Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing In the Works on a Joint Supercar
The goal: create the fastest road car of all time.
It's a match made in heaven—and the end result should go like hell. Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing have announced they're joining forces to create what could be the most impressive supercar to ever roam the open road.
The car, being developed under the totally original name "AM-RB 001," will be branded an Aston Martin, but Red Bull will play just as important role in the project as the gang from Gaydon. The plan, according to both companies, is to meld the technical and technological prowess of Red Bull's Formula One team and the Aston Martin's design and homologation capabilities to create a vehicle that redefines street-car performance.
"We are in the process of developing a hypercar that combines the latest in aerodynamics from F1 and the stunning design language of an Aston Martin sports car," Aston Martin chief designer Marek Reichman said in the press release that formally announced the plan. "Unconstrained by F1 regulations, we have a unique chance to create a car in its most efficient form that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology."
The two companies were understandably mum about exactly what that would mean, but the genteel fellows of the British motoring press seem to have pulled back the curtain a little further. According to Autocar, which first reported on the partnership last summer, people with inside knowledge of the project say the goal of AM-RB 001 is to create a car capable of outrunning every road car ever made, and even hold its own with F1 and LMP1 cars in terms of straight-line acceleration and on-track performance. Around 99 examples will reportedly be made, each with a price somewhere around $2.9–$4.3 million.
Autocar quotes Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer as saying AM-RB 001 will be the first mid-engined Aston Martin, and will utilize a KERS-like hybrid system. The report also states that we can expect a race car-style double-wishbone suspension and carbon fiber construction. CAR adds that the engine will likely be derived from one of Aston Martin's current engines—the twin-turbo V12 making its debut in the DB11, perhaps, or the naturally aspirated one from the Vulcan.
While it's sure to be quite the looker, don't expect to see a DB5 with the engine shoved behind the driver. Aston Martin's design sketch (pictured above) doesn't reveal much, but it does make clear this won't look like anything the brand's made before. “You’ll know this is an Aston Martin,” Reichman told Autocar. “But what makes it different is that it’s so functionally led—by aerodynamics."
From the sound of it, the project is a dream come true for Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey. "From the age of six I have had two goals in life—to be involved in the design of racing cars, and to be involved in the design of a super car," he said. "The opportunity to now develop and realise those ideas whilst working with Marek and his colleagues from Aston Martin is tremendously exciting." Indeed, AM-RB 001 is expected to be Newey's "legacy car," according to Autocar—the vehicle that defines him in much the same way the McLaren F1 defined Gordon Murray.
The first customer copies of the AM-RB 001 should roll out in 2018, but a design concept is expected to pop up at some point this year. Whether those of us who won't be invited to purchase the car (and we definitely won't) will have the chance to see it is up in the air.