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Aston Martin Valkyrie review

1 year ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


6 March 2023

Aston Martin received a phone call from the Ministry of Defence while it was developing the Valkyrie. The MoD had picked up the blower because the global price of titanium had risen and they’d traced the cause back to Gaydon. You can imagine some General behind a big desk, top lip bristles twitching irritably, barking ‘What the devil are you doing down there? Why in the blazes do you need so much?’

‘Well, you see, we’re building this rather special car and a chap called Adrian…’

‘What?! A car? We thought you must be covertly resurrecting SR-71 Blackbirds or something.’

There’s a reminder of this every time you go to swing a leg over the vast, high sill of a Valkyrie, because the latch plate is made of the element with atomic number 22. Aston actually ended up substituting aluminium for much of the titanium in the chassis in order to keep costs vaguely in check – there was going to be £60,000 of titanium in each chassis before Multimatic redesigned it. When Aston suggested to Red Bull that it might need to rein in the expensive metal use on some of the other parts and redesign them in stainless steel (cheaper and stronger), Red Bull’s very F1 answer was to redesign them in MP35N…an alloy that’s more expensive than titanium.

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