It's official, Mercedes-AMG's all-new hypercar has just been revealed and combines racetrack performance with Formula 1-derived hybrid technology. Revealed one day ahead before its public unveiling at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Project One features a radical-looking exterior, a race-inspired cabin and a powertrain consisting of four electric motors and a Formula 1-derived V6 turbo.
“Motorsport is not an end in itself for us. 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: in Mercedes-AMG Project One,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Starting off with its exterior, the mid-engine Project One blends muscular proportions, long flowing lines and a low, aggressive stance. At the front, an array of air inlets dominate the Project One along with flat LED headlights. With the aerodynamic front end, downforce is generated at the front axle by way of a front splitter which automatic extends when driving on the limit.
Shod in the wheel wells are ten-spoke forged aluminum wheels with a wheel center lock and a carbon fiber semi-cover. The unique design actually helps in reducing overall drag while also optimizing airflow around the wheels. The front axle gets 19-inches and are wrapped in 285/35/ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Meanwhile, the rear is fitted with 20-inch wheels and come with 335/30/ZR20 tires.
Inside, the design concept follows the form of a driving machine built for the track. It has a minimalist style which stays true to the formula of function over form. Both driver and passenger get bucket seats with adjustable backrests. The steering wheel and pedals are also adjustable to fit every driver. It has a Formula 1-style steering wheel, two 10-inch free-floating displays, carbon fiber door panels and the COMAND infotainment system.
The rear-view mirror is replaced by a screen which shows real-time footage of the rear via a camera. Behind the seats are two small compartments which can hold small items, while a heads-up display also comes as standard to ensure optimum visiblity.
As mentioned earlier, the driving force of the Mercedes-AMG Project One is a high-performance plug-in hybrid powertrain derived from Formula 1 racing. It consists of a 1.6-liter turbocharged hybrid V6 that is helped along by four electric motors. The V6 itself is capable of revving up to 11,000 rpm and benefits from pneumatic valve springs (instead of mechanical).
One of the electric motors is housed within the turbocharger itself while the other is installed on the crankshaft. The last two motors are placed on the front wheels which deliver additional power and can rev up to 20,000 rpm. With an electric turbocharger, turbo lag is greatly reduced which allows Project One to accelerate faster than a naturally-aspirated V8 as claimed by Mercedes-AMG. Total system output is rated 1,000 PS and it has a top speed beyond 350 km/h. It can also sprint from 0 – 200 km/h in just 6 seconds.
Power is then transferred to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automated manual gearbox. Developed from scratch, it is activated hydraulically and can be operated in either full automatic or manual mode by using the paddle shifters.
Thanks to its unique setup, the Project One comes with all-wheel-drive for better grip and handling. There is also torque vectoring which adjusts power delivery to each wheel and regenerative braking which converts energy from braking to stored energy that can be used in accelerating.
The EQ Power + Drive System operates at 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts, which helped in reducing cable diameters and saving on design, space and weight. Topping it all off are the motorsport-style pushrod suspension coilovers and the carbon ceramic disc brakes.
Only 275 examples will be made and all are already spoken for.