Exotic Cars

Aston Martin's AM-RB 003 debuts in Geneva and is gunning for McLaren

Aston's pint-sized Valkyrie is bringing bleeding-edge tech to an increasingly crowded supercar segment.

Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow

Aston Martin is looking to take a big bite out of McLaren's lunch with its entry-level mid-engined supercar, dubbed AM-RB 003. This V6-powered baby Valkyrie is set to make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

At first glance, AM-RB 003 looks a bit like a McLaren 720S, especially in profile, but as you move around the car, some of Aston's design traits start to come out. The front features an exaggerated grille shape, like a Hunter S. Thompson version of what we've seen on the new Vantage. The rear features a large splitter that harkens back to what we've seen on the Valkyrie, and the rear lights are very Vulcan to our eyes.

Probably the most innovative aspect of AM-RB 003's exterior is the introduction of a technology called FlexFoil. Previously used on aircraft, FlexFoil allows the surface of a wing to change shape seamlessly, altering its aerodynamic properties without opening flaps or moving the entire wing surface. This allows AM-RB 003's rear wing to offer increased downforce without many of the drag penalties of typical active aero designs.

AM-RB 003 may look like a cross between a McLaren 720s and Ducky from The Land Before Time, but we love it.

Aston Martin

This entry-level hypercar from Aston is especially notable because its turbocharged V6 hybrid engine marks the return of in-house engine design from Aston Martin. That's right. There'll be no Cosworth or AMG badges to be seen anywhere. It's also notable because it uses something called a Nexcel sealed oil system.

The Nexcel system was developed a few years ago by Castrol and made its debut in the track-only Aston Martin Vulcan. It's a big cartridge that combines the vehicle's engine oil and oil filter into one easily swappable unit. Aston says that AM-RB 003's oil change should take around 90-seconds.

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Inside, AM-RB 003 is a cozy cocoon of carbon fiber and leather bits. Once you climb in through the Le Mans prototype-style door, you will find yourself sitting directly on the vehicle's carbon chassis, and the driving position is adjusted via the pedal box and steering column. This is becoming more common in uncompromising hypercars such as the La Ferrari.

Where the Valkyrie is primarily envisioned as a track car that can see a bit of road use, AM-RB 003 will flip that dynamic somewhat, with its various throttle, gearbox and suspension tunes being more focused on road use.

Aston Martin is being somewhat cagey when it comes to specific figures and details on AM-RB 003, even going so far as to say that the name could change, but we expect more hard numbers in the near future.