July 5, 2016, 2:30 PM
Aston Martin has partnered with Red Bull Racing to create what they call a revolutionary hypercar that is at home on the road as it is turning laps on a track.
The AM-RB 001 is a lightweight, 2-seat, mid-engined super sports car the partners claim is on par with the LMP1 prototypes that recently raced for the checkers in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in its track-only configuration. There will also be a homologous road-worthy version.
Leading the development and engineering teams are Adrian Newey (Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer and the world’s most successful F1 designer), Marek Reichman (Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer) and David King (Aston Martin VP and Chief Special Operations Officer). Together, they provide combined experience of more than 100 years, in crafting grand touring cars and a relentless pursuit for speed and performance.
Their goal was to create an unprecedented 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.
“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,” said King. “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.”
“Working so closely alongside Adrian and an organisation like Red Bull Racing is a fabulous experience,” added Reichman. “By definition the objectives we’ve set for the car ensures 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.”
Not much is knows about the specs of the car, save to say that the lightweight carbon fibre structure will work with a new mid-mounted (behind the cabin), high-revving naturally-aspirated V-12 of undisclosed horsepower output to create car with a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. So, 1,000 hp to propel 1,000 kg … or more horsepower to move more mass, or reduced weight requiring fewer horses. The transmission will also be new, developed by Red Bull Advanced Technologies
Keeping the car on the road will reportedly be achieved through underbody aerodynamics (venturi tunnels, diffusers, etc.), in order to preserve the body to have some semblance to an Aston Martin road car. The suspension also benefits from innovative technology and track-proven success.
“I’ve long harboured the desire to design a road car. Aston Martin was at the top of my list,” said Newey. “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.”
The car will be hand-built at Aston Martin’s Gaydon facilities (which previously created the One-77 hypercar starting in 2009) to buyer’s specifications. The limited run is expected to be between 99 and 150 road cars (inclusive of prototypes that have already been built) and 25 track-only cars.
“The AM-RB 001 is a truly remarkable project and something of which I’m extremely proud,” concluded Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and CEO. “As the project gathers pace it’s clear the end result will be a truly history-making hypercar that sets incredible new benchmarks for packaging, efficiency and performance.”
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