Aston Martin AM-RB 001
Red Bull Racing's recruitment website
Adrian Newey's Williams FW14B
The Aston Martin AM-RB 001 hypercar looks likely to feature semi-active suspension when it arrives in 2018 because project partner Red Bull Advanced Technologies is recruiting engineering experts with knowledge of such systems to work on the car’s development.
A situations vacant advert posted on Red Bull’s website says the company has “a number of exciting opportunities for highly motivated and skilled engineers to join Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) and to be part of the team working on the groundbreaking AM-RB 001 hypercar”.
The Milton Keynes company is collaborating with Aston Martin on the new machine, the design of which was revealed for the first time in July.
The company is interested in hearing from “experienced engineers within the motorsport and automotive industry”. Significantly, RBAT is looking for a controls engineer with experience of hybrid systems and semi-active suspension.
Active suspension is a specialist area for Red Bull design boss Adrian Newey who, together with Aston’s design chief Marek Reichman and special operations chief David King, is leading the project.
Aston Martin would not comment on whether the AM-RB 001 would have semi-active suspension, but project chiefs have previously spoken about the £2-3m car having “innovative” adjustable suspension to ensure it can meet its twin aims of being comfortable enough to “potter down to the shops in”, as Newey puts it, but also cope with substantial aerodynamic loading such as that experienced during high-speed laps of a race track.
The suspension - most likely an inboard pushrod arrangement - will “employ principles honed by Newey over his 30-year career”, as Aston said at the car's launch, and RBAT’s search for an engineer versed in “semi-active suspension” suggests AM-RB 001 could draw on the learnings of some of Newey’s most successful Formula 1 designs.
Whereas today’s fully active suspension systems replace traditional springs with hydraulic actuators controlled by the car’s ECU, semi-active versions use electronically adjusted dampers. They also tend to be cheaper to implement than fully active systems and consume less power.
Although active suspension is now outlawed in Formula 1, Newey was chief designer on the Williams FW14B, which used the system to devastating effect on the track, playing a key role in Nigel Mansell’s world championship victory in 1992.
RBAT is also searching for an electronics engineer who is skilled in areas such as “hybrid installation” and “driver controls” and a mechanical design engineer with knowledge of “automotive drivetrain integration, including hybridisation”.
The AM-RB 001’s main power supply is a bespoke “high revving, high capacity” V12. An F1-inspired energy recovery system (ERS) will also feature and harvest kinetic energy from braking, although it isn’t clear how much it will augment the overall power output, which is said to be in the region of 900-1000bhp. Intriguingly, the company has said the car has no reverse gear, so reversing could be done via power harvested by the ERS.
The task of engineering the AM-RB 001 is being shared between Q by Aston Martin Advanced (the company’s special projects division) and RBAT, with production taking place at Gaydon.
Other jobs up for grabs at Red Bull Advanced Technologies related to AM-RB 001 include a project manager, mechanical design engineers, an aerodynamicist, simulation and modelling engineers and finite element analysis engineers.