Road versus track
There will be some slight visual differences between the road and track cars, with the track version having wider front wings, bigger tyres and a bigger rear aerofoil.
Under the skin, there will be some more significant changes to the running gear and carbonfibre suspension is being contemplated for the track version. The car will have switchable driver modes, including an extreme track mode, with suspension that can be lowered.
The AM-RB 001 has a small, adjustable, two-plane rear spoiler. “The rear wing will be an active element, but it doesn’t actually do that much. All it is doing is controlling the air off the top surfaces of the car,” said Palmer. “With your rear aerofoil, you want to cut the laminar flow and then you want to cut it as fast as you can so you don’t create drag. So you want it as far back as you can get it on the car within the limit of the regulations.”
The engine’s exhaust exits from the centre of the rear bodywork and blows air onto the rear wing — an extrapolation of the ‘exhaust blown diffuser’ idea that was pioneered by Newey in F1 a few years ago.“On the final car, the exhaust is going to move slightly more rearward in the package to have a great effect on the rear wing,” said Palmer.
Aston is promising that the AM-RB 001’s futuristic feel will extend to the interior, which it will show at a later date, when it will also reveal specifics about the powertrain.
Due in 2018
The first prototype will begin testing in the middle of next year. The task of engineering the AM-RB 001 will be shared between Q by Aston Martin Advanced (the company’s special projects division) and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, with production taking place at Gaydon.
The AM-RB 001 is scheduled to reach owners in 2018. Palmer revealed that “more than 300 expressions of interest” had been received for the car after it was shown to a select group of potential customers in Monaco in May.
The car’s price is put at “£2-3 million” and those invited to buy one will be expected to lay down a deposit of £500k. Aston enthusiasts who have previously bought a limited-edition car such as a Vulcan or One-77 will get a guaranteed place on the waiting list. Half a dozen people are keen to buy both road and track variants.
“Deciding who will be considered for a car is a relatively new headache for us,” said Palmer. “With Vantage GT12 and GT8, Vanquish Zagato and this, I don’t think Aston has ever been in a situation where it has to invite customers to buy. It is a nice problem and it bodes well for DB11, which is also significantly oversubscribed.”