(Story updated 18/3 - post media event)
What could easily have started as an idea over a few beers at the pub has now become reality; Aston Martin and the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team have announced the formation of an “innovation partnership”.
With the involvement of Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman and Red Bull Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey, the project to develop a new mid-engined supercar (rumoured in July last year) would appear to be well-advanced.
Aston Martin's first-ever mid-engined car, it comes with the lofty aim of being "faster than a Formula 1 car", according to Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer. That will put it in Bugatti Veyron territory.
"We needed something very special," Dr Palmer said.
Dubbed by Aston Martin its “next-gen hypercar”, the swoopy mid-engined mystery car comes with the codename “Project AM-RB 001”.
It’s a pretty safe bet that “AM-RB” represents Aston Martin and Red Bull, but the “001” might suggest this is the first of several models to be jointly developed by the partnership.
For Adrian Newey, the project is a welcome new direction, "I'm very excited. It's been a long time in the coming, being involved in the design of a road car."
Red Bull F1 drivers Daniil Kvyat and Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo, who attended the event in Melbourne, are also expected to have 'test driver' roles as development proceeds.
"I'm gonna have to drive it a lot... like down to the French Riviera for a few days," the irrepressible Ricciardo quipped.
While the project’s specifics are a little thin, Aston Martin's involvement with RedBull Racing marks a return to F1 after an absence of more than 50 years.
Red Bull was quiet on the partnership during pre-season testing, with a small blank space on the side of the new RB12 model suddenly sporting Aston Martin logos.
“Formula 1 offers the ultimate global stage to build wider awareness of the Aston Martin brand,” Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, said.
“However, this partnership will deliver even more than that when the hypercar that Aston Martin and Adrian Newey are in the process of developing hits the road.”
“Between Q by Aston Martin Advanced, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing AG, we are going to create a car that will excite and stir the imaginations of the car designers of the future and a global audience of sports car enthusiasts.”
“Our brand is racing again," Dr Palmer said.
While it may not appear till 2018 (all things going well), if you are ridiculously overburdened with masses of excess cash, customer orders are being taken now.
Stay tuned to TMR for more.
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