AMG’s 1000bhp hypercar will produce more downforce than any road car before it
Andrew Frankel Autocar
9 February 2018

Mercedes-AMG’s forthcoming Project One hypercar will generate around 675kg of aerodynamic downforce, despite it not having an enormous fixed rear wing like the recently revealed McLaren Senna.

AMG boss Tobias Moers said the downforce generated will be “approximately half the weight of the car” and confirmed that the Project One will weigh between 1300kg and 1400kg, not the 1200kg reported elsewhere. Taking the 1350kg midpoint, this would indicate that the car will likely produce around 675kg of downforce, which would fall short of the Senna's 800kg claim but appears impressive given the Project One's sleeker shape and less prominent active rear spoiler.

It's not clear at what speed this figure is developed: in the Senna, it comes at 155mph. Like the Senna and the Ford GT, the Project One’s driver will be able to lower the car for track driving, increasing the amount of downforce generated under it. This is just one of the many facts about the hypercar that have emerged since its launch at last year's Frankfurt motor show.

Mercedes-AMG Project One hybrid tech due in series production model by 2021

As an example, Moers stated very clearly that the 1000bhp output quoted for the car is just what the 1.6-litre V6 hybrid engine is developing on the dynamometer at present and that its actual output will be that figure “plus, plus, plus”. Ultimately, he said that he expected it will be below 1100bhp, but it's not yet known by how much.

Lewis Hamilton reveals the Project One - in pictures

According to Andy Cowell, head of Mercedes’ High Performance Powertrains division, the biggest challenges with the engine are neither keeping it reliable nor adapting to road car use, saying it will idle in a Dubai traffic jam in mid-summer without overheating. Instead, he cited emissions and persuading an engine that usually requires a battery of engineers to operate “to start at the press of a button, in all weather conditions, regardless of how long it’s been left”.

Moers would not be drawn on the car’s simulated Nürburgring lap time, but AMG is known to have studied past lap records in detail, including the outright records of Stefan Bellof who lapped the circuit in 6min 11sec in a Porsche 956 in preparation for the 1000km race there in 1983 and the 6min 26sec he set in the race itself.

The production road car record is currently held at 6min 47sec by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Moers did say, however, that the biggest challenge he faced in extracting the ultimate lap time from the Project One would be “finding the right driver”.

AMG boss Tobias Moers on the challenges of Project One

It also now seems that while the engine will be produced in Brixworth, Mercedes’ Formula 1 team will be involved largely on a consultancy basis. Even so, almost all the other important components will be made in the UK, including the bespoke robotised manual eight-speed gearbox that Xtrac is developing and the tub and bodywork, which will be produced by an as-yet-unnamed third-party supplier.

Moers confirmed that despite the car’s price of approximately £2.4 million, AMG received 1100 requests from credible customers for the 275 units that will be built.

More content:

Geely plans to become largest Daimler shareholder

Watching Formula 1 with Murray Walker

Fernando Alonso to race at 2018 Le Mans and some WEC rounds

Our Verdict

Peugeot 3008

Peugeot’s awkward high-rise hatchback turns stylish compact SUV

Join the debate

Comments
14

9 February 2018

while it maybe a tour de force in Car technology, you could hardly call it beautiful, but I guess if your a Car collector you’ll have one, may be drive it a few hundred miles a Month, I think these Cars have peaked, we don’t really need Cars to do over two hundred miles per hour, naught to sixty in under two second, generate G’ force that will tear your Head off, no, autonomous is the next hurdle for us all, trusting a collection of circuits to whisk us here and there will little drama, it’s the future folks!!!!

Peter Cavellini.

9 February 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

while it maybe a tour de force in Car technology, you could hardly call it beautiful, but I guess if your a Car collector you’ll have one, may be drive it a few hundred miles a Month, 

Drive it? Most will never turn a wheel, once the owner gets it home or into secure storage whilst they wait for the value to rise. Cars like this are wasted on the people that buy most of them.

Citroëniste.

9 February 2018
Bob Cholmondeley wrote:

Peter Cavellini wrote:

while it maybe a tour de force in Car technology, you could hardly call it beautiful, but I guess if your a Car collector you’ll have one, may be drive it a few hundred miles a Month, 

Drive it? Most will never turn a wheel, once the owner gets it home or into secure storage whilst they wait for the value to rise. Cars like this are wasted on the people that buy most of them.

You can’t insist they drive them.......

Peter Cavellini.

9 February 2018

The front looks too aggressive, resembles my mother in law. Maybe this is what the customer wants. I didn't.

9 February 2018

SInce the revelation that BMW, Mercedes and VW have all been using caged monkeys for emissions tests it appears Autocar have been giving these companies even more exposure.

9 February 2018

The publishers like to think it's a journal, the magazine of record, but it's not and they know readers prefer to read about BHP than NOX violations.

9 February 2018

As for the Project One it does abosultely nothing more me. Hypercars are supposed to stir the soul, be special to behold, make your jaw drop and just look utterly incrdible. Project One does none of this. It's just a cold and amorphous blob of a car. At the end of teh day it's just a Mercedes. A hypercar shouldn't feel like that.

jer

9 February 2018

Might of more power than the Newey Aston or the Senna but is it really needed? Is it 2wd or 4wd?

9 February 2018

Brilliant. but at what speed?

 

if its at three figures then arguably it has little value on a road car

9 February 2018
A 1.6 V6 is weedy, no matter how powerful it is forced to be.

I have driven an AMG for the last 11 years. This is no AMG and I completely despise it.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
    This is the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The Insignia GSi is Vauxhall's new performance flagship. Can this diesel estate version offer both pace and practicality?
  • Honda Civic Type R
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    It’s a warm welcome to this steaming hot hatch. But is it too fiery for Britain’s roads?
  • Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    The DB11 Volante chassis' torsional rigidity is 22kN/deg, down from 34kN/deg on the coupe – but substantially more than the 14.7kN/deg of the DB9 Volante
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The DB11 Volante is the first convertible variant of Aston Martin's new model generation. How does it compare to the likes of the new Ferrari Portofino?
  • BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo front
    The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    The top-of-the-line 6 Series Gran Turismo has arrived in the UK, but does a more potent engine increase its unusual appeal?
  • Audi TT RS Coupé
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    The Audi TT RS has the looks, a vociferous engine and the supercar-baiting performance, but is it too uncompromising to use as a daily driver?