Red Bull RB17: The £5million hypercar with huge Adrian Newey influence

Henry Valantine
Adrian Newey and Christian Horner launch the Red Bull RB17.

The Red Bull RB17 is announced by Adrian Newey and Christian Horner.

The Red Bull RB17 is a hypercar project that is being overseen by Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey, that has Max Verstappen’s hopes raised about a potential future Le Mans entry.

The sport’s dominant force has made no secret about his aims to enter the world-famous 24-hour race in the future, explaining that he does not foresee his Formula 1 career extending into his 40s due to his other aims in endurance racing.

“I definitely want to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but everything has to fall into place,” Verstappen said after wrapping up his third World title in Qatar in 2023.

“I don’t feel like just arriving and filling the field. I want good preparation and can compete for victory. Of course there is a BoP [Balance of Performance] which makes it a bit difficult, but I only want to participate if we are competitive.

“It would be fantastic to participate with the RB17, if possible. Who knows!”

So now that the Red Bull RB17 has been announced as a concept, let’s take a look at what it is, and what the future might look like for the hypercar masterminded by Newey.

What is the Red Bull RB17?

The Red Bull RB17 was announced at a press conference in June 2022 featuring Newey and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, with a project that will utilise Newey’s world-renowned knowledge of ground effect aerodynamics in a track-only specification, with the RB17 being designed in conjunction with Red Bull Advanced Technologies.

The RB17 is so named to follow the naming convention of the team’s Formula 1 cars, but due to the 2021 Red Bull being named the RB16B and the 2022 car being named the RB18, this left a gap to fill – which the hypercar will make its own.

Newey has already completed a hypercar design in recent years, heading up the design process of the Aston Martin Valkyrie when the brand was partnered with Red Bull, but the RB17 will be designed under Red Bull’s own moniker, and is due for release in 2025.

What do we know about the technical specification of the Red Bull RB17?

Red Bull announced that the production of the RB17 will begin in 2025, and it will be a “track-only specification for the purest execution of an F1-inspired hypercar.”

It will be a two-seater powered by a V8 twin-turbo hybrid engine that Red Bull say will produce in excess of 1,100bhp, featuring an energy recovery system [ERS] that has now been a long-standing feature of Formula 1 cars.

The car itself will be designed around a carbon composite tub that will use ground effect aerodynamics – the same style used on Formula 1 cars – generating significant downforce from the floor the car.

Due to the lack of technical restrictions on the car, the RB17 will also feature some of Newey’s most famous Formula 1 innovations from his time in the sport, such as active suspension that propelled Williams to dominance in the early 1990s, as well as blown exhausts, an innovation that catapulted Red Bull towards the front of the field in 2009.

Flexible skirts will also be used on the RB17 to maximise the ground effect aerodynamics in place.

Newey said of the RB17: “The RB17 distills everything we know about creating championship-winning Formula 1 cars into a package that delivers extreme levels of performance in a two-seat track car.

“Driven by our passion for performance at every level, the RB17 pushes design and technical boundaries far beyond what has been previously available to enthusiasts and collectors.”

 

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How many will be made, and how much will the Red Bull RB17 cost?

Costs for the RB17 start at £5million (plus local taxes), and only 50 are being made at a rate of around 15 per year. Prospective buyers had been invited to register their interest to Red Bull themselves, but most have already been sold before production has even taken place.

RB17 owners will also gain access to Red Bull simulators, on-track training and further experiences as part of the price, and the team will offer direct maintenance and service support “tailored to each owner” and how often they will use the car.

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