Advertisement
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
WELCOME TO HYUNDAI’S HAPPINESS MACHINE
View the latest news
Supercars

Newey's off to build his hypercar: here are nine things we know about the V10-powered RB17

Ahead of its full-scale preview this summer, these are some of the things confirmed for RB’s track special

Red bull RB17
  • The RB17 will be Adrian Newey’s last Red Bull project

    Adrian Newey

    Following the announcement that the legendary designer will leave Red Bull next year following a 19-year stint, a track-only hypercar seems a fitting way for him to bow out. And while he did play a role in the intoxicating Aston Martin Valkyrie, the RB17 will be his first proper take on a car that’s not prepped for Formula One.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • Power will come from a naturally aspirated hybrid V10

    Honda F1 engine

    When chatter first began about a potential Newey road car, the calls for a V12 power plant were far and wide; a V8 was even teased. He plumped for a V10 in the end, one that'll punch its needle up to fifteen thousand RPM. That's thanks to a 1,000bhp naturally aspirated engine playing captain to a 200bhp electric motor.

  • It’s going to weigh well under a tonne

    RB20

    Or closer to 900kg, to be exact. You can credit Newey's considerable knowledge on lightweight construction and the carbon-clad design for that. There was always a feeling that this would be one of the RB17’s defining points, so with a power-to-weight ratio of over 1,000bhp per tonne, and likely plenty of Formula One-grade wizardy on board to help keep it up right, the signs are already looking promising.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • The RB17 will produce almost twice its weight in downforce

    Adrian Newey

    Expect everything from heightened ground effects to cut-throat splitters and a war chest of active aero elements to feature. As a result, the RB17 is claimed to produce almost 1.7 tonnes of downforce, which means it should stick more firmly to the ground than yer average Labrador does to a warm spot in the corner.

  • Michelin is creating tyres specifically for this car

    Michelin tyres

    Given the sheer amount of force the car’s sole contact points with the road will be experiencing, a second-hand set of tyre shop leftovers won’t exactly do. Red Bull has therefore turned to Michelin for answers, which should yield something rather spectacular.

  • It’s named after the Formula One car that never was

    RB16

    Red Bull’s racers are typically named ‘RB’ followed by an ascending number. Though there was a blip with what should have been the RB17, since the RB16 effectively competed for two years due to the Coronavirus pandemic, before the RB18 was introduced to help Max Verstappen retain his crown. Instead of letting the ‘RB17’ name disappear, Newey decided it would be used to christen his no-holds-barred hypercar. Makes sense.

  • Owners will be invited to special track days

    Ferrari XX programme

    Similar to how Ferrari has its unique ‘XX’ programme, where owners of its most extreme series of cars are taken to the world’s greatest circuits to let their hair down, Red Bull will offer the same with the RB17. Customers will even be offered training packages to help them tailor the car’s multitude of settings to produce a bigger smile and fewer trouser accidents.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • It will be previewed later this summer

    Adrian Newey

    Sort of. The real thing won’t arrive until next year, likely at the 2025 Australian Grand Prix. Though Red Bull has confirmed a full-scale preview will happen this summer before production begins in 2026.

  • Just 50 will be built

    RB17

    Given just 50 will be made, we expect the ownership group to be esteemed. Newey will nab one himself, obviously, but we've still no idea who the other 49 are. If it's you, mind letting us have five minutes... or five hours?

    Advertisement - Page continues below

More from Top Gear

Loading
See more on Supercars

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

subscribe