The F1 outfit will create a production line of 50 cars designed solely for the track, which the team are also planning for world champion Max Verstappen to test drive.
The RB17 is set to match the speed of a current F1 car, with its creators confident it will record a series of outright lap records when the first hits the track in 2025.
The planned car, which had an internal working title of Eta, traces its origins to the Aston Martin Valkyrie, which Newey previously designed before sketching the RB17, on which proper work began in Christmas 2020.
The team have managed to keep the project, which partially came into being because of F1’s new budget cap, thereby enabling them to keep some of their highly-paid leading minds at the team primarily with Red Bull Applied Technologies, secret until now.
The car will be powered by a V8 twin-turbo engine, with 1,100 horsepower and an energy recovery system adding another 1-200 horsepower. The two-seater is expected to weigh just under a tonne at 900 kilograms.
Team principal Christian Horner said: “It’s taking all the aspects that Adrian has pioneered over the years and putting them in one melting pot and coming out with vehicle that incorporates many aspects of his journey through his Formula 1 career.”
Newey started working on the idea for the Valkyrie in 2014, which in turn has spawned the team’s first in-house non-F1 car.
“It’s got all the Formula 1 DNA but it’s not being limited or constrained by regulations,” said Horner. “The timing is right for Red Bull to do its first ever vehicle and track car.
“We’re not giving away too much about the shape or design. It’s extremely advanced and the performance numbers we’re seeing in a virtual world are mind boggling. It’s Adrian Newey unleashed, which is a daunting prospect.”
Both Horner and Newey insist the new project was not created as a way of keeping the architect of all Red Bull’s championship-winning cars in F1. But Horner said Red Bull’s technical whizz was “like a school kid again” with the project.
And Horner also rejected the idea that the RB17 was in danger of derailing Verstappen and the team’s push for the drivers’ and constructors’ titles respectively.
“I think this is something that will complement it,” said Horner of the risk to the F1 juggernaut. “This is the perfect project utilising the skillset we have. It will complement Formula 1 rather than distract it.”
Newey said initial simulations of the car indicated it was a match for the current RB18 pace wise and that the new creation would “not disgrace itself on the Formula 1 grid”.
Explaining the thinking behind the car, which Red Bull aim to produce 15 of a year, Newey said: “The target we set ourselves was to say ok, people are always asking what it’s like to drive a Formula 1 car. The reality is there’s nothing close to being as quick as a Formula 1 car. The only way to find out is drive a Formula 1 car and that’s an extremely difficult thing to do.
“How about if we develop a two-seat car that’s capable of the kind of Formula 1 performance levels broadly speaking but which someone can drive themselves, experience and take a passenger be that a coach or friends and family.”