Red Bull RB17 hypercar revealed – Porsche power for track only 1250bhp hybrid V8?
Red Bull, the four-time F1 world championship winning team is developing a track only hypercar you can’t race
Red Bull has officially announced it is developing a new £5m hypercar called the RB17. Designed and developed in-house by Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT) the model will be a track-only hypercar powered by a turbocharged hybrid V8 developing in the region of 1250bhp.
Adrian Newey and Red Bull are no strangers to developing a race-inspired hypercar, having completed the initial engineering stages for Aston Martin’s Valkyrie project first revealed in 2017, which is only just now completing its production run. The RB17 will as such be a natural progression of the Valkyrie project, only this time with even more F1-derived technology.
Red Bull has set initial packaging targets of a 900kg weight limit, not including the driver. The cockpit will be closed and have room for a driver and passenger, but will feature a longer wheelbase, larger wheels and tyres, and target an even lower centre of gravity than the Valkyrie. Powering the RB17 wil be a twin-turbocharged V8 engine with a hybrid module, which will be produced by an as yet unspecified third party.
The engine itself will have 1100bhp, with an energy recovery system powering an additional 150bhp electric motor that will predominantly be used for torque-fill and reducing turbo lag. While there’s been no official confirmation of who the third party engine supplier will be, strong rumours continue to circulate that Porsche and Red Bull are to join forces when it comes to developing new powertrains for the forthcoming Formula 1 engine regulations. Porsche’s recently revealed 963 LMDh race car is also powered by a hybrid twin-turbo V8 twin-turbo unit.
Alongside the 1250bhp powertrain, the RB17 will base its entire aerodynamic package on ground effect downforce as was reintroduced in this year’s F1 redesign. To function on bumpier track surfaces, the skirts will be flexible and work in conjunction with an active suspension system. Other banned F1 innovations such as a blown diffuser will also be integrated into the technical package – Red Bull is, after all, calling it ‘Adrian’s greatest hits’ internally.
The car will be predominantly built in-house by Red Bull’s Advanced Technology off-shoot, with only elements like the gear-sets, powertrain and glazing sourced externally. While not set up for mass production, RBAT has a production target of 15 units per year, with no more than 50 to be built in total. The RBAT team, which acts as a consulting firm for the team’s external projects, has been built up over the years to absorb some of the extra personnel no longer able to be employed by the F1 team due to the newly-imposed budget cap.
Red Bull has released an initial estimation of price at £5 million not including local taxes, likely making the one very expensive toy for those who want the closest thing to an F1 car in the garage possible. And without the complications of trying to make it type-approved for road use, it’s likely that it won’t run into the issues and delays that Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin have been battling with the AMG-One and Valkyrie either.