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Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing unveil hypercar
By Mike Stevens, CARADVICE.COM.AU • 06/07/2016
The AM-RB 001, named for its status as the first project in a new technical and design partnership between Aston Martin and the Red Bull Formula One team, has been unveiled in London last night.
Announced in March, the AM-RB 001 is the “groundbreaking hypercar” lovechild of champion race-car designer Adrian Newey and Aston Martin chief designer Marek Reichman.
The two groups have made no secret of their intention to produce a car unrivalled by the current crop of ‘hypercars’, led by the likes of Porsche's 918 Spyder, the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari.
In a statement the partnership described the AM-RB 001 as “a car engineered 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”.
Many details of the AM-RB 001’s mechanical package and performance capabilities are still to come, but a naturally-aspirated V12 engine has been revealed as its power source.
Unlike its aforementioned contemporaries, the big V12 has not been confirmed to offer benefit of an electric system providing additional urge. And, while Aston models of years past have featured an atmo V12, this unit is claimed to be a new one. A version of the company’s new twin-turbo 447kW 5.2-litre 12-cylinder? Possibly, although the AM-RB 001’s V12 also claims “the potency to achieve” a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio at 1bhp (0.75kW) per kilogram of weight.
Aston and Red Bull Racing have not graced us with the specific weight needed to make a calculation, although British magazine Autocar claims it has confirmed the car will weigh less than one tonne, hinting at a power figure in the neighbourhood of 670kW (900bhp).
The report also claims the engine is unrelated to the DB11's new 5.2 turbo V12, and while Aston Martin and Red Bull have not confirmed such details, the magazine also claims that an F1-style brake energy recovery system is on board. As with its existence, its function has not been revealed.
No surprise, the AM-RB 001’s low weight – whatever number it ends up coming out at – will be thanks to a carbon-fibre structure. This, too, has not been detailed, although the partners say Newey’s technical design focused on “radical” underbody aerodynamics so that Reichman would be free to craft a styling-driven topside.
Continuing that line of vague details, an F1-inspired suspension system is also confirmed, employing principles “honed by Newey over his thirty-year career”. A clean-sheet transmission design will join it, and remains likewise a mystery in its design.
Newey says of the project: “I’ve long harboured the desire to design a road car. The formation of Red Bull Advanced Technologies brought me a step closer to realising that ambition, but I believed we should work with an automotive manufacturer. Aston Martin was at the top of my list. The synergy between Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin is clear.
“I knew Red Bull Racing had the ability to handle the pure performance aspects, but Aston Martin’s experience of making beautiful, fast and comfortable GT cars is of great benefit to the project.”
“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.”
Aston Martin chief designer Marek Reichman added that, in working with Newey, the objectives laid out for the car guaranteed a unique product.
“[…] there has never been an Aston Martin – or any car, actually – quite like the AM-RB 001. The shared challenge has been finding that magical tipping point where we achieve the most efficient engineering solutions and the most beautiful styling solutions without any compromises,” he said.
“My personal challenge has been expressing the AM-RB 001’s extraordinary performance and the unique way in which it delivers that performance. Its style reflects its revolutionary nature, while possessing the form and beauty that makes it unmistakably an Aston Martin.”
Production of the AM-RB 001 will be limited to “between” 99 and 150 road cars, along with 25 track-only versions. A full detailed unveiling date for the car is still to be confirmed, although first deliveries are locked in for 2018.