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Aston Martin’s $3M Hypercar Takes F1 Performance to the Road

ASTON MARTIN

The AM-RB 001 is long and low and curvaceous, its lines defined by those enormous ducts and scoops on the flanks. It’s even more distinctive from the front, where the air splitter resembles the front wing of an F1 car. The floor is elevated at the front, much like F1 cars not long ago, and the rear uses a diffuser to direct airflow. That sculpting, along with aerodynamic sorcery underneath, will provide ample downforce to maximize cornering grip. Downforce increases with the square of speed, so “just enough” downforce at cornering velocities will become “scrape the belly on the ground” at high speed, Murray says. Formula 1 cars work around this by having a board-stiff suspension in which the tires provide most of the cushioning. But they also race on smooth tracks, and drivers don’t expect comfort. That’s not the case with someone spending seven figures on a road car. Murray says the AM-RB 001 almost certainly will feature active suspension that can adapt on the fly to suit speed and road conditions—comfy for cruising, but all business on the track. As to performance, no one’s offering any specific figures just yet, but Newey has said the track-only version will be as quick as a top-tier Le Mans endurance racer. To put that in perspective, Porsche’s Le Mans-winning racer lapped the historic Silverstone circuit at just a few ticks more than one minute and 40 seconds. In some ways, the AM-RB 001 may be more advanced than the cars Newey’s designed for the likes for four-time champion Sebastian Vettel. F1 cars are governed by struct rules and regulations, which make true innovation difficult. Murray says he found designing road cars far more liberating, because he could do whatever he wanted. He appreciates the direction the AM-RB 001 team is taking, but it’s not a challenge that appeals to him. “I love the look of the car, and I love the challenge, but if I had to do the F1 over again, it’s not the direction I would go,” he says. “I would stick entirely to the F1’s concept and usability, but bring it up to date with new technology.” McLaren F1s now sell for north of $10 million, making the AM-RB 001 look like a relative bargain, so he may be on to something. Source: Wired -Hymer

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