Whether you're driving a family wagon or a bespoke supercar, regular maintenance is key to worry-free motoring. A typical service includes fluids, filters, and tires, but the Aston Martin Valkyrie very nearly included the entire rear wing as a regular wear item, too.
The revelation comes to us from Hagerty, in an interview with James Manners, head of vehicle engineering for the Valkyrie. Originally, the rear wing of the Valkyrie was designed to be replaced every 25,000 miles as part of the regular maintenance schedule.
The strange service item came about due to the Formula 1 roots of the design, with the Valkyrie penned as part of a collaboration between Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin. In F1, rear wings are designed to be as light as possible with a fatigue life just long enough to get through a race weekend. Thus, to Red Bull's designers, a rear wing capable of lasting 25,000 miles was one with a practically ancient life span.
From Aston Martin's perspective, that simply wouldn't do for a road car. "You can't just put in a service schedule, 'change the bodywork!'" said Manners. Instead, the rear wing was sent back to the drawing board and redesigned to last for the lifetime of the car.
Making the rear wing a lifetime part of the vehicle makes sense. While owners of Aston Martin's 1,160-horsepower hypercar aren't short on cash, regular wing replacements could be a hassle for the company to handle. The expensive and delicate carbon fiber parts would have to be manufactured and kept in stock for years to come. Plus, if a wing failed at speed due to a lack of maintenance, it could be a bad look for the company.
Some road cars do actually require regular maintenance of their rear wings, but generally stop short of requiring wholesale replacement. This is most common on vehicles with active rear spoilers, with these mechanical systems requiring occasional attention to keep them performing properly. The 997 generation Porsche 911 is a well-known example, with the rear wing actuator needing cleaning and lubrication to keep it functioning well over the long term. Thanks to the Valkyrie's active aero, similar maintenance requirements would be expected, just not replacement of the entire wing itself.
Given the Valkyrie's racing pedigree and rarity, one suspects Aston Martin could have gotten away with swapping the wings out every 25,000 miles. As an exclusive hypercar, it remains to be seen how many Valkyries will even reach that mileage figure. Regardless, though, owners should thank the company for giving them one less line item to worry about at service time.
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