Adrian Newey, one of the most successful Formula 1 race car designers, is working on a pure electric road car that might be launched in 2018.
Newey has stepped back from active duty in Formula 1 and has now a free role within Red Bull Technologies to work on projects he like. Insiders reporting that he is spending time with Aston Martin to develop a car beyond the concept stage and also Mercedes-Benz have shown interest.
It’s said that Newey is keen to make an impact, similar to the introduction of the McLaren F1, designed by Gordon Murray and launched in 1994. Therefore Newey isn’t focussing on a hybrid hypercar such as the McLaren P1, LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder. Instead, he is said to be considering how to harness the potential benefits of electric power using the latest technologies, thereby potentially building an era-defining all-electric supercar.
Mercedes R&D boss Thomas Weber recently revealed to Autocar that AMG was already working on hybrid powertrains for 2020. Weber cautioned that AMG’s customers weren’t yet ready to pay more for the technology but said the increasing pressure to reduce emissions meant that the manufacturer had to develop hybrid powertrains that changed perceptions. “In our development department, we are already planning for the time when we will have to offer something special,” he said.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner said that launching a Red Bull road car was inevitable. He told Autocar: “It’s something that Adrian is keen to do as a legacy project. At the moment our focus is on being a Formula 1 constructor, but as we see more technology cross over with the road car market, it’s something that will organically grow.”
Image by Autocar.