Is Aston Martin going to smash all the road car records with the AM-RB 001?
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Is Aston Martin going to smash all the road car records with the AM-RB 001?

By DanGoAuto - 15 August 2016

IT HAS been a while since a car-maker wiped the board clean with a hyperbolic model that takes all the previous road car records and kicks them into touch with the next chapter in automotive history, but it looks like Aston Martin might be about to change all that.

Ferrari beat everyone to the uncharted realm of 200 miles per hour (322km/h) in 1988 when the F40 went where no production car had been before, then McLaren delivered a sledgehammer blow in 1993 with the F1 that cracked an astounding 370km/h.

The Brit held the record for more than a decade but today, the production car speed record crown is worn by Bugatti with a dizzying V-max of 415km/h thanks to the the vicious Veyron Super Sport, but the poms are vying to snatch the ultimate title back.

In March, Aston Martin announced that it was collaborating with the Red Bull Formula One team to produce a road car, and as you would expect, this is not going to be any normal car.

Aston Martin’s collaboration with Red Bull
Aston Martin’s collaboration with Red Bull will result in a manic road car full of F1 technology.

Little information was released with the confirmation that the AM-RB 001 was in the pipeline, but after five months of hype and tantalisation, Aston Martin has finally revealed the first view of what its fastest, most powerful and potentially record-breaking vehicle might look like.

Don’t get too excited just yet because, even though many mainstream media outlets are reporting the car you see here as the showroom model, it is a still a concept at this stage. Aston Martin might not call it a concept in any literature but the radical car makes no secret of its prototype status if you look closely.

AM-RB 001
Some say the AM-RB 001 is close to production but take a closer look and the concept status is clearly advertised.

Either way, the AM-RB 001 heralds a production car that promises to write a new chapter in the book of the world’s fastest and most momentous cars.

Just one image accompanied the official announcement that the British car-maker would produce a road car to be reckoned with, but it was difficult to determine whether the picture showed any element of a vehicle or just an artistic interpretation of aerodynamics.

But with the latest release, Aston has offered a far more revealing insight into the bowels of its top secret skunkworks design workshops, and the first images of a radical concept that will one day evolve into a rule-breaking car for the road and track.

Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull team driver Daniel Ricciardo helped unveil the car at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England.

The mighty car will be powered by a high-revving V12 engine mounted midship in the “extremely lightweight and compact” carbon-fibre structure which will be crafted by the same hands that screw Red Bull Formula One cars together.

Its kerb weight has not yet been confirmed but Aston says the AM-RB 001 will have the holy grail of power-to-weight ratios – one brake horsepower per each kilogram of weight.

Until the car’s weight is revealed, the exact engine output and performance figures will remain under wraps, but it is possible the engine is an evolution of the 7.0-litre atmo V12 that powers the strictly limited Vulcan track car with “more than 800 horsepower” or 600kW-plus. If that is the case, the hypercar will weigh significantly less than one tonne.

The AM-RB 001 looks like nothing else on the road
The AM-RB 001 looks like nothing else on the road and that just how it will go according to the British car-maker.

Unlike Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren, it appears Aston will not be calling on electrification to top up the power with no mention of a hybrid powertrain, but Aston is taking a leaf out of the fellow car-maker’s books by offering road and track versions.

Up to 150 road registrable variants will be produced as well as 25 strictly track-only versions that are likely to pack even more potent performance, lacking some of the heavier equipment necessary for a road car.

The total of 175 cars is hardly Toyota Corolla volume but it does class the AM-RB 001 as a series production car – Aston’s first with a mid-engine, but it has offered one before.

Aston made just one Bulldog – its true foray into mid-engined cars.

In the late 1970s, Aston created the monstrous Bulldog of which only one was produced, but more recently, the DP-100 dipped a toe into mid-engines, albeit in the virtual world.

Aston Martin chief creative officer and design director Marek Reichman told GoAuto that the production hypercar would owe some of its genes to the Vision Gran Turismo concept.

“We have a plan to do a mid-engined supercar at the end of the day, and we have to start somewhere with that,” he said. “Doing DP-100 was always a way to express something at very little cost but we were able to gauge a reaction to that.

Complex aerodynamics will help the AM-RB 001
Complex aerodynamics will help the AM-RB 001 conquer previously unchallenged boundaries

“We produced a hard model that we showed in some arenas, and that got a very, very positive reaction. People saw it as an Aston Martin, which was important.

”Whatever ends up powering the mighty Aston, the car is touted to have some serious performance, with comparable ability to a Le Mans LMP1 racer which is the fastest class of racers to enter the iconic 24-hour competition, as well as the ability to to lap a Formula One track as fast as a current F1 car – if not faster. Does that sound far fetched?

Mr Reichman explained that it was essential for all stakeholders in the hypercar project to work closely if the dizzying level of performance was to be achieved.

The AM-RB 001 name stands for Aston Martin-Red Bull version one
The AM-RB 001 name stands for Aston Martin-Red Bull version one, but Aston says that doesn’t necessarily guarantee there will be a 002.

“By definition the objectives we’ve set for the car ensures there has never been an Aston Martin – or any car, actually – quite like the AM-RB 001,” he said. “The shared challenge has been finding that magical tipping point where we achieve the most efficient engineering solutions and the most beautiful styling solutions without any compromises.”

Both track and road versions of the AM-RB 001 will be built in Aston Martin’s specialised facility that was purpose-built for the construction of the company’ s ultra-exclusive One-77 in 2012.

The first glimpses of how the production version may look are certainly fuelling the hype and excitement surrounding Aston Martin’s feistiest road car in its 100 year history, but will it have the punch to beat the hyper-car aristocracy into the record books?