes at a price rumored to be around $3 million. Aston will build 150 road-going versions of the Valkyrie and 25 track versions, for a total of 175. Deliveries begin in 2019.