The highly-limited RB17 hypercar is set to make the Aston Martin Valkyrie look dull.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie was originally intended to be genius engineer Adrian Newey's wet dream, a track car with zero compromises and as many innovations as possible. This was supposed to be the finest track hypercar ever made. As impressive as it has turned out to be so far, the car is a little sanitized compared to what the Red Bull engineer originally wanted, with compromises continually being made. But now a second shot at creating the perfect racecar has been afforded to Newey, with Red Bull Advanced Technologies announcing today that it will be working with the man to create Red Bull's first hypercar project ever. Very few will be made, the price will be very high, and the arrival date is not far off.
The car is to be called the RB17 and is described as "a two-seat hypercar optimized for the ultimate on-track driving experience." Just 50 will be made at a cost of £5 million (excluding taxes), or around $6.1 million. That's an absolutely scandalous figure, but with Newey involved, there is plenty to look forward to in 2025, when production is scheduled to get underway. What's more, buyers will get access to simulators, vehicle program development, and on-track training and experiences. Factory support will ensure servicing and maintenance that is tailored to the requirements of each owner.
Christian Horner, CEO of Oracle Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, commented on this momentous announcement: "The RB17 marks an important milestone in the evolution of Red Bull Advanced Technologies, now fully capable of creating and manufacturing a series production car at our Red Bull Technology Campus. Further, the RB17 marks the first time that a car wearing the Red Bull brand has been available to collectors."
But what does the man who is creating the car tell us? "The RB17 distills everything we know about creating championship-winning Formula 1 cars into a package that delivers extreme levels of performance in a two-seat track car," said Adrian Newey. "Driven by our passion for performance at every level, the RB17 pushes design and technical boundaries far beyond what has been previously available to enthusiasts and collectors."
So far, Red Bull has told us that the RB17 will be powered by a V8 hybrid engine producing over 1,100 horsepower. But power is just a small part of what will make this car great: "Designed around a carbon-composite tub, the RB17 features the most advanced ground effect package available in a series production car."
Autocar spoke to some of the key players in the project, furnishing us with more information than the press release does. According to the publication, Horner explained how this project came about: "Adrian wanted to do a car [for Red Bull] back in 2014, and at that point in time, we found a route through that by doing all the design work for the Valkyrie in partnership with Aston Martin. Valkyrie is a stunning vehicle and I'm sure it will be a great success, but you're always learning, whether in Formula 1 or on the advanced technologies side." That implies that unique innovations are coming. He went on to say that it will "sound fantastic, like a track car should."
This suggests that the RB17 will be head-and-shoulders above the Valkyrie, and we are told that plenty of F1 tricks will be integrated. What's more, this could eventually set the basis for a road car. "It's the start of a journey," said Horner. "It's an interesting starting point for us. You can never say 'never', but certainly this is a halo project for us."
Considering that reigning world champion Max Verstappen's most recent company car was a Honda Civic Type R that he recently sold, we're sure that we're not the only ones excited about the prospect of a Red Bull-made hypercar for the road. The future is exciting, if scandalously expensive.