Hypercar holy trinity: the next chapter
Step aside, LaFerrari, P1 and 918, the hypercar class of 2018 is coming
As the current Holy Trinity begin to take their first MOT, we already have a good idea of what the next chapter of the hypercar will have in store. Replacing the LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder will be a threesome from Mercedes AMG, McLaren and a collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull.
All three will be hybrids with electrical assistance, all will cost well north one £1m (possible even more than £2m) and they will; be benchmarked not against the current hypercar elite, but racers from Formula One and Le Mans.
Unshackled from many of the rules governing those two disciplines of motorsport, the cars will produce obscene amounts of downforce, over 1,000 horsepower, and feature technologies banned in F1, like active suspension. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know so far about each.
Aston Martin Red Bull 001
For now known as the AM-RB 001, this car is expected to cost between two and three million pounds when deliveries begin in 2018. I had originally said ‘when it goes on sale’, but in all likelihood the 99 examples planned to be built will have buyers before they even get closer to a dealership forecourt. A more extreme set of 24 track-only cars will also be built, and I be wouldn’t be surprised if some buyers take one of each.
An F1-style kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) will be strapped to a high-revving V12 petrol engine. This engine will be completely bespoke, unrelated to anything Aston Martin has made to date, and likely produce over 1,000 horsepower.
But while huge power and a hybrid system is no longer unusual in the hypercar league, the Adrian Newey-designed AM-RB will use trick aero to produce mind-bending downforce and, Aston claims, an ability to achieve 4.5g through the corners.
This is Formula One-levels of face-moving grip and double the g-force something like a LaFerrari is capable of. Aston Martin bravely claims the car will lap Silverstone as quickly as an F1 car. On slicks, we presume, but either way this is an absurd claim which we really, really hope became a reality.
And would you just look at it? This car is absolutely gorgeous, and we especially love the way that, viewed from the rear 3/4, the cabin resembles a pod suspended above the ground. The mind boggles at hoe much downforce that rear diffuser must be able to generate.
Next up is a hypercar by AMG, the performance division of Mercedes. It is also, loosely speaking, the part of Mercedes responsible for the company’s dominant Formula One team, and - we can barely believe we are writing this - will put this year’s F1 engine in a road car.
Yes, the engine from the racer driven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the 2016 Formula One season will be used in a road-legal hypercar. The as-yet unnamed car will arrive in 2018, there will be between 200 and 300 examples built, and the price will be in the region of $2m.
But the biggest news is, of course, the engine. And this isn’t just hyperbole; AMG boss Tobis Moers recently confirmed the car will have the “exact” engine as used by Lewis and Nico. “It will be that exact engine from the F1 car…the lifespan of an F1 engine isn’t as bad as everyone makes out,” he said.
Apparently the compression ratio will be adjusted and the F1 engine’s 3,000rpm rev limiter will be lowered, but otherwise, yes, an F1-engined hypercard is coming in 2018.
McLaren Hyper GT
Finally, McLaren recently confirmed it will be re-entering the hypercar world with a ‘hyper GT’ car before the end of the decade. With no name for now, the car will be the spiritual successor to the iconic F1 supercar of the Nineties. It will share that car’s three-seat layout with the driver in the middle, and 106 will be made - the same as the F1.
Known internally as the BP23 (Bespoke Project 2, three seats), the car will be made by McLaren’s Special Operations division, MSO, and will blend hypercar performance with the comfort of a grand tourer - a rocket ship to take you and two friends to Monaco in comfort and at colossal speed.
McLaren is expected to use an adaptation of the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 fitted to all of its other cars. That’s a bit of a shame, really, as a free-revving and naturally aspirated V10 or V12 would be more fitting for the ‘son of F1’, as it is already being dubbed. But not matter, this is set to be another extraordinary car from the Woking company.
As is probably no longer surprising, the car will cost between £1m and £2.
The big question is, if your numbers came up on the Euromillions, which would you chose and why? No, you can't say all three...