Red Bull's RB17 hypercar will get a 15,000rpm V10
Red Bull's track-only hypercar is on course for a 2026 launch – and the numbers are astonishing
Soon, the Aston Martin Valkyrie won't be the only Adrian Newey-designed hypercar lighting up race tracks across the globe. Red Bull is developing a new track car called the RB17, and following it's initial announcement in 2022, Adrian Newey has revealed further details about the project on Red Bull's 'Talking Bull' podcast.
Developed in-house by Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) and Newey himself, the RB17 will be powered by a screaming 15,000rpm naturally-aspirated V10, and promises to match Formula 1 lap times. Designed from the outset as the ultimate track car, the RB17 has the potential to push the performance envelope even further than the 1001bhp Valkyrie AMR Pro.
It'll certainly be more powerful. The V10 generates 1000bhp on its own, and it'll be supported by a 200bhp electric motor – as well as boosting power, the e-motor will act as a starter motor and be used for reverse drive.
The F1-level track performance will mostly come from the aero package, which will include a blown diffuser working together with an active suspension system. At 120mph the RB17 will generate its own weight in downforce, with a limited peak of 1700kg coming at 150mph. The active suspension will be calibrated to withstand this dramatic load variation, and Red Bull has worked to the limits of the RB17's bespoke Michelin tyres when capping its maximum downforce.
The active suspension has been designed to give the RB17 enough setup flexibility to cater for a wide range of skill levels. The car can be raised to reduce downforce for a more accessible performance limit, and its mechanical balance can be easily adjusted to suit different driving styles. Red Bull will offer simulator training sessions to get to grips with the RB17 before heading out on circuit, too.
Newey's engineering team has set a sub-900kg weight target for the project, which would put the RB17 in the same region as the GMA T.50s. The closed cockpit will seat two occupants more comfortably than the Valkyrie to accommodate taller drivers, too.
The car will be predominantly built in-house by Red Bull’s Advanced Technology off-shoot, with certain elements sourced from the firm's F1 part suppliers. Components are being manufactured this year in preparation for prototype testing.
We won't be waiting that long to get our first glimpse at the RB17, though. Red Bull will pull the covers off a design model this summer ahead of an official track debut in 2025, currently pencilled in for the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. Production of customer cars will commence the following year.
In 2022, Red Bull released an initial estimation of price at £5 million not including local taxes, making the RB17 one very expensive toy for those who want a taste of F1 performance. And without the complications of making it type-approved for road use, it’s likely that the RB17's development process will be significantly more straightforward than that of the Valkyrie and Mercedes-AMG One, which both ran into delays and serious technical obstacles.