Mercedes-AMG has released the Project One hypercar show car to celebrate 50 years of AMG and bring Formula 1 technology to the road.
The 1.6 litre V6-hybrid-powered machine was revealed on Monday (Sept. 11) as a road-going cousin of its F1 counterpart, with a top speed of over 217 miles per hour and a power output of over 1000 horsepower.
Produced closely with the F1 engineers at AMG’s powertrain facility in Brixworth, UK and the engineers at the F1 team’s headquarters in Brackley, the Project One is a concept for now, but Mercedes seems determined to bring it to the road.
A production run of 275 cars is planned, with a price of over £2 million (€2.275m) quoted.
The plug-in hybrid set-up includes one hybrid, turbocharged ICE with four electric motors supplying additional power. One electric motor is in the turbo, another on the ICE and the other two drive the front wheels, reaching 50,000 rpm.
The electric motor on the turbo drives the compressor, using heat energy to provide even more power – just like the MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit) in an F1 car. Surplus energy from the exhaust is stored in the battery or used instantly, as with other hybrids on the market.
The ICE itself is a 1.6l hybrid petrol engine (mounted in the middle of the car) with direct injection and the same turbo technology as the F1 car, revving up to 11,000 rpm.
Mercedes says that because the engine uses readily available petrol instead of racing fuel, and is expected to run for a higher distance over a lifetime, its performance won’t quite match that of its F1 car.
As a result of all of this turbo technology, Mercedes claims that turbo lag has been eliminated and the response time from the throttle is better than that of a naturally-aspirated V8 engine.
The power output is quoted as 1000hp with the front electric motors producing around 160 of that, and the rear wheels getting more than 670hp themselves. The extra heat-generated power brings around 170hp to the power unit.
The Project One has an eight-speed manual transmission, developed from scratch, and it’s a four-wheel-drive machine, with hybrid power on the rear axle and electric power on the front. Acceleration figures from 0-124mph are quoted as less than six seconds if Mercedes’ own launch control system is used.
The Koenigsegg Agera R quotes a 0-124mph time of 6.6s, for reference.
The tyres this show car has are Michelin Pilot Sports, not Pirellis, which keep the carbon-fibre chassis to the road.
A fully kitted-out interior includes with the usual sat-nav, entertainment systems, air-conditioning and power windows as Mercedes has opted not to make this a stripped-down track car. Its rear-view mirror has been replaced by a screen as rear visibility is hampered.
“Motorsport is not an end in itself for us,” said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“Faced with intense competition, we develop technologies from which our production vehicles also subsequently benefit.
“We are drawing on our experiences and successes from three constructors’ and drivers’ world championships to bring Formula 1 technology to the road for the first time.
Mercedes-AMG Head of Management, Tobias Moers, said: “The hypercar is the most ambitious project we have every undertaken.
“It marks yet another pinnacle of the successful, strategic development of Mercedes-AMG towards a performance and sports car brand.
“Project One raises the bar in terms of what is currently technologically feasible and thanks to its combination of efficiency and performance it represents an absolute benchmark.
“At the same time, Project One provides an outlook on how AMG will define driving performance in the future.”
What do you think about the Project One hypercar, and what are your memories of AMG’s 50 years in motorsport? Have your say in the comment section below or on our Facebook Page.