Mid-engined 'Son of Valkyrie' appears, with a limited production run planned and a little more room inside. Oh, and a ~$2 million price tag.
If you are having difficulty keeping up with Aston Martin's plans for mid-engined cars, we fully understand.
We've already seen near-final images of the Valkyrie – set to become the world's fastest road car – as well as seen the concept of the track-only AMR Pro version. Now the Geneva motor show brings two more for our delight and delectation: the chunkily code-named AM-RB 003 that you see here, and also the Vanquish Vision concept which will complete the family, for now at least.
The 003 is son-of-Valkyrie, set to share a similar carbon-fibre structure and, as its code name suggests, also being a collaboration between Aston Martin and the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team – whereas the Vanquish will use an aluminium structure and be more everyday usable with a lower price tag.
Both will, however, use versions of the same AM-developed powertrain, with a new turbocharged V6 working in conjunction with a hybrid system.
The AM-RB 003 will come first, with sales set to start in 2021 and production limited to no more than 500 cars globally. Although it looks similar to the Valkyrie, we're told that its carbon tub is substantially different and that it will have a bigger cabin, access improved by "LMP style" front-hinged doors to improve access and even a modest amount of luggage space.
The pictures make sure that luxury will be limited, with a minimal design featuring lots of carbon and two display screens, one fixed to the steering column and the other in the centre of the car. (Looks to be a mounted iPhone XS, actually... - Ed.) The squared-off steering wheel also incorporates a digital readout.
Parts of the cabin, including the skeletal centre console, have been 3D printed to save weight.
Although there are no official details on the powertrain beyond the fact it will combine a V6 with electrical assistance, we know enough to fill in some blanks. Don't expect a plug-in hybrid system, Aston boss Andy Palmer is on record with his dislike of the weight and complexity they bring. Rather we can anticipate a blended system similar to that of the Vanquish, with electrical assistance being added between the IC engine and the gearbox and with all drive sent through the rear wheels.
There is no power output, but when we suggested to an Aston spokesman that the 003 would need to have at least as much firepower as the 590kW McLaren Senna to be taken seriously as an opponent, he agreed this was a fair summary.
Cornering performance is set to be, if anything, even more impressive, with Aston insiders saying that the 003 will use many of the aerodynamic learnings made with the Valkyrie.
Both cars share a similar front keel design with airflow channelled on either side of the cabin's teardrop space; the gaps for this within the front arches are huge.
A low underfloor and rear diffuser will generate the bulk of the car's downforce, but the 003 will also be getting flexible power-operated rear wing elements, allowing the wing's shape to be altered in close to real-time to adjust aerodynamic loads.
As with power, be very surprised if the finished car doesn't generate at least as much as the peak 800kg of aero downforce made by the McLaren Senna.
Although pricing hasn't been announced yet, the official steer is that it will be around £1m (AU$1.86m) in the UK – so under half what Valkyrie buyers are forking out. It will definitely be more than half as good, though – making it a bargain by our reckoning. There will be many more details to follow in the run-up to launch, one of which will be the finished car's name.
With Aston pretty much exclusively sticking to names that start with the letter "V", drop your suggestions in the comments...