Aston Martin Valkyrie vs Mercedes AMG-One - When F1 giants compete for a space in your garage!
Updated: Oct 30, 2018
The names Red Bull Racing and Mercedes AMG-F1, synonymous with Grand Prix racing, two teams, who over the past decade have topped the F1 constructors championship between them eight times (soon to be nine). Teams who have made their names competing at the pinnacle of modern Motorsport, so what happens when these teams sit back and ask, what if we make a road car? But not just any road car... no, a car that has more in common withwith an F1 project than your average daily drive!
Well, what you end up with is the Red Bull Racing designed Aston Martin Valkyrie and the Mercedes-AMG One. Two cars whose creators inventions usually complete for Gran Prix victories but instead are now competing for a place in your garage*
*Provided you have a spare couple of million pound, and have in fact already bought one as both cars sold out before release!
Aston Martin Valkyrie
First lets have a look at the Aston Martin Valkyrie, packing a reported, 1,130hp just from the naturally aspirated V12 and weighing under 1,000Kg the car is expected to have a power to weight ratio well over the fabled 1hp per 1Kg. These headline grabbing numbers place this car firmly into a category of its own (well maybe plus one other), but perhaps these aren't the most interesting points to be taken from the Aston.
Any F1 fan will know the name Adrian Newey well, no he isn't the manager of your local PC World (despite looking and sounding like he should be). He is in fact, Motorsports equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci, the most successful F1 car designer of all time. In true Newey fashion and free from the rules of Gran Prix racing, he has designed a car, that in a world of an ever growing number of CFD designed copy-cat cars, is truly unique. Using ground effect technology, active aero, a frankly monumental rear diffusion section and a rake angle that would look more at home on a F1 car, he has crafted a technological marvel that puts a lot of its rivals to shame. The aerodynamic technology that has gone in to this car is ground breaking in every sense, with many aspects of the technology banned from modern racing cars.
Maybe, more importantly (from a sales point of view) Aston seem to have also created a car which looks like it could be a design piece in a modern art gallery, the flow of the lines over the cockpit into the rear section of the car hark back to the elegant design of early speed record cars. While the lack of floor under the front third of the car never stop to excite, if purely because it is such a radical departure from standard car design.
0-60 times under 3.0 seconds are expected, as is a V.Max above 200mph, clever electric tech provides reverse gear when needed and fills in torque at the bottom of the V12's startling rev range (reported to be over 10,000rpm!) but the question everyone will be curious to know is... what is it like round a track? And can it beat its German rival?
For the Valkyrie, Aston Martin decided to build a brand new 1,130hp V12 engine from the ground up and while this is impressive feat, especially as large capacity natural aspirated engines are becoming a thing of the past, there is an argument that the AMG One's powerplant is arguably even more impressive, despite it being shared with another of Mercedes' cars.
But when the car that shares the engine is the Mercedes-AMG F1 W07, the second most successful F1 car of all time, a vehicle that won 90% of all the races it entered! You begin to understand why this statement holds some truth, the engineering feet to place a device designed to do 2 hour sessions while turned up to 11 into a car that needs to pass EU emissions regulations and be just as capable with the volume on loud as it is driving to your local shop is certainly impressive.
Power output is said to be just over 1,000hp, while weight is estimated to be around 1,300Kg, making the car less powerful and heavier than the Aston Martin. How this conveys into real life is anyone's guess, the shear number of electric motors and complex four wheel drive system on the Mercedes will pay a big part in driveability and launch from 0-60mph, meaning the differences between the cars will be impossible to judge on paper.
Visually, the Mercedes is a clearly a striking car, albeit not quite as easy on the eye as the Aston. Producing over 700hp from a 1.4L V6 does mean a lot of turbocharging, which also means a lot of air needs to be sucked in, not only make that power but to also cool the inter-coolers. This unfortunately does give the car a slightly 'mouth-open' appearance, a bit like a shark preparing to feed but it does grow on you over time and there is zero doubt that the car looks incredibly dramatic.
So Which Should I Buy?
Did you not read the article? Both cars production runs have already been sold and with legal contracts in place preventing the sale of either car in the short-term you'll not be picking one up from your local garage anytime soon!
The Aston is being delivered in late 2019 with the Mercedes expected closer to 2021, which in itself does show how difficult it is to put an F1 engine into a road car, so real world comparisons will have to wait for now. Instead take a few minutes, plug in your head phones and listen to the symphonies produced by two pinnacles of engineering and decide which one deserves to be your desktop wallpaper for the next few months...