Aston Martin previews third mid-engined hypercar at Geneva.
The Valkyrie is the first of many mid-engined hypercars Aston Martin is developing in collaboration with Red Bull. We’ve already been introduced to the hardcore track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro, and now Aston Martin has introduced a third member of its mid-engined hypercar family at the Geneva Motor Show that will sit below the Valkyrie. Previewed as a design concept, the previously-teased Project 003 has officially been named the AM-RB 003. Like the Valkyrie, the AM-RB 003 will benefit from Aston Martin’s partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies in its design and engineering and will incorporate concepts and technologies from Formula One.
While the AM-RB 003 will be more practical for road use than the Valkyrie, Aston Martin says its third mid-engined masterpiece will "remain true to that uncompromising engineering ethos, extending the trickle down of genuine state-of-the-art F1 TM technology into a car built in larger numbers.”
Aesthetically, the AM-RB 003 concept car takes its cues from the hardcore Valkyrie but is still distinguishable thanks to its reshaped headlights, pronounced front lip and a massive rear-diffuser, with the underfloor generating the bulk of the car’s downforce. Being a descendant of the Valkyrie also means the 003 is being built around a lightweight carbon fiber structure and is clad in carbon fiber bodywork "sculpted for maximum aerodynamic effect.” Also new for the 003 is a technology called ‘Flexfoil,’ a technology developed for the aerospace industry that "allows for the car’s downforce to be changed without changing the physical angle of the entire [wing]”.
"We were quite deliberate in AM-RB 003 to not disguise its lineage, but we were equally emphatic that it would be a distillation of Aston Martin Valkyrie and not a dilution,” Miles Nurnberger, Aston Martin Director of Design, explained. "The design isn’t as extreme in some areas, but it pushes just as hard in others, and is even taking certain ideas and concepts a step further. That’s a natural function of design evolution, but also testament to just how great an influence working with Red Bull Advanced Technologies on Aston Martin Valkyrie has had on our approach to everything that’s come since.”
For the first time in a road car, the Aston Martin’s third mid-engined hypercar will also feature a revolutionary Nexcel sealed oil system that will facilitate oil changes in under 90 seconds, which was first utilized by the Aston Martin Vulcan. Aston Martin says the sculpted body will deliver "outstanding levels of downforce in a road-legal car package.” Technology sourced from the Valkyrie also includes the active suspension and electronic systems.
Compared to the Valkyrie, the AM-RB 003 has a more spacious and comfortable cockpit, as well as LMP1-style doors that open forwards and take a section of the roof with them for easier access. The center console has also been widened to create more space between the driver and passenger, while luggage space is provided via a terrace behind the seats. There will also be storage areas for accessories such as a wallet or mobile phone. The clean cockpit adopts a philosophy called "Apex Ergonomics,” which Aston Martin describes as the "perfect alignment between the centerline of the driver’s back, steering wheel, and pedals.”
While the Valkyrie is powered by a Cosworth-sourced 6.5-liter V12 and a battery-electric system from Rimac that develops a combined 1,160 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque, the 003 will use Aston Martin’s new hybrid turbo V6 engine, marking Aston Martin’s return to in-house designed engines. Full technical details will be announced as development progresses. Production of the AM-RB will be limited to 500 coupes worldwide, with customer deliveries beginning in late 2021.