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Future models - Aston Martin - AM-RB 001

AM-RB 001 concept previews Aston monster

Field and track event: Aston Martin previously said it would only produce 100 of its AM-RB 001, but it has upgraded that figure to between 99 and 150 road cars including prototypes as well as 25 track versions.

Aston Martin’s most potent car to date to be offered in road and track variants

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Aston Martin logo6 Jul 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

ASTON Martin has revealed the first details of its most fearsome car in more than 100 years of building sportscars, along with a glimpse at how the mighty track-demolishing car will look in a full-size concept codenamed AM-RB 001.

In March, the British car-maker confirmed that it had partnered with Red Bull Racing to produce a vehicle that was half racer and half road car, but at the time only an obscure profile image was offered to build anticipation.

With the full unveiling of the concept at the company’s headquarters in Gaydon, England, Aston Martin has set an arrival date for the production version of 2018 and revealed that a maximum of 150 will be built, as well as 25 track-only versions.

Aston has also started the drip-feed of technical information and has confirmed that the car, which has yet to be christened, will be powered by a naturally aspirated, high-revving V12 and the holy grail of power-to-weight ratios – one brake horsepower per each kilogram of weight.

Until Aston reveals the car’s weight, 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 thanks to an “extremely lightweight and compact” carbon-fibre structure and expertise from both the Red Bull Formula One team and one of the world’s leading racecar designers, Adrian Newey.

“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,” said Mr Newey. “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”.

The significant power output will be sent to the bitumen via a “clean-sheet design” transmission, while the suspension system will also be closely related to racing technology. GoAuto understands that in the interests of weight-saving, the production car will drive only the rear wheels.

In track-only form, the company says the AM-RB 001 will offer performance comparable to a LMP1 Le Mans racer, which is the fastest class of racers to enter the iconic 24-hour competition.

No mention of an additional electric drive motor is made, indicating that Aston Martin has bucked the hypercar trend set by McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche, all of which use hybrid technology in their fastest road cars to date.

Aston Martin’s chief creative officer Marek 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.

“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.

Other than the single example of the 1970s Bulldog and the DP-100 racer that was limited to the virtual world, the AM-RB 001 will be Aston Martin’s foray into mid-engined cars, and the company says the finished product will be able to lap a Formula One track as fast as a current F1 car – if not faster.

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