Following the announcement of Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing’s joint venture hypercar at last week’s Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix, TMR sat down with Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, to get a clearer picture of how the new vehicle might evolve.
Despite being two years away from fruition, Dr Palmer is boldly confident when asked about the AM-RB 001 project’s competitors.
“I don’t think there is one (a competitor). Sorry, that sounds terribly, terribly arrogant but we’re talking about a car that’s just never been built before - a car faster than an F1 car,” Dr Palmer said.
“The closest I would say is probably Gordon Murray’s [McLaren] F1, because at the time that was trying to do much the same thing.”
“It’s ground-breaking. It’s a brand new platform, it’s a brand new engine, it’s a brand new upper body and it’s got the raison d'être of being faster than a Formula 1 car around Silverstone.”
With the firm development goal of making the first-ever mid-engine Aston Martin faster than an F1 car around Silverstone, there won't be any shortage of engineering wizardry to assist the project.
To that end, Red Bull Racing’s chief engineer, Adrian Newey will be tasked with the responsibility of the new vehicle’s design.
“We’re talking here about the first ever Adrian Newey [road] car, the most successful Formula 1 designer in the world, so it’s rather unique.”
In order to topple the current Silverstone lap record, Newey will have to better the 1:33.401 lap record set by Mark Webber in 2013 driving the Newey-designed RB9 F1 car (although faster qualifying laps have been set).
Without listing benchmarks among current or previous hypercar generations, Palmer conceded that the new car may not be the only high-dollar supercar vying for the attention of owners.
“It’s in that Supercar segment, very rarified, very fast sports cars, so I suppose there’s a few of those that you could potentially cross-shop with. The point here is that there’s only ever going to be 99 of them.”
As a result of the vehicle’s motorsport pedigree, the AM-RB 001 will be available with a full motorsport support package for owners that request it.
“There’s those customers that simply buy it to put it in their museum,” Palmer said. “The second group are basically those that buy it to then just go racing, and third group will use it on the road.”
And the price of parking something faster than an F1 car in your garage? Aston Martin is playing that card close to its chest right now, but of course, if you have to ask there’s a very good chance you can’t afford it.