Aston Martin unveils Adrian Newey’s ‘F1 beating’ AM-RB 001

2016 F1 season

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Aston Martin has revealed its state-of-the-art hypercar designed by Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

The Aston Martin AM-RB 001 has been billed as the world’s fastest road car with potentially F1-rivalling levels of performance.

The car is powered by a mid-mounted naturally aspirated V12 engine. Aston Martin intends to deliver the first examples of the two-seater in 2018, with up to 150 examples being produced including 25 track-only versions. Its price has not been announced.

“I’ve long harboured the desire to design a road car,” said Newey. “The formation of Red Bull Advanced Technologies brought me a step closer to realising that ambition, but I believed we should work with an automotive manufacturer. Aston Martin was at the top of my list.”

Newey said he wants the AM-RB 001 to be “a true road car that’s also capable of extreme performance on track” and promised it will have “immense outright capabilities”.

The car is styled by Aston Martin’s chief cerative officer Marek Reichman. But having employed one of the most famous Formula One designers Aston Martin claims its car “boasts truly radical aerodynamics for unprecedented levels of downforce in a road-legal car”.

“Thanks to the genius of Newey’s design much of this downforce is generated through underfloor aerodynamics, leaving Reichman free to craft a pure yet breathtaking dramatic form that elegantly expresses both the AM-RB 001’s cutting-edge dynamism and the unmistakable essence of Aston Martin.”

The collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull was revealed during the Australian Grand Prix weekend. Red Bull has carried Aston Martin logos on its car since the beginning of the season.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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84 comments on “Aston Martin unveils Adrian Newey’s ‘F1 beating’ AM-RB 001”

  1. That looks cool! Adrian Newey is a genius.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      5th July 2016, 14:06

      Most of what you see is probably not Adrian’s work; “styled by Aston Martin’s chief cerative (sic) officer Marek Reichman”.
      That ‘wing-thing’ and barge boards must be Adrian’s and the rest is under the car.

      1. It’s interesting how Adrian will practically get all the credit for the look, despite the proper credit being given for the design, simply because he’s a known name. It’s like when actor’s get credit for good dialogue.

        1. This is why Ricc extended his contract, he wants one for free :D

  2. That looks amazing. Seems that the cockpit will elevated from the ground as well. Form follows function and glad to see that Aston Martin is taking on the challenge of getting a speedy machine like that on the market.

  3. Looks good, now just to sit, wait and see how much pedestrian safety laws ruin that front end.

  4. Various Koenigseggs aside, the strongest design cue I get is the nose from the Mercedes W04:

    1. digitalrurouni
      5th July 2016, 14:09

      That W04 looks amazing in that picture!

      1. Hated the high noses personally.

        1. I agree. I don’t like the fact that it does look a little bulky and alot like a current LMP1 car.

    2. I was going to say that it looks a lot like an LMP1 car (albeit with less vertical front wheel pods…)

  5. Looks amazing!

    Honda (I mean Acura USA) where is that new “NSX” you’ve been talking about? This is how a supercar should look.
    Usign the NSX name on a car made in America, without Pininfarina styling, no race car driver helping with testing etc etc is NOT enough to reuse the NSX name for nostalgia.

    Hopefully this new “NSX” will help raise the value of my ’94.

    1. Not sure Acura is going for the supercar market, are they? Estimated price is $150k or so, so I think they are going after Porsche, Audi, etc. not Bugatti’s, Ferrari’s, and Lambo’s, so I don’t quite get your criticism of the gorgeous new NSX due out in August from what I understand. Wouldn’t be surprised if it stands up very well against some of the exotics anyway. Just found out not long ago it is a woman designer behind the new NSX too.

    2. NSX is a supercar, this is a Hypercar, don’t compare the 2, totally different markets

  6. There’s just one word for how that thing looks – serious.

  7. Not sure I like it to be honest!

    Also that front end will never, ever, see the road!

    1. @fer-no65 Me too, and you are right on that front end, in europe that has no chance of happening.
      @xtwl Aston is a luxury brand but they have never had the technological pedigree of say Porsche, Ferrari or any of the world leaders.

    2. I think I agree; the W04 post above from @keithcollantine is quite apt, and it also has some of the things I don’t really like in looking at modern LMP1 cars. Oh, well, wasn’t planning to buy one in the near future anyway!

