The aim is so drastically out of the ordinary as to be scarcely credible. Adrian Newey, working with Aston Martin, says he will build a road car with performance vastly beyond any hypercar the world has known.
Around a track, the target is a lap time comparable with current top-level race cars – Formula One or Le Mans prototypes. Can this be so? “It is correct.” My eyes widen. Newey qualifies slightly. “Just to be clear, there will be two variants. The road-going variant and the track variant. Although the track variant will be a very close relation. It’ll have, as you might imagine, slightly bigger wheels, bigger wings, to achieve that level of performance. But the road car, I think, is a very different car to anything that’s out there at the moment.”
This is said in the softly spoken, professorial tones used by an engineer whose career has been at the very sharpest end of designing the quickest racers of all. Adrian Newey OBE is responsible for 10 Formula One constructors’ championship-winning cars – for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull. Just the sort of fellow you’d want to be engineering a road car (or a version of a road car) that, in a minute’s lapping, would leave a Porsche 918, McLaren P1 or LaFerrari perhaps 10 long seconds adrift. The biggest beasts of the current megacar kingdom duke it out for the advantage of the odd second or two over a seven-minute ’Ring lap. The performance jump Newey is discussing is all but unimaginable.
This feature was originally published in Issue 282 of Top Gear magazine.