Aston Martin has revealed its new AM-RB 003 at the Geneva motor show alongside the brand's Vanquish Vision supercar and Lagonda All-Terrain SUV concepts. The carmaker’s incredible new hypercar seems to have been created with a McLaren P1-level of performance. It is due for production in late 2021.
Our sister publication, Autocar UK, received exclusive access to the AM-RB 003 ahead of the Geneva motor show. The model will bridge the sizeable gap in Aston’s fast-growing range of mid-engined models – right between the Valkyrie and the production-spec Vanquish.
The AM-RB 003 is likely to make more than 1014hp – the kind of performance that would threaten the Nürburgring lap record. This would place it alongside the potential next generation of cars like the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder – if said generation should exist at the time the Aston launches.
The hypercar will use Aston’s new twin-turbo V6 engine mated to a hybrid system; and be built around carbon-fibre architecture, using carbon-fibre bodywork. “If Valkyrie is the best of the best, then the 003 is the best at £1m,” said design boss Marek Reichman, speaking about the new hypercar. “It will have the same principles as the Valkyrie with its all-carbon-fibre tub but will be more usable.” Aston's design chief went on to say that the Geneva concept car represents 90 percent of the final production model.
Aston boss Andy Palmer calls the AM-RB 003 “the bridge” in the world of mid-engined Aston Martins. “The aerodynamics and tub construction filter down from the Valkyrie to this, and then the new V6 powertrain will go down to the Vanquish,” he said. “The Valkyrie is the fastest production car ever and now we’ve created a son of it that’s a halo car above everyone else’s range, like the P1, LaFerrari, and [McLaren] Senna.”
Technology like the active suspension and electronic systems will make its way from the Valkyrie to the AM-RB 003. Aston claims that the dynamic brief for the car is to be class-leading on both road and track. Aerodynamics will not be as extreme as on the Valkyrie; but they will be more extreme than on the Vanquish. A big chunk of the aerodynamic work has been done under the floor and through the large rear diffuser. The AM-RB 003 also adopts aerospace aerodynamic morphing technology with a new variable airfoil called FlexFoil, which alters downforce without changing the physical angle – as seen with an active rear wing, which is designed to improve aero performance and reduce wind noise, while also virtually eliminating turbulence and drag.
While the AM-RB 003 adopts a look and ethos inspired by the Valkyrie, it does so while being more usable. For example, to improve ingress and egress, the Aston's doors open forwards and out of the roof (inspired by an LMP1 car). Unlike the Valkyrie, the 003 also has luggage and storage space for oddments and a wider centre console to increase space between driver and passenger.
The cabin is unabashedly built around the driver. In what Aston calls ‘Apex Ergonomics’ the carmaker has creating the perfect alignment between driver seat, steering wheel and pedals with all major controls having been aligned for the driver and their eye line. Instead of a traditional instrument binnacle, there is a small screen mounted directly on the steering column and infotainment is provided by what Aston calls ‘bring your own’, by simply mirroring a smartphone.
Beyond the AM-RB 003 engine configuration, Aston has not dropped any key stats; but as with the Valkyrie and Vanquish, there has been an obsession with weight-saving and optimised packaging. For example, all four headlights and tail-lights weigh less than one DB11 headlight, while 3D printing has been used for both big and small interior parts – including the centre console, which weighs half of what it would have, had it used traditional construction methods.
Development of the AM-RB 003 will now continue in Milton Keynes, where Aston has a team of 130 people based within the Red Bull Advanced Technologies campus. The site is the home of development for Aston’s mid-engined models. The hypercar is the second model being co-developed between Aston and Red Bull in Milton Keynes.
Andy Palmer previously said that the AM-RB 003 could form the basis for an assault on outright victory at Le Mans, after a change in regulations made future racing cars more aligned to road-going hypercars than the current LMP1 prototypes.