Ask anyone how to get fast, and they’ll tell you it boils down to the relationship between three things: power, weight, and drag. This is why breaking the world land speed record requires huge engines mounted to a lightweight bullet-shaped chassis and a cockpit to squeeze the guinea pig *cough* driver into. That’s one definition of fast that doesn’t work on the road today, because if you tried to take the ThrustSSC around a corner, you’d end up on tonight’s headlines. Clearly, this is not the definition of “a fast car” that comes to mind when considering the fastest street-legal car in the world, the Aston Martin AM-RB 001.
At least, that’s what Aston Martin is claiming for its latest hypercar – not sportscar or supercar – a joint effort between Aston Martin and Formula 1 Team Red Bull Racing, hence the moniker, also codenamed “Nebula.” Yes, the AM-RB 001 has power, weight, and drag in hand, but also handling, enough to take more than a few seconds off the typical Formula 1 lap time. For instance, a McLaren P1 or Porsche 918 might be able to pull two-minute lap times at the Silverstone Circuit, and an LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid pulled the same stunt in just 1:40.303. Considering the twists and turns at Silverstone, “fast” includes acceleration, braking, and roadholding, in addition to power, drag, and weight! Aston Martin says the AM-RB 001 is going to be faster, still.
AM-RB 001 Design
Bringing the AM-RB 001 to reality required a few changes from the virtual world to the pavement, but to pull off the “fastest car in the world,” Aston Martin and Red Bull have pulled out all the stops. In fact, some might recognize Reb Bull Racing’s Adrian Newey and Marek Reichman’s design language in the X1 hypercar created for the digital world in Sony Playstation’s Gran Turismo 5.
Though some details are still undefined, Newey are still ironing out the details with Aston Martin’s David King and other engineers to take what was basically a video-game car and turn it into rubber and steel. Actually, that would be rubber and carbon-fiber, because not an ounce of steel has been used in the AM-RB 001’s construction.
AM-RB 001 Elements
Aston Martin is shooting for a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio, that is, 1 hp power per kilogram curb weight. With an expected curb weight of 2,300 pounds (1,043 kg) then, the AM-RB 001’s engine should be putting out over 1,000 hp. The Aston Martin AM-RB 001’s body and structure is entirely carbon-fiber, the chassis and other components surely composed of aluminum, magnesium, or unobtainium. The powertrain is based on a naturally-aspirated 12-cylinder engine, whose redline is said to top 10,000 rpm, possible 11,000 rpm. A Formula 1 light-hybrid setup is also likely for the rear-wheel drive hypercar.
To make it possible to handle the twists and turns of the average commute or Formula 1 track, the Aston Martin includes active aerodynamic elements and adaptive suspension tweaks to keep it firmly planted on the road, and we can imagine most likely some torque-vectoring technology as well.
2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 $3 Million Plus
The Aston Martin AM-RB 001 is destined for release in 2018 and for a limited production run of between 99 and 150 vehicles, including 25 track-only versions and any prototypes. With a price tag estimated at over $3 million, there are still over 350 interested parties!