by Karl Furlong
When it was revealed, the dramatic Aston Martin Valkyrie's jaw-dropping appeal was not so much in its stunning aesthetics - as is the case with most other Astons - but the promise of otherworldly performance that you'd rarely find this side of a Formula One car. Building on that reveal is this, the Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider drop-top.
With its removable roof panel, the driver is even more immersed in the experience of piloting a hybrid V12 hypercar with an astounding 1,139 horsepower. As expected, the British automaker has made the necessary changes to the carbon fiber structure to maintain the high dynamic bar set by the normal Valkyrie. Only 85 examples of the Valkyrie Spider will be produced, ensuring that this will be one of the rarest Aston Martins ever to be made.
Every line and contour has been carefully considered to enhance the Valkyrie Spider's aerodynamics. So while the gaping mouth and oddly small headlights can't be described as beautiful, there's a sense of satisfaction knowing that Aston has honed this car to be as slippery as possible. On either side of the cockpit floor, there are massive full-length Venturi tunnels that help to draw in big chunks of air and help the car to achieve over 3,086 pounds of downforce at almost 150 mph when in track mode.
With its carbon-fiber structure, Aston claims only a marginal weight difference relative to the coupe. The removable lightweight roof has a central panel fashioned from carbon fiber, while the front-hinged dihedral doors are exclusive to this car and have been redesigned to tilt forwards when opened.
The Valkyrie Spider uses a 6.5-liter V12 engine that revs to over 11,000 rpm, paired with an electric motor. The KERS-style boost system is similar to the one found in the brand's F1 cars. The total power output is pegged at 1,139 hp. Aston hasn't quoted any official sprint times but we do know that the Valkyrie Spider is one of the fastest cars in the world. With the top down, it can reach a top speed of 205 mph. If the roof is attached, that figure rises to an insane 217 mph. That's some way off the quickest Bugattis, but then again, the Valkyrie was designed to do a lot more than go very quickly in a straight line.
Aston promises lap times not normally possible in a road-going vehicle and performance that reaches LMP1 levels, and with engineering from the likes of Adrian Newey invested in this project, we can quite believe those claims.
The racy interior from the Valkyrie coupe works just as well in the Valkyrie Spider. The driver's seat is positioned as close to the center of the car as possible within the teardrop-shaped cockpit. Six-point safety harnesses have been installed to keep occupants secured and because the mid-engine design has made fitting a normal rear window impossible, a centrally-mounted rearview camera and front/rear parking sensors help the driver to safely navigate their surroundings. A display for the camera is positioned above the instrument panel.
Removing the roof is easy as this can be done when the doors are opened. However, you'll need to find somewhere to keep the roof panel as, unlike in Koenigseggs, there's no onboard storage space.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider's outrageous styling, epic V12, and blistering performance make it the most extreme drop-top Aston has ever made. Limited to just 85 units, it'll also be one of the rarest. This level of exclusivity and engineering prowess will not come cheaply, however. Based on the price of the regular Valkyrie, we expect the Valkyrie Spider to cost in the region of $4 million. Don't bother trying to figure out how you'll come up with the cash to buy one as all of them have already been sold out.
At this level, finding rivals for the Valkyrie Spyder is an almost pointless task. Like the upcoming Mercedes-AMG One and the McLaren Senna, the Valkyrie Spider is the closest most will ever get to being inside an F1 car - if you can afford it, of course. Perhaps a Koenigsegg Jesko, which can remove its roof, too, is the best possible comparison, but we feel that this time around, not even a 'Segg is as wild as this.
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