By Lifestyle Editor
Aston Martin Valhalla, the ultra-luxury brand's first series production mid-engine supercar, is reaping the benefits of the world's fastest laboratory, Formula 1®. Technological development in F1® is accelerated by the need for speed, reliability and performance. Race proven methodologies, expertise and technologies used by the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® team (AMF1) are being adopted by Aston Martin to intensify the development of future models.
The technical crossover between Aston Martin and its eponymous Formula 1® team, which currently sits in fourth place in the FIA Formula One World Constructors' ChampionshipTM, is facilitated by the consulting arm of the team, Aston Martin Performance Technologies (AMPT). AMPT is directly assisting Aston Martin's performance engineering team in three key areas of development - dynamics, aerodynamics and materials.
Claudio Santoni, Aston Martin Performance Technologies Engineering Director, said: "It is a great advantage for a car manufacturer to have access to the unique skills and knowledge of a Formula 1® team. F1® engineers are constantly pushing the boundaries in the pursuit of performance and have developed rapid problem-solving tools. With this knowledge 'in house' we can seamlessly bring F1® expertise to road car development."
Aston Martin Valhalla is a truly driver-focused mid-engine supercar and the vehicle dynamics group in close conjunction with AMPT is working full throttle to deliver the pinpoint dynamics that will provide unprecedented driver engagement. F1® design relies heavily on simulation tools and the methods used to ensure that every moment spent in the simulator brings progress has been put in place for Valhalla. In fact, 90% of the dynamic characteristics and vehicle set-up has been completed in the simulator, with the final development phase completed in the real world, on the road and track.
Valuable input from the AMF1 drivers add a new intensity to the calibration of Valhalla. The elite level skills and knowledge of drivers like Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso can take vehicle dynamics to a new level as they continue to push the car to the extreme edge of its performance capabilities.
The cockpit ergonomics of Valhalla has also benefited by taking direct cues from Formula 1®, in that the driving position has been optimised with support from AMPT to provide the driver with race car level control in order to maximise the pleasure of driving. The driver's heels are raised by a false floor, which also contains electronic modules, and the unique carbon fibre bucket seat can be reclined to a greater angle to achieve a seating position more closely aligned to the AMR23 race car, whilst still offering road car comfort. This aids in keeping a low roofline and ensures the driver feels truly connected to the car.