  8. All aesthics aside I think it is foolish to create a V12 and not go hybrid.

    1. He’s a purist I suppose. I’m surprised but certainly not complaining, I bet is it sounds immense.

    2. Yeah a NA v12 how can that be F1 fast?

      1. @jureo Neither did I say it wasn’t fast or sounded bad, or even related it to F1. Creating these kind of hypercars in 2016 is nothing but a technological showpiece, a NA V12 is not one of those things in my eyes. Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari have shown what the future looks like. Aston has created a postercar, but nothing more.

        1. Koenigsegg Regera has shown the future beyond those three.

          1. @colinchapman The Regara then again is three years younger than the other three. Three years in this kind of technology is very long. Below are the amount of cars produced and when they started first deliveries, so countback a year or two of development for all of them.

            Regara: 80 cars (2016 – ….)
            McLaren: 375 cars (2013 – 2016)
            Ferrari: 499 cars (2013 – 2015) / and today releaded the cabrio version.
            Porsche: 918 cars (2013 – 2016)

        2. PorscheF1 (@xtwl) : … “…Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari have shown what the future looks like…. ”

          Aston is creating what the future should sounds like, a NA V-12 ……………damn I miss ’90s F1 !!

    3. @xtwl I imagine it’ll be a development of AM’s workhorse V12 which, in various iterations, has been in lots of cars including the Vantage, Zagato, DBS, One-77, Vulcan, and the Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 LMP1 car. AM haven’t really dabbled in hybrid technology, so presumably haven’t got anything on the shelf which they could use. AM is a big car manufacturer, but I doubt they have a development budget to rival the likes of Ferrari or Porsche, to simply design something from the ground up. The V12 is simple and it works. It also sounds absolutely glorious.

      I agree, it’s hard to think of this as a cutting edge technological showcase when it’s using such an old power unit, but I think it’s a pretty reasonable concession which probably has a lot of advantages.

      1. @mazdachris, Aston Martin doesn’t have any money to spend on developing new engines, let alone anything like a hybrid drive system. The company has also been losing a lot of money in the past few years – they made a loss of nearly £72 million in 2015 alone – and the little money that the company does have is already committed to a desperately needed new factory and their upcoming SUV.

        That is why they’ve been reusing iterations of the same V12 engine that dates back to the Vanquish – an engine which Ford paid for the development of – whilst their current V8 was developed by Jaguar for the XK (which Jaguar retired back in 2014) and just bored out from 4.2L to 4.7L – they can’t afford to build anything else.

        That is why, as of last year, Aston Martin has given up most of their in house engine development work – they are now buying in engines from Mercedes, along with most of their electronic systems.

        1. According to Aston Martin, the V12 will be all-new and not related to any of its current engines, including the one in the Vulcan. Having said that the details on the powertrain are very vague atm.

      2. @mazdachris All I can conclude then is that Newey has chosen the wrong company to work with.

        1. @xtwl Well that depends on what the objective was really. At the current technological level, these hybrid systems represent something of a trade-off. Battery packs, electric motors, regenerative units, turbochargers, all add weight to a car. And more critically, all add mass to the power unit which needs to be packaged. Yes, they allow you to use a smaller internal combustion engine, but there’s still a net weight gain. It all needs to fit in somewhere, and considering the experience Newey has had trying to fit that all into an F1 car and the compromises this has required to his aerodynamic concepts, I can see that there would be some appeal in just sticking a big naturally aspirated engine in there instead.

          I think there’s probably something about the AM brand which works for them too. It strengthens the ties between AM and Red Bull, and it’s a British manufacturer which I think would hold some appeal. I can also see the benefits for Aston Martin, having this product in their stable. Would that appeal be so great for the likes of Porsche? Would they want to add a car like this to their line up against the 918? I’m not sure.

    4. Quoted from the PistonHeads article on the car:
      “The honest truth is that we are evaluating a whole load of potential solutions,” Newey said, “it’s fair to say that clearly hybrids offer a lot of opportunities, it’s how we use those opportunities and whether they are necessary or whether you can do it purely mechanically.”

