Red Bull is looking to make a name for itself in road-going vehicles, according to Autocar. The company is now in the late stages of development for a 1,267 hp mild-hybrid V8 supercar. It’s supposedly due for delivery in 2025.
The outlet reports that the RB17 (not the coolest name) is being designed with a “minimum of compromises” since it’s meant primarily for track days. That being said, in theory it could be converted to become road legal if the owner is into that sort of thing.
Red Bull only plans to build 50 cars in total – 15 per year. Most have already been sold at about $US6,100,000 (around $AU8,692,020) a piece.
The outlet spoke with Christian Horner, the CEO of Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT).
Horner described the vehicle as “Adrian Newey unleashed”, adding that the Formula 1 superstar designer had long wished to build a car unfettered by sporting regulations or road car legislation, hence RBAT’s latest in-house project, initially codenamed ‘Eta’.
The car is formally known as RB17 – a tag that fills a gap in Red Bull’s F1 car naming strategy after that number was skipped due to changes to regulations under Covid, with RB16B, which Max Verstappen drove to last year’s drivers’ title, an evolution of the 2020 car, and RB18 this season’s car.
The technical director for RBAT, Rob Grey, said the hybrid unit’s overall power contribution will be “significant,” and Horner said the car will sound “fantastic, like a track car should.”
You can think of the RB17 as the spiritual successor to another Newey designed car – the Aston Martin Valkyrie.
“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, Horner said. “[RBAT] has now existed for close to eight years and there’s an awful lot of knowledge that has been built up in that time. With the budget cap era [in F1], if you want to retain resources there have to be projects that can justify their existence. This is a perfect project utilising the skill sets that we have, so it will complement our Formula 1 activities rather than distract from them.”
Grey told Autocar the RB17 will be “predominately” manufactured in-house, but items like glass and gear clusters will be outsourced.
One of the things not being produced in-house, however, is the power plant. Horner tells Autocar it will be produced to RBAT’s specifications by a third party.
Apparently there will be “a lot” of things in common between the RB17 and the Formula 1 car from a general engineering perspective, according to Grey.
The BR17 may end up being the first in a line of road cars manufactured by RBAT.
“It’s the start of a journey. It’s an interesting starting point for us,” Horner said. “You can never say ‘never’, but certainly this is a halo project for us.”