Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing have announced they will be working together on a new hypercar project. Details about the AM-RB 001 are thin on the ground at the moment, but we do know it will be Aston Martin's first mid-engined car and, if the brand's claims are to be believed, should clock an F1-aping laptime around Silverstone. Gizmag was at the launch of the partnership in Melbourne to chat with Red Bull's legendary Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey, as well as Aston Martin design chief Marek Reichman.
The thought of Adrian Newey turning his eye to road cars is an exciting one. Known for his remarkable knowledge of aerodynamics, the designer is excited to explore concepts and ideas that didn't fit into the FIA's ever-tightening regulations for Formula One cars.
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"Road cars have far less legislation to restrict the design... than Formula One does at the moment," Newey said. "To have opportunities to explore lots of different areas, and try to do things perhaps a little bit differently to any other road car that's out there at the moment is fantastic."
Teaming up with Newey on the AM-RB 001's design is Marek Reichman, who says the car will still be instantly recognizable as an Aston Martin despite its complex aerodynamics package.
"The face is undoubtedly an Aston Martin," he said.
According to Reichman, a lot of the aero package will hidden on the "incredibly complex" underside of the car in a "series of very, very interactive" non moving surfaces that "guide the air to develop the downforce and push the car through the air." That means the "upper surfaces" can be designed with Aston Martin's "visual language" in mind.
Based on the sketch that has been released, that face will be sitting on a shape unlike anything we've seen from Aston Martin. Unlike the rest of its range, there's no long bonnet because the engine is mounted in the middle. Unfortunately, we're just going to have to wait to see how the brand's famous design language translates to a LaFerrari and P1-scaring hypercar.
What, you may be asking, are Red Bull getting out of this partnership? Well, that depends on who you ask. Drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat seemed excited by the prospect of a DB11 company car, while Team Principle described the collaboration as an "incredible project which also realizes a dream held by Adrian to design a road car."
In the short term, Red Bull's cars will carry the Aston Martin badge on their noses throughout the coming season. We'll have to wait until the first race of the F1 season in Melbourne this weekend to see if any of the gadgets from James Bond's DB10 have also made it onto the cars.
As you may have gathered, there's no details about a powertrain or chassis setup just yet, but we do know less than 100 examples of the car will be produced, with deliveries to start in 2018. Suffice to say, we'll be eagerly waiting for more details. So stay tuned!