GRR

Red Bull RB17 hypercar to get 15,000rpm V10

08th February 2024
Ethan Jupp

Red Bull and Adrian Newey’s mysterious track-only hypercar is coming into focus, with the legendary designer spilling the beans on a few key details. Here’s everything we now know about the Red Bull RB17.

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Speaking on Red Bull’s own Talking Bull podcast, Newey divulged some juicy tidbits on key specs for the RB17 as well as some key guiding principles. “It has to look stunning. It has to look good. It has to look like an art piece,” he opens. 

Certainly from the teaser images shown so far show the car to echo the arachnid-like shape of the Valkyrie, Newey’s first road-going hypercar. It’s expected the RB17 will be a debug of the same principles that guided that car’s conception, minus concessions for road legality and maintenance schedules befitting a road car.

“It has to be emotive which also includes sound,” he goes on to say. “So we decided on a normally-aspirated engine, a very high-revving V10, with a 15,000rpm rev limit and a prodigious amount of power.”

He goes on to explain that the inspiration behind this choice of power plant comes exactly from where you’d expect: Formula 1, or more specifically, F1 of the late 1990s and the incredible 3.0-litre V10 era.

In terms of chassis, what wasn’t expected is that the RB17 will be a two-seater, allowing owners to share in the experience. But as far as concessions to conventional cars go, that’s the start and finish of it. The lap times are hoped to match Formula 1 cars, with 1,700kg of downforce pushing a car into the ground that itself only weighs in the region of 900kg. More is technically possible but Newey claims much more would push current tyres beyond their limits.

The car will use a number of innovations that F1 has banned over the years, including a blown diffuser and active suspension. The latter is near-essential, in order to adjust and stabilise a platform that has almost double its weight in downforce pushing down on it at 150mph.

The engine of course will be the star centrepiece of the car’s powertrain but Newey has confirmed the car will be a hybrid, with 200PS of the car’s total 1,000PS (735kW) output coming courtesy of an electric motor. The electric drive will be multi-purpose, serving as first gear and reverse gear, while also filling in the gaps of the peaky V10’s power curve.

As for a timeline of the car’s development and delivery, parts and tooling are on track now, with a full static model set to be revealed this year. On-track testing is scheduled for next year and deliveries of the 50 examples a year later in 2026. We can’t wait to find out more about this incredible machine. What a way to celebrate the 20th birthday of F1’s current top team.

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