In an industry as innovative as ours, there’s a regular roll-out of brilliant cars for us to marvel at; a new Ferrari or a world-beating hot hatch will have us scrambling for details and itching for a drive.
But these cars appear a couple of times every year. What we really get excited about are the cars that come along once a decade.
These cars are disruptive, expensive, rare and unthinkably fast. They define a moment in automotive history; they become the automatic poster hero for a generation.
The AM-RB 001 is one of those cars – I can tell already. In fact, I could have guessed when we first broke the story in March. A joint collaboration between F1 whiz Adrian Newey and iconic carmaker, Aston Martin – a dream tie-up if ever there was one.
The McLaren F1 was borne of a similar relationship in the ‘90s, and with its central driving position and long-standing production car speed record, it’s still regarded as one of the finest supercars ever built.
Then came the Bugatti Veyron in the noughties, with its exotic and massively complicated 8.0-litre quad-turbo W16 engine. The production car speed record had a new holder, and a whole new generation of car enthusiasts had their new hero.
And now, along comes the AM-RB 001. From what I’ve seen today, and what the engineers have told me, this will be the car that defines the 2010s, not – as some may argue – the Bugatti Chiron.
Track times normally reserved for those in the rarefied air of Formula One are now within reach of 123 lucky car enthusiasts, and those sitting in their passenger seats. Aston Martin promises that the track version of the RB 001 will be able to keep up with a modern F1 car around Silverstone, and the roadgoing version surely won’t be far off.
No one has ever come close to producing Formula One-style lap times in a production car, but Aston Martin is convinced it has found the key to unlocking them. In that regard this car will be like no other that has gone before it – and that shows in the way it looks.
Aston Martin has always been considered the pinnacle of British car design with its understated sports cars, while Newey has consistently blown the F1 world away with his incredible ability to design fast cars around draconian restrictions. Looking at this car in the metal today, the marriage of both these parties has produced something utterly spectacular.
In the AM RB 001, Aston and Newey have managed to take well-recognised sophisticated Aston design cues and evolved them into something which has the wow factor of more ostentatious brands such as Ferrari. This is the coolest – and classiest – hypercar on the planet.
But maybe I’m being too generous; after all, we haven’t driven it. Still, what are the chances of a car created by Aston and Newey being anything but phenomenal behind the wheel? I’d argue, none.