Today marks an automotive landmark, with the result of the technical partnership between Aston Martin and the Red Bull Racing F1 team being unveiled, a hypercar codenamed AM-RB 001. In developing the design, the two companies had a shared vision of creating “a road car the like of which has never been seen before”, a goal which has been pursued by three main figures: Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing’s chief technical officer, Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s EVP and chief creative officer, and David King, Aston Martin’s VP and chief special operations officer.
Built around a carbon fiber structure, the AM-RB 001’s aerodynamics package is described by the team as “truly radical”, generating unprecedented levels of downforce in a road-legal car. Newey designed most of the downforce features, which make extensive use of underfloor aerodynamics effects.
According to Aston Martin, the AM-RB 001 will be a bespoke machine “from the tires up” and will be built in the purpose-built facility created for Aston Martin’s original hypercar, the One-77. More details of the AM-RB 001’s technical specification will be revealed in due course, but for now the partners have shared that to cope with extreme aerodynamic loadings at high speeds yet deliver on-road usability and comfort, the AM-RB 001’s suspension system will feature innovative technology and “employ principles honed by Newey over his 30-year career”.
The teams are aiming for the AM-RB 001 to be entirely useable and enjoyable as a road car, but with the capability to perform like no road car before it on a race track. According to Aston Martin a track-only AM-RB 001 is also in development, the projected performance of which is in line with that of today’s LMP1 Le Mans sports prototypes. Total production volume will be between 99 and 150 road cars, inclusive of all remaining prototypes, and 25 track-only versions, with first deliveries commencing in 2018.
Above: At the heart of the AM-RB 001 is a new, mid-mounted, high-revving, naturally aspirated V12 engine claimed to be powerful enough to achieve a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio: 1bhp per 1kg of weight. Likewise, the transmission is a clean-sheet design conceived by Newey and developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies
Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing’s chief technical officer, stated, “I’ve long harbored the desire to design a road car. The formation of Red Bull Advanced Technologies brought me a step closer to realizing that ambition, but I believed we should work with an automotive manufacturer. Aston Martin was at the top of my list.”
He added, “I’ve always been adamant that the AM-RB 001 should be a true road car that’s also capable of extreme performance on track, and this means it really has to be a car of two characters. That’s the secret we’re trying to put into this car – the technology that allows it to be docile and comfortable, but with immense outright capabilities.”
David King, Aston Martin’s VP and Chief Special Operations Officer, added, “Working at Aston Martin means you get to be a part of some truly special projects, but the AM-RB 001 is a dream – a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Of course it’s a huge engineering challenge, too, but the game-changing objectives of this programme have a uniquely energising effect on everyone involved. We have world-class people and facilities at Gaydon. We’re all motivated to achieve great things and take Aston Martin to the absolute pinnacle of road car performance.”