Development of Aston Martin's mid-engine supercar has been confirmed in collaboration with Red Bull.
As we know, Red Bull is collaborating with Aston Martin to develop the radical F1-derived Valkyrie hypercar. But that's just the beginning. Recently, we learned that Aston Martin had strengthened its 'Innovation Partnership' with Red Bull, which will spawn a range of incredible new cars. In an interview with Car and Driver, CEO Andy Palmer confirmed that one of these cars will be Aston Martin's upcoming mid-engine supercar and that Red Bull will play a key role during the development.
We've known about the automaker's plans to build a Ferrari 488 GTB fighter for a while, but development has now been given the green light. It's thanks to Aston Martin's recent return to profitability that Palmer could confirm that the mid-engine Aston Martin supercar is indeed happening. The CEO also reaffirmed the company's plans to produce seven new models by 2023, starting with the DB11 which debuted last year. Following this will be replacements for the Vantage and Vanquish, a production version of the DBX crossover, and two Lagondas. And then of course there's the mid-engine supercar.
The supercar is being billed as a direct rival to the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S, and will be developed at Aston Martin Advanced Performance Center based in Red Bull's headquarters. It will still be led by Aston Martin's engineering team, however. "The Valkyrie is the most extreme model. The track-ready version has to sit very much in the collaboration with Formula 1," said Palmer. "But as you move closer to a core vehicle, then obviously [there is] more influence from the road-car side. There will be Red Bull involvement in that car, of course, but the engineering lead will fall to the guys here. They will be consulting particularly around things like aerodynamics, where they obviously have huge expertise."
Taking the fight even closer to Ferrari, Palmer also recently confirmed that three of Ferrari's key guys have been recruited to work on Aston Martin's 488 GTB rival. Given the current competition, developing a mid-engine supercar seems like a logical direction for Aston Martin to take. "The majority of luxury sports-car manufacturers sit in that space," Palmer told Car and Driver. "Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren are all there. When you talk about a two-seat sports car with this level of performance, they are all in that space." As for a potential powertrain the mid-engine Aston Martin could use, that's a question that's yet to be determined as details still remain a mystery for now.
"Clearly, in our portfolio today we don't have an engine that's capable of giving us the output we require," Palmer admitted. "Whether through collaboration with our friends at AMG or whether by ourselves, we will have to find an answer." Given Aston Martin's increased involvement with Formula One, it seems likely that the new supercar will benefit from some F1-inspired technology.