There's no denying the excitement hypercars bring to the auto show floor. In Europe, they're all the rage with Bugatti Chirons, Pagani Huaryas, and Koenigsegg Regeras being the norm. But at the 2017 Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) in Toronto, having a brand new hypercar is a big deal, and Aston Martin was front and center leading off the show with the North American premiere and global auto show debut of its AM-RB 001.
No official specs have been confirmed as of yet, but the biggest news coming out of the show is a lightweight hybrid battery system that's being supplied by Rimac. In addition, the hybrid hypercar will be matched to a seven-speed paddle-shift transmission designed and manufactured by Ricardo that Aston Martin is calling “the perfect partner to Cosworth’s V12."
The AM-RB 001 possesses a lightweight architecture throughout, starting with a carbon fiber frame, as legendary F1 design guru Adrian Newey, the current Chief Technical Officer at Red Bull Racing, has targeted the hypercar to be as close to a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio as possible.
It's no coincidence that Aston Martin chose Toronto for its auto show debut. One of its main suppliers, Multimatic, based out of Markham, Ontario, worked on the tub, and has played a big role in the development of this car from a concept to production.
The super sleek and sexy hypercar is a joint effort between Aston Martin and the Formula 1 Red Bull racing team in which both parties are calling "a road car that will define the decade.” And that's probably what you would get when combining the polished sophistication of Aston Martin design with the technology and pure power of the F1 arena.
A host of heavy hitters worked on this project – which was first discussed at a British pub over bangers and mash – with a clean sheet approach headed by Newey, as well as Aston Martin's Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman. And on hand at the Toronto show to present this groundbreaking creation was Aston Martin CEO Dr. Andrew Palmer.
"There isn't anything that is even close to what this vehicle is,” said Palmer. "After we announced this, Mercedes-AMG are doing their own hybrid version, but we're using a bigger 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 naturally-aspirated mid-mounted engine, and that's what an engine should be.”
Since the beginning, not one member of the team has changed, resulting in the AM-RB 001's expected on-road brilliance due to its F1-driven aerodynamics setup that’s not just about straight line speed. This rhetoric has been told before, but based on Palmer's grimace while speaking about the unprecedented levels of downforce, especially found in its underfloor – it's got our attention. While cornering grip shouldn't be a problem, the hypercar will possess driver assist functions in the form of traction and stability control.
"Conceptually, it's not easy to take a Formula 1 and production car and mesh those two worlds together,” added Palmer. "Fundamental conflicts come about with natural tensions within the team, but it's all worked out into one phenomenal hypercar that is scheduled to hit the roads by 2019."
All 150 road car versions have been spoken for at a price that should hover around the $3 million mark. The lucky owners include racing drivers, celebrities, and fans that have been selectively chosen from across the globe. An additional 25 track-only versions with bigger wings are also in the cards, but that's still in the works and not available yet for purchase.