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Aston and Red Bull reveal ‘F1 road car’

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Aston Martin has unveiled the AM-RB 001, its ‘F1 car for the road’ built in conjunction with Grand Prix team Red Bull Racing.

The AM-RB 001, described by Aston Martin as like nothing seen before, is said to be capable of the pace of a Formula One car.

A road car production run of around 90-150 cars is planned, along with 25 designed specifically for track use. Prices are yet to be announced but are expected to be in the £2-£3 million bracket.

Principal designer for the AM-RB 001 is Adrian Newey, the man who has created multiple F1 World Championship winning cars for Red Bull, and he has produced a mid-engined two-seater, with a remarkable power-to-weight ratio of 1:1 propelled by an all-new high-revving naturally aspirated V12 engine.

The structure of the car is predominantly carbon fibre, with much of its downforce created by underbody ground effect aerodynamics through front and rear diffusers, which in turn has allowed the body shape to be free of aerodynamic ‘add-ons’. Also missing are such items as door mirrors, replaced by much smaller rear-facing cameras.

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Aston Martin is still finishing the production version of the AM-RB 001 and currently is still to release full technical and specification details of the car. Specifically no power output has yet been stated for the engine, which is a bespoke unit created for this car.

Industry sources are speculating on an output of around 900bhp – the car also has a kinetic energy recovery system derived direct from F1 practice, though what purpose it serves in this environment has not been revealed yet.

According to Aston Martin, the overriding aim of Newey and the brand’s chief creative officer Marek Reichman has been to produce a 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.

The bespoke track version, meanwhile, is intended to have the performance of LMP1 sports prototype cars such as the Porsche, Audi and Toyota machines that dominated the Le Mans 24hr race in June.

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Like other top F1 designers before him most notably Gordon Murray, creator of the first McLaren F1 production machine, Newey says that he has always harboured the ambition to design a road car.
“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,” he adds.

“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,” Newey says.

The AM-RB001 production line will be set up in the facility at Aston Martin’s Gaydon, Warwickshire headquarters originally created for the brand’s first hypercar the One-77. First prototypes are expected to be testing in 2017 with deliveries beginning in the following year.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.