      I’m somewhat surprised they’re not using the new twin-turbo 5.2 from the DB11, but I suspect the 800hp Vulcan 6.0 with some electric motors added on would hit four figures if required. If McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari all felt that the battery weight was worth the gain on the road, perhaps Newey will too. There’s always the chance that he’s going full Gordon Murray and wants a purist N/A V12 like the McLaren F1 had, but even Murray has suggested that a turbo motor and/or hybrid would be his pick nowadays.

  9. Crumbs, that is an astonishing looking thing. All this “F1 rivalling stuff is obviously codswallop, but that doesn’t take anything away form the fact that it is a breathtaking car.

    1. I wouldn’t rule that out at all. This is Adrian Newey we are talking about here, the man who has gotten sick of F1’s restrictions. F1 lap times have only marginally increased over the last 20 years, with a blank sheet of paper he could achieve anything.

  10. It will need amazing downforce, light weight, to go F1 fast with V12 NA engine, and road legal tires…

    Their goal is equaling F1 race pace at Silverstone.

    Good luck, the car then needs roughly 0000N of downforce at 300kph, 1000kg mass and 1000bhp from road legal NA V12…. And some cr

    1. Im pretty sure noone has said it will go as fast as an F1 car on roads with roadlegal tyres. You can drive it on roads and on the track in tracksetup it can be as fast as F1 cars.

      Getting the downforce and BHP wont be any problem but i doubt it will be as light as an F1 car.

      1. I also doubt it will have any sort of brakes that can handle F1 performance in racingconditions and then work just as well and reliable on the roads.

    2. @jureo @rethla Does Aston Martin have any deal with a tyre manufacturer? It will be a good slap in the face if they try to equal F1 pace with Michelin tyres.

    3. Pretty sure they mentioned it will be in the realms of a LMP1 car with 1000bhp.

  11. BTW, if it does go faster than F1,.. F1 can do major cost saving racing these instead…

    1. @jureo If F1 wanted an onemake series they could come up with something both faster and cheaper than this in a month or two.

  12. Am I the only one who think it looks ugly…? Especially the head part…

    1. I completely agree.

    2. No, I don’t like the look of it.

    3. @peking90 I find it really super ugly too! I’d understand uncompromising aero for race cars but when it comes to super cars for the public, I’d ask to designers like Pininfarina instead!

  13. Side profile reminds me a little bit of the ill-fated Mazda Furai concept. Though that underbody is just bonkers.

  14. I don’t like the design, the high and small cockpit makes it look like a road catamaran for me…

    1. It’s going to have a pretty awkward driving posiion, that’s for sure

      1. The only real question is whether it has air conditioning.

      2. The driving position will be far different from any road car supposedly, with the driver’s legs above their hips and quite a reclined seat.

  15. Still I Rise
    5th July 2016, 17:16

    Looks like a silver batmobile it even looks like the Ferrari fxx just a bit beefier. Bet it pretty dope aerodynamically though.

  16. oo that’s pretty, been waiting for this.

  17. It looks cool, but aside from the color and the emblems, it does not “say” Aston Martin to me.

    1. That’s what I think too. AM is meant to be sophisticated yet powerful, not ‘futuristic and sporty’.

  18. “F1 levels of performance” in a car that any rich person can drive on the road. What could possibly go wrong?

  19. Wow. What an astonishingly beautiful car. One can almost see the wind flowing over and around the car. Certainly gives an impression of movement.

  20. JungleMartin
    5th July 2016, 19:36

    Zero technical details other than vaguely mentioning a naturally aspirated V12. No mention of capacity. No mention of hybrid. No mention of gearbox. No mention of suspension. No mention of monocoque/chassis. What exactly is the purpose of this press release, other than a bit of marketing with the aid of some styling study pictures, a quick quote from Newey and not much else?

    1. Yep, that’s how PR works.

  21. Pictures do not do it justice…

    Video does, it is like a 2 seater F1 car, with epic venturi tunnels underneath. It is as if, the car was one big venturi, blown rear wing, front wing is properly shaped…

    And the engine, it is to be high revving, powerful enough, for 1bhp/1kg….

    Also 20 inch rims with wide slicks. Maybe tires would be better than F1, better aero, active suspension?…

    They might get ze job done.

