There are plenty of cars that cracked the 1000bhp-per-tonne mark entire decades before the AM-RB 001.
The only problem was that you had to be in Formula 1 to get to drive one. So what does it feel like for each kilogramme of the car you’re driving to have it’s own, personal horsepower in order to get it up in the morning? As someone who tests old racing cars from time to time, I am in the blessed position of being able to tell you.
Most recently I drove a 1970 March 701 with a brand new Ford-Cosworth DFV in the back. That's a probably slightly better than 500bhp motor in a 500kg car, and while the maths does inevitably change once you add in the large motoring journalist behind the wheel, this should not affect the essential thrust – no pun intended – of what follows.
When you light it up, your first feelings are not those of excitement, exhilaration or even euphoria. They are of fear. If you can climb cold into a 1000bhp-per-tonne car and deploy it all in a low gear without some reptilian flight instinct deep in your cerebral cortex forcing you to lift almost immediately, you are a better and braver man or woman than I.
Next time around, just before you press the pedal, you would be forgiven for feeling like you were tied to a chair on the tracks waiting for a TGV train to boot you up the backside. You will need to brace for impact.
Of course, after repeated exposure it all becomes much more normal, each reapplication of power merely feeling more like a common or garden physical assault. Which is why no one should be too surprised to learn that it takes a while before your brain can assimilate the process sufficiently for it actually to be interpreted as fun. But once it does, one tiny part of your life will never be quite the same again, and when it’s over, you’ll think only of the next time you might get that hit.
But that’s not the most shocking part of driving a car with 1000bhp per tonne. That comes later, when you get back into your conventionally quick street machine and nail the throttle to the floor. If immediately thereafter you concluded that someone had swapped your engine for a food processor, you’d be forgiven for that, too.
Top 10 power to weight progression
Suzuki Swift Sport: 130bhp per tonne
Volkswagen Golf R: 203bhp per tonne
Porsche 718 Cayman S: 244bhp per tonne