Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider First Look Review: Puts the Hype in Hypercar

You’ve probably been living under the impression that the Adrian Newey-penned, 1,139-hp Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar is without question the most sensory overloading vehicle possible. Wrong! We think that accolade now belongs to the Valkyrie’s roofless sibling, the new Valkyrie Spider. Aston Martin has decided well enough can never be left alone, and so off comes the top of the Valkyrie. Doing so creates a specific, yet solvable, problem for the Valkyrie, one that’s been haunting open-top fast cars since the time of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster. Namely, how do you handle roof-hinged, gullwing doors if you lose the roof?

One of the biggest traumas to afflict the uber affluent recently was the release of the Pagani Huayra Roadster. (What, you thought it was taxes?) See, the seven-figure Huayra has incredibly cool and massive gullwing doors. However, when Horatio and his team rolled out the Roadster, they installed (prepare yourself) conventional doors, just like a Honda! Based on the amount of (mostly virtual) garment rending that took place, I’m shocked that both Pagani and the billionaire class have managed to survive. Aston Martin was paying attention; the Valkyrie Spider may no longer have gullwings, but the doors are anything but conventional.

The Valkyrie Spider now features front-hinged dihedral doors, which rotate out and up. Kind of like Aston’s signature curb-clearing swan doors, but even more theatrical. The removable roof panel, like nearly every other part of the Valkyrie, is made from lightweight carbon fiber. The roof latches onto the windscreen at the front and onto the tub at the rear. A pair of polycarbonate side windows hang off it. Meaning, we think, that when the roof is off there’s no side glass. We haven’t seen the Valkyrie Spider in person yet, but according to Aston Martin, “On opening the doors, the roof can simply be lifted off and stowed away.” Sounds convenient.

Obviously, with the roof off, the aerodynamics will change—and for the worse. Usually, that’s not a huge deal, but since the Valkyrie has been trumpeted from day one as another Newey aero masterpiece, it sort of is. Aston’s aware, as is the man himself. Says the winningest F1 car designer in history, “What you see is a simple removable roof panel, but the challenge of remaining true to the Valkyrie concept was anything but. 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.”

Luckily, the Valkyrie Spider generates a massive amount of downforce even without a roof or a giant wing. Using massive venturi tunnels underneath the cockpit, air channeled through the rear diffuser creates 3,080-pounds of downforce at 149 mph. Mind you, that’s in Track mode. Still, blimey.

There is no word from Aston Martin about how much more a Valkyrie Spider weighs compared to a regular one, though we’re willing to take Newey’s word that the weight gain was kept to a minimum. We still don’t know what the Valkyrie itself weighs. Aston claims somewhere around 2,350-pounds, though to our ears that sounds impossible, what with it being a hybrid and all. Would another 100 pounds for the Spider make sense? Sure, why not? We do know that the Valkyrie Spider will still be blisteringly fast. Aston says it’ll do 205 mph with the roof off, and a tick over 217 mph with it on. We deem that acceptable.

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