When I first saw the vague sketch Aston Martin released of its new halo car during today’s partnering announcement with Red Bull F1, I had to stare at it for about ten minutes before I figured out which direction it was pointed. Then it was clear: we (may) have seen this before!
Back in August 2014, Aston Martin debuted the DP-100, pictured above, which was a one-off design study concept for the Gran Turismo game. Or was it?
With today’s announcement that Aston Martin will stick its name on Infiniti’s old Red Bull racing team in F1, they also revealed that the second century of the British luxury brand will foster a range-topping halo car aimed at being the fastest road car money can buy, tentatively called the AM-RB 100.
That is, in short, absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. They also teased what it would look like with a little green sketch of five lines that look nothing like any current or past Aston Martin production design. So obscure, in fact, I had to study it for a good ten minutes before I realized it looks just like a slightly stretched outline of the DP-100 Gran Turismo design study.
Now this is all purely speculation on my part, but after going through the effort of overlaying the teaser image from today with a concept sketch of the 2014 DP-100, there are some obvious similarities that suggest the final AM-RB 001 has a good shot at being close in design to the video game concept.
The notable similarities are in the near-identical wheel arches, the curvature of the roof line which disappears behind the rear-wheel arch, the indention surfacing around the door area on the side of the car, and the pointy stubbed nose peeking out up front. There’s also an identical body contour line that runs straight through the side of both the DP-100 render and the new halo car sketch.
The DP-100 also previewed the open-backed front fender that vortexes the airflow around the car, as well as the new roof-rail design cue seen on the DB11 revealed in Geneva earlier this month.
And this all sort of makes sense, as the DP-100 video game design was an opportunity for Aston’s designers to go all-out without production limitations on something that would essentially be a virtual halo car. It looks like whatever production halo car Aston is working on will be extremely close to what we got on our PlayStations back in 2014.
You can also head over to Autocar to see a much, much better render of what I’m getting at. I thought I was the first to spot it, but it looks like they managed to follow the same trail.
Autocar also got a chance to speak to Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer about the upcoming AM-RB 001 halo car. The key statements about the upcoming car are Aston’s goals. They’re projecting the hypercar will be faster around Silverstone than an F1 car, also claiming it will be the fastest production road car for sale when it debuts later this decade.
Palmer also mentioned that it could steal an energy-regeneration system from the new Red Bull F1 partnership, but likely wont go full-hybrid. It will also feature a bespoke engine developed by Aston in a two-seater, mid-engine layout with “ some baggage space, but you might not get the golf clubs in there.”
The only design issue I had with the 2014 DP-100 concept was the small little slits for headlights, so hopefully they find a resolution with the upcoming AM-RB 001. Beyond that I’m extremely excited to see the final product, even if we seem to have gotten an early whiff already.