Feast your eyes on the AM-RB 001 road car; the ride that Aston Martin and Red Bull hope will put an LMP1 to shame.
RED Bull’s F1 star, Aussie hero, and all-round great guy Daniel Ricciardo will have a mental new company car pretty soon. Aston Martin has taken the wraps off its secret AM-RB 001 road car, built in conjunction with five-time Formula 1 World Constructor’s Championship winners, Red Bull Racing.
The partnership was announced just four months ago, but now we’ve seen what the production version of the AM-RB 001 will look like when it arrives in late 2017 or early 2018, with what is set to be the most aggressive aerodynamic package ever put on a street legal car. Behind the scenes work has been going on for some time, both in terms of the formal partnership – which began 14 months ago according to Aston’s Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichmann – and also in the head of the man with the original vision, Red Bull’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey – who admits he’s been thinking about road cars since he was six.
“From time to time you’re sitting bored on a beach or whatever, and start doodling and then throw those doodles into a pile,” Newey told us when we spoke to him about the car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, “it’s taking some of those and embodying them in one vehicle… There’s a continuity going from Formula 1 to the Playstation X-1 car [a virtual racer done for the GT5 game] to this – there’s a loose lineage there, but if you put the cars together you could see the evolution from chimpanzee to homo sapiens.”
Although we’ll have to wait for the final specs, we know that the AM-RB 001 will use a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated V12 engine which will drive the rear wheels – possibly in conjunction with a KERS-style hybrid assistance system: “The honest truth is that we are still evaluating a whole load of potential solutions,” Newey said, “what I can say is that central to the concept is that the car should be small, light and efficient.”
Two versions will be sold; a track-only variant and a fully legal road car. Reichmann has suggested that the total build will be around 100 cars, with 25 of these likely to be the track variant. There’s no official price, but we’re told to expect it to be between A$3.5m and A$5.2m.
The stripped-out version will, Newey promises, offer equivalent performance to an LMP1 race car around a lap of Silverstone, but he’s keen to say that the road-going version will be almost as fast: “Many parts will be common, but obviously it will have an interior in it and won’t have quite the big wings of the track car.” To put those numbers into perspective, that means it will have to be around 20 seconds a lap quicker that a Porsche 918 or a McLaren P1.
Despite that, Newey is adamant that the AM-RB 001 isn’t built to chase numbers, getting in a dig at the Bugatti Chiron: “it’s not just about the statistics, it’s about how you feel in the car, the pleasure in driving it. If we take the [example of] the manufacturer that’s chased the very high top speed then it’s arguably not a terribly involving car to drive. We want to try and produce a car that will put a smile on your face whenever you drive it.”