    1. The Telegraph is saying it will cost £2.5m . . .
      Mind you, that might not be too expensive at the rate the pound is falling!

  22. When this is not the fastest round a track will they borrow the McLaren PR people to say the chassis is the best but the engine let’s it down?

    1. I think Red Bull wrote the book on that excuse

      1. Red bull wrote the book on it, threw the book away and then got an identical copy of the book with a different books cover.

  23. I wonder what Bond thinks of it?

  24. I really don’t like the way it looks, it’s odd…

  25. Can someone explain to me the rear end design, it’s so weird, it looks like there is a big piece missing there, I really don’t like it.

    1. Downforce

    2. Gigantic diffuser

  26. They claim 4.5G cornering forces, with a ton heavy car that will most likely have less downforce than a F1 car, it would be more than twice as much as a Koenigsegg or any other production car including downforce monsters like Viper ACR. I dont believe it, i love the idea but i dont believe it :)

    1. It actually produces more DF than an F1 car. You have to remember F1 cars DF producing surfaces are HIGHLY restricted. This was a car developed without those restrictions.

      Horner said in simulations this car has produced more DF than any F1 car RB has ever created. RB’s simulation is second to none so we have to trust it’s accurate.

      They said it will also we less than 1000kgs, or less than an LMP1 car. More DF than F1, less weight than LMP1. Not bad.

    2. If it weighs a ton and corners at 4.5g it has to have more downforce than F1.

  27. Duncan Snowden
    6th July 2016, 0:26

    “AM-RB 001”

    Oh, come on. Leave the algebraic formulae to Ron Dennis’s mob. Call it Bulldog. (Red Bull, yes?) It looks more like one than the original did, come to think of it…

  28. Same horsepower while weighing 300kg more than an F1 car, no way it’s an F1 beater.

    1. Nah, that’s fine… The tires will last WAY longer :) That time will be recovered through less pit stops through your day.

  29. Getting in and out will be the work of an acrobat, but once they’re in all good and hold on bloody tight!
    Hope they didn’t need to bring an overnight bag… perhaps there’s space behind the seat? Knowing Newey’s design principles…

    Also, the Aston Martin mechanics working on this thing are going to need a massive raise!

  30. I hope this is just a mockup, because technically, there is nothing that makes me impressed. It is a triumph of style over substance. I thought this was going to be the ultimate, like, look at the rules for road registered cars and fit it to that, use all the banned innovations from F1 for inspiration… i thought it would have a fan for low speed downforce, banned to save money, and spinners, they were banned just to save money… First clue that is unimpressive – no underslung callipers, adrian has been doing this in F1 since 2010 for lower centre of gravity, he is lazy with this design sorry….

    1. That assumes that Newey has had a relatively free hand to begin with – as mentioned in the article, the chief designer has been Marek Reichman, and I suspect that Newey has been more of a part time “technical consultant” to Aston Martin rather than fully involved in the design process.

      Cynically, I would not be surprised if Newey’s input has been rather limited and, in reality, the deal is more about Aston Martin cashing in on his name by saying that he had been involved in the car in order to make the car more “exclusive”, and therefore allowing them to inflate the price (which has already gone up from £1 million to £2.5 million).

      1. Newey designed everything you don’t see about the car.
        The exterior is all from Aston Martin since the car does not generate downforce with it or with wings. ;-)

        Underbody aero, chassis, suspensions, gearbox will all be from RB F1 department.

        To the guy talking about having a fan for downforce: the car will also have to cicrulate on streets, it wouldn’t be very genious to throw rocks and debris to pedestrians and other vehicles. ;-)

  31. i thing the front wing is flexing too much

  32. Looks stunning to me. I wonder what the performance is like?
    If only they could take it to Le Mans…

  33. Luis Rodrigues
    6th July 2016, 11:19

    So, some of the boys here are not to impressed with this thing, eh?
    One of them says this car looks like junk to him, other says it looks like there is something missing at the rear end because that big gap looks odd, and there was a few complaining because the engine is so last year and they don’t believe this would be as fast as an F1 car, and so on…

    To this people I have to say that you might not get what this sort of machine is all about and I have no idea why would you have much interest in Formula1.

  34. So is he using ground effects? Just wondering how all that downforce without wings.

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