Red Bull's upcoming mild-hybrid road car, the RB17, will utilise banned technology in Formula 1.
The 1250bhp V10 hypercar will be revealed this year with only 50 units being made at a rate of 15 per-year. The RB17 name comes from the team skipping it chronologically with its F1 projects between 2020 and 2021, when they adopted the RB16 and RB16B chassis names.
The RB16B is what eventually propelled Max Verstappen to his first F1 World Championship in 2021, after a season-long battle with Lewis Hamilton.
Designer Adrian Newey confirmed that the RB17 would be capable of achieving F1 levels of performance on a track, due to it utilising technology that had previously been outlawed.
Newey confirmed when speaking to the Talking Bull podcast: “If driven by a professional driver, capable of a Formula 1 lap times."
“To achieve that [performance] we’ve pulled all the levers so it has a blown diffuser, active suspension too."
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Newey: "It will sound awesome!"
One of the key pieces of technology the car will use is active suspension, something that was banned in F1 after the 1993 season.
“The purpose of the active suspension is to give a very stable aerodynamic platform whilst maintaining reasonably sensible spring rates so that you don’t get thrown from bump to bump,” explained Newey. “Not nearly as stiff as a current Formula 1 car or a [Le Mans] car.”
“It’s kind of mind blowing in a way that this car, which is a two-seater, can produce that sort of performance,” he continued. “That’s really been achieved by the usual key parameters."
The car will also be close to the weight of a current F1 car, alongside a hybrid power unit capable of producing 1,000bhp. The car will also run on special rubber developed in conjunction with tyre makers Michelin.
“Focusing on weight, it’ll be less than 900 kilos, much lighter than any normal road car or track car. But at the same time it will have 1,000 horsepower. V10, normally aspirated. That’ll sound awesome," said Newey.
“But we then have a 200 horsepower electric motor and that fulfils a variety of functions. Obviously it’s an extra 200 horsepower, but it also smooths out the torque, smooths out the gearchange, provides reverse gear, first gear – you can move off the starter motor.”