Aston Martin AM-RB 001

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So now at last we can actually see, rather than imagine, what all the fuss is about. We’ve already reported, somewhat breathlessly if we’re honest, that Adrian Newey, don of Grand Prix car designers, executed his long-held dream of building a road car. A road car to put the hyper into high-performance.

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To do it he’s teamed up with Aston Martin. And here, rolling for the first time into the gaze of an astonished public, is the resulting machine. Welcome to the Aston Martin AM-RB 001. The name references its co-creators, Newey’s Red Bull Advanced Technologies.

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In that same interview with Newey and Aston’s design chief Marek Reichman, we listed, in tones of gobsmacked semi-disbelief, the aims they have for the car. It raises performance to a level well beyond last year’s trinity of McLaren P1 and LaFerrari and Porsche 918.

Newey and Reichman said all along that it would only be possible because they were starting from a clean sheet of paper. They didn’t use an existing tub (the P1 is derived from the original 12C’s; the 918’s is a bit like the Carrera GT’s). There’s no shared engine or powertrain architecture.

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So we can see how the design draws downforce from immense under-body voids. You could set up camp under there. Above, the driver and passenger sit with knees and feet high, like a grand prix pilot. And behind them is a brand-new ultra-compact naturally aspirated V12 – a V10 would have been too vibratory, according to Newey, hence the V12. Its exhaust exits upwards behind the tiny tear-drop cockpit canopy.

Newey is speaking calmly as usual, but we gasp when he says the power-to-weight is similar to an LMP1 car. More specifically, he adds, it has about 1000bhp-per-tonne, with weight being targeted at under 1000kg. So we’re looking at around 1000bhp, then? Newey nods.

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