Nine reasons why we want the Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider more than the Coupe | Top Gear
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Best of 2021

Nine reasons why we want the Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider more than the Coupe

Yep, you read that right - we spent some quality time with the roofless Valk, and it got us thinking

Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear
  • It’s every bit as aerodynamically efficient

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    With the roof still in place the air flow over the top of the car is every bit as smooth as the Valkyrie Coupe, and the underbody aero - which includes full length venturi tunnels, big enough to drive a train through - works just as well. When it was revealed there were murmurs that ripping the roof off such an aero-heavy car was ruining Newey’s original vision. Ruining is a strong word. It’ll still do 205mph with the roof off, and 217mph (identical to the Coupe) with the roof on. Oh, and the weight difference is ‘negligible’. It’s even got polycarbonate windows in the roof panel, so its lighter and brighter in there than the coupe, even with the roof on.

    Photography: DW Burnett

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  • Its doors are better

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    I say front hinged dihedrals beat the rabbit-ear gullwing jobbies on the Coupe. They’re born out of necessity of course, because you couldn’t hinge the doors off the removable roof panel. As a result, on the Spider, you get two sets of doors, sort of: the dihedral one and then flaps in the roof panel that you unlatch and fold upwards to let you drop down vertically into the seat. Alternatively you can pull a lever and remove the roof panel entirely (probably a two person job to avoid dropping the thing) and leave it in the garage, atop a velvet pillow.

  • Your ears will thank you 

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    An obvious one, granted, but because there’s no roof, your ears have an unimpeded line to the intake above your head and the exhausts at the back. I’ve been for a passenger ride in the Coupe, and the difference between the bassy sound in the cockpit and the blood-curdling shriek you hear if it drives past you is stark. Personally I prefer the latter, but this should give you a bit of both. And therefore permanent goosebumps. And therefore it’s better.

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  • Your NBA all-star mates might actually fit 

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    One of my take homes from that passenger lap is that the cabin is snug. Very snug in fact, which wasn’t an issue for Darren Turner and I as we’re both vertically challenged, but if you’re above average height you won’t have to bend your neck at a right angle like you would in the Coupe, your head can simply pop out the top. As a result, you may want to consider wet-shaving your dome for maximum slip, as it’s about to become an important part of the aero package… you’ll also look more like Adrian Newey, the legendary F1 engineer and brains behind this car. By the way, the interior is identical to the coupe – cameras for mirrors, extremely reclined seating position, and not a lot else…

  • It’s every bit as fast

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    This isn’t some convertible variant with the structural integrity of a cheese bap, it’s designed to be every bit as rigid, and therefore ruthlessly fast, as the Coupe. For starters you have the same 1,160bhp powertrain – 1,000bhp from the 6.5-litre Cosworth V12 revving to over 11,000rpm, 160bhp from the electric motor integrated into the gearbox. The carbon tub has been strengthened to account for the loss of its lid, and active aero and active chassis systems have been recalibrated accordingly. There’s no official word on what it might post in a simulated lap time vs the Coupe, but my money’s on near-as-makes-no-difference.

  • It looks badass 

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    I mean, just look at it. In person it’s impossibly low and the lack of roof only accentuates that. The shape is defined more by the spaces under the car than the relatively clean surfaces on top. But there’s drama everywhere you look, and the lobotomy adds ever more.

  • It’s rarer

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    Not as rare as the 40 track-only AMR Pros admittedly, but only 85 units will be built vs 150 Coupes. It would appear that producing a Spider wasn’t in the initial product plan, but has been introduced latterly to make the gargantuan engineering costs on the Valkyrie development program add up. Thank God for spreadsheets.

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  • F1 cars don’t have a roof either

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    OK, it’s a tenuous link, and one Aston has leaned on heavily in its press materials for this car, but it has a point. The Valkyrie was born from one of the great F1 minds, and takes an uncompromising route to being, quite possibly, the fastest road-legal car ever made. Who knows, take it to the limit around Silverstone, squint a bit and this could be the closest thing to driving an F1 car us mere mortals will ever get to experience.

  • It’s more expensive

    Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

    Not usually a positive thing, admittedly, but in the rarefied arena of hypercar ownership, stuff like this matters for bragging rights in your ultra-exclusive Bel-Air country club. No official price is forthcoming, but a pocketful of change from £3m is rumoured, compared to £2.5m for the coupe. First deliveries are scheduled for the second half of 2022… and they’re all sold out, bad luck.

    At least you've got these pics, right?

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  • Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear
  • Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear
  • Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear
  • Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear
  • Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear
  • Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider Top Gear

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