Palmer called it Vanquish in line with a naming strategy for its flagship supercar that dates back over 20 years, but Stroll doesn’t like it, so the name’s been binned. He reckons he has 18 months to think of a new one, and it will be interesting to see if he stays with the ‘V’ tradition, a letter that was first used on an Aston in 1951 when it offered a high compression, large carb option on the DB2 and called the engine specification (not the car) ‘Vantage’. Whatever it is called, it is this car whose rivals today would include the Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari F8 Tributo and McLaren 720S upon which the one-make racer will be built.
Later on I was given a guided tour of Valkyrie production by CEO Tobias Moers, who arrived at the company long after its design had been set in stone. ‘There has never been a car like this before,’ he pronounced, and then with a wry smile which spoke more than words ever could, he said, ‘and there will never be another like it again.’ From which I inferred that not only did it present a whole new level of performance, but also infernal complexity. And remember Moers is the man who, in his previous job as the head of Mercedes-AMG led the development of its Project One hypercar, which has been even more delayed than the Valkyrie.
If you want to understand just how obsessively this car has been designed consider this: it just so happens that below a certain size the threads of screws and bolts are lighter when made to an imperial measurement, above that metric weighs less. So every single threaded component on the Valkyrie is chosen accordingly. I asked Moers how much weight was saved over the entire car to which he shrugged and said, ’ten grammes. At most.’
So the car is a nightmare to produce, but being produced it is. I saw at least a dozen in varying stages of undress, which rather confounds those who said it would never happen. The extraordinary thing about it is that when you see it in bare carbon fibre, without doors, screens or bodywork, but just a tub with an engine and suspension bolted to it, it looks just like a Le Mans prototype. Hopefully at Le Mans next year, we’ll find out why.