Words and photos by Atif Kazmi for Por Homme
With this year marking Aston Martin’s 70th anniversary in the American market, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance feels like the perfect backdrop for a celebration that included the global unveiling of the British automaker’s latest hypercar alongside the North American debut of a mid-engine supercar that sits right beneath it. All of this was showcased by Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers and Chairman Lawrence Stroll as they noted tremendous shifts in the manufacturing and efficiencies of the business.
Speaking of business, the F1-inspired Valkyrie Spider means it. With a removable roof panel that allows for the audible notes of the hybridized 6.5-liter V12 Cosworth engine to be even more menacing than in the coupe, Aston Martin’s made an already great thing even greater. Power numbers come in at 1,134 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque while exceptional use of carbon fiber and maximized downforce all help to make the Valkyrie Spider a force to be reckoned with. With track mode engaged, that peak downforce figure comes in at over 1,400 kg at 149 mph. The Venturi tunnels running on both sides of the body help to achieve this as did edits to the active aero and chassis systems to account for the open-air setup. Like its coupe brethren, the Valkyrie Spider revs out to 11,000 rpm and hits a top speed of more than 205 mph with the roof off and north of 217 mph with it on.
Unlike the gullwing doors of the coupe, the Valkyrie Spider gets forward-opening dihedral doors, hinging right at the windscreen instead of the roof. Ingress and egress won’t be easy with the top on but we’re sure you’ll make it happen. Now, the LMP1-inspired cockpit is not spacious by any means but depending on your height, you might still be able to pop in with a helmet on. The Valkyrie Spider is heavily rooted in performance and safety, with the luxury brand taking all the steps necessary to create an exhilarating, confident and safe environment. Low hip-to-heel height, near-central seat positioning, and a 6-point safety harness system all help to protect the passengers. A center rear-view camera feeds into the displays sitting just above the instrument panel, helping to provide visibility where there just isn’t any.
Dropping the roof and still maintaining the aerodynamic performance with the roof removed was no easy task but Aston Martin’s engineering team were able to do it, even keeping weight gains to an absolute minimum in the process. The bespoke, removable roof features a carbon fiber central panel along with a pair of polycarbonate roof windows.
Aston Martin’s heightened their presence at Pebble this year, displaying this new Valkyrie Spider with Aston’s F1 car and the new mid-engine Valhalla. This is the first time North America’s getting to see the supercar, one that leverages AMG’s 4.0-liter V8 and is capped at 999 units.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider is more limited than the coupe version as only 85 examples will be available worldwide. The coupe will start to land to customers later this year while first deliveries of the spider are scheduled for second half of 2022.