Under the skin of the Aston Martin-Red Bull 001

Time of article published Feb 15, 2017

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Gaydon, Warwickshire: Red Bull is an energy drink manufacturer, not an engineering company. So when founder Dietrich Mateschitz decided to go Formula One racing, he brought in world-class component suppliers to make sure his car was competitive.

And when he partnered up with Aston Martin to re-write the book on street-legal performance cars, they did the same, and the resulting credits list for the outrageous AM-RB 001 reads like a veritable Who’s Who of automotive aristocracy.

For the engine, they went to Cosworth, designer and builder of the most successful engine in Formula One history, the three-litre V8 Ford DFV. The brief was for a big, high-revving multi-cylinder V - but for the resulting naturally aspirated, bespoke 6.5-litre quad-cam V12 to reach the stated goal of 735kW per ton, it will have to a be real screamer, especially without forced induction.

Adding to the impetus will be a lightweight hybrid battery system supplied by Croatian high-performance battery specialist Rimac, the builder of the world’s fastest electric car, the Concept-One.

Together, they’ll drive via a specially made, seven speed paddle-shift transmission by Ricardo, developed for maximum efficiency and minimum weight using advanced computer simulation before the first piece of metal was cut - a 21st-century iteration of the old engineers’ adage “Measure twice, cut once”.

The car will be built on a carbon-fibre tub made by composite expert Multimatic, a project partner of long standing with Aston Martin, having supplied the tubs for the One-77 and Aston Martin Vulcan supercars - together with a lot of input from Red Bull Racing chief technical officer Adrian Newey (what do you think Formula One cars are made of anyway?)

Alcon will supply high-performance callipers and Surface Transforms the carbon ceramic discs they’ll clamp down on, while Bosch will be developing bespoke engine control unit, traction control unit and electronic stability programme systems for the AM-RB 001, while Wipac will provide the all-LED lighting.

So yes, Cyril, it’s a kit car, but in the best possible sense of the term. Aston Martin Works at Gaydon will assemble no more than 150 of them - including the remaining development mules - plus another 25 track-only versions, for delivery starting in 2019. And if you need to ask how much they are going to cost, you really can’t afford one.

IOL Motoring

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