Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has essentially assured that the superb AM-RB 001 foreshadows an eventual second mid-engine supercar from the British brand.
During an exclusive interview with L4P during the AM-RB 001’s debut during the 2017 Toronto Auto Show, Palmer yielded an interesting clue into the company’s future.
When prompted on what the AM-RB 001 hypercar signifies about Aston Martin’s future, Palmer spoke with a quietly excited passion. “As our halo car, it encompasses everything we know about sports car design,” he said. “It’s extremely lightweight, it uses composite materials everywhere, it has amazing aerodynamics, and the whole underbody is one big diffuser.
“It pilots what would be our design DNA for a mid-engine car, which obviously implies that there’s a mid-engine car in our future.”
The AM-RB 001 is an insane impossibility, a freakish lovechild between one of the finest minds in Formula 1 and one of the finest CEOs in the industry. It shouldn’t exist, but Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing really don’t care.
Its purpose for Aston Martin wasn’t just to build a car that’s “as fast as a Formula 1 car in race trim around Silverstone if you’ve got balls big enough to drive it,” or one that’s inherently unattainable due to extremely limited availability and an astronomical price tag. Instead, the AM-RB 001 hypercar, which will eventually be renamed, announces the arrival of a new-found ethos in Gaydon.
“One of the biggest issues I have is what I call saliency, which is people understanding what we stand for,” Palmer continued. He elaborated that people will look at Ferrari and think “fast and passionate,” while Rolls-Royce is defined as “unadulterated luxury.” Aston Martin is both those things, fast but not the fastest and luxurious but not unadulterated. Its hypercar is intending to pivot those perceptions.
“You don’t want to be average. You want to stand out in something,” Palmer said. “Everything we do is for the love of beautiful. So what we needed to do is make the fastest car in the world around a race track, but at the same time, it has to be beautiful.”
The hypercar possesses a brutal beauty that comes from melding the absurd aerodynamic elements designed by Adrian Newey and the seductive shape of speed penned by Aston’s Director of Design, Marek Reichman.
“The black surfaces, the carbon fiber, those are, more or less, the important Adrian Newey surfaces, and the green surfaces are more or less the surfaces that are important to Marek Reichman,” Palmer said. “The majority of the downforce on this car comes from the underneath, it is a Formula car underneath. It’s a Formula car without having the limitations that the FIA places on you.”
The car aims for an unparalleled driving experience, one that Palmer says highlights the technology of the company. “It’s not about autonomous drive or stuff like that, it’s about the driving experience.”
Proving this, Palmer promised that regardless of what happens in the future, three-pedaled Aston Martins will always be available. “What I see for us actually is a lot of demand for our manual transmission, which is why I’m on record as saying we’ll always make a manual transmission car as long as I’m in this seat.”