The Project One will generate around 675kg of downforce
It will produce about 1000bhp from its hybrid V6 powerplant
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.
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.
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”.
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.