Currently reading: 1000bhp Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar revealed - with new video
F1-based powertrain to propel two-seater to 124mph in 6.0sec and beyond 218mph
News
6 mins read
11 September 2017

Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance car division has joined the exclusive ranks of high-end hypercar manufacturers with the unveiling of a spectacular new 992bhp-plus coupé known under the working title Project One. 

Opinion: the Mercedes-AMG Project One was worth the wait

The advanced new model has been conceived to provide a direct link between the German car maker’s Formula 1 racing activities and its road car division. It is powered by 
a heavily reworked version
 of the turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 petrol engine and electric motor set-up used by the W08 race car, as driven by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. 

Q&A: we put our burning questions to the Mercedes-AMG Chief Executive 

The car was launched at a Mercedes event the night before the Frankfurt motor show, where it was driven onto stage by three-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. Speaking about the electrified car at the event, Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche said: "This vehicle will make all the performance cars at Mercedes and AMG look small. In 40 years I have never witnessed as much hype at Mercedes as there was with this car. After we showed the silhouette at Paris we had calls the next day to buy them.

"AMG's future does not depend on petrol, but on hybridisation and electrification too. This car gives an outlook for the future of AMG. Our task is not just to reinvent the automobile but to redefine mobility."

Hamilton added: "No-one's really done this [making a race car for the road] until now."

Performance figures quoted by Mercedes-AMG put the carbonfibre-bodied Project One’s 0-124mph time at 6.0sec and its top speed at more than 218mph. However, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers says final certification has yet to be carried out on the new coupé because there is still a further 18 months of development before the first customer cars are due to arrive.

“The hypercar is the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken,” Moers told Autocar. “It represents a highlight in the strategic development of Mercedes- AMG. We call it a concept, because obviously we don’t have any certified data for things such as emissions and so on [at the moment]. The finished car will be pretty similar.” 

The new coupé features an electrically powered front axle that provides it with four-wheel drive in its more performance- oriented driving modes. 

A sizeable lithium ion battery mounted low within its carbonfibre body structure is intended to provide the sleek two-seater with a claimed electric range of up to 16 miles in front-wheel-drive E-mode. This will allow the hypercar
 to perform short journeys
 at a limited speed with zero emissions by negating the need to engage the petrol engine. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review
Mercedes-AMG E 63

New hot Mercedes-AMG E-Class does the better part of what a fast saloon ought to crushingly well, but also leaves unexpected room for improvement

Back to top

Recharging the battery is performed both on the run using kinetic energy created under braking and coasting and by plug-in means via an 800V electric architecture. 

The Project One was revealed in concept car guise at a media reception on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show. The production version will be made in a limited run of just 275 examples. The first car 
is scheduled to be delivered during the second quarter of 2019, according to Moers. 

Despite the car’s price of €2.27 million (£2.08m at current exchange rates) and plans for left-hand drive only, the order book for the most extreme Mercedes-AMG model yet is claimed to be fully subscribed.

 

Engineering for the hypercar is being carried out in a joint programme between AMG in Affalterbach, Germany, its High Performance Powertrain sister company located in Brixworth and the F1 team in Brackley. 

“It elevates the standard for what is technically possible to a whole new level with a combination of performance and efficiency that is the absolute benchmark,” 
said Moers. 

Having already revealed the car’s driveline and chassis at the Nürburgring 24-hour race in April, AMG has now confirmed that the first in a series of running prototypes of the Project One has hit the road in testing. 

The styling of the Project One has been heavily influenced by the cooling requirements of its F1-sourced driveline and aerodynamic needs. It is based on a carbonfibre monocoque structure and every air intake and panel has been designed to maximise the throughput of air and the generation of downforce. A large wing deploys from the very rear of the bodywork at a set speed to enhance downforce. 

Inside, the Project One provides seating for two in what Moers described as a “highly functional” interior that borrows various features from the snug cockpit of the W08 race car. Included is a digital instrument display. There’s also a newly developed steering wheel with LED lights signalling the engine revs together with controls for the individual drive modes and suspension settings. A digital display takes the place of the interior mirror, providing real- time video of the rear view via a so-called MirrorCam function. 

Back to top

At the heart of the Project One is a compact, mid/rear- mounted, turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 petrol engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG’s W08 F1 car but tuned for everyday use. Developed at Mercedes-Benz’s High Performance Powertrain division in Brixworth, it is backed by four electric motors. 

One motor is used to drive the turbocharger. A further, larger motor is integrated directly into the driveshaft at the rear in a layout similar to the MGU-K (motor generator unit — kinetic) used in the current generation of F1 cars. The remaining two motors sit within the front axle, providing drive to the front wheels. 

The four-valve-per-cylinder combustion engine sets new series-production standards with an ignition cut-out set some 2000rpm higher than any existing road car’s, at 11,000rpm. The front electric motors are also claimed to spin some 30,000rpm higher than those of any current road car, at 50,000rpm. 

In an attempt to provide
the new AMG model with
the rabid throttle response typical of an F1 car, the Project One’s electrically driven turbocharger adopts a similar operating procedure as the MGU-H (motor generator unit — heat) used within the driveline of the W08 F1 car. It is claimed to reach 100,000rpm on wide- open throttle loads. 

The MGU-K converts mechanical and heat energy into electrical energy that can be stored for later deployment and the MGU-H takes heat from the exhaust and uses it to create electrical energy. 

Back to top

The V6 petrol engine is claimed to produce more than 858bhp and the driveshaft- mounted electric motor contributes a further 161bhp to the rear wheels. Up front, the two electric motors deliver a combined 322bhp. The purely electric-driven front axle features a similar torque vectoring function to that developed by AMG for the earlier SLS Electric Drive

The petrol engine and electric motors deliver a combined output of more than 992bhp. Drive is channelled to the rear via a newly developed hydraulically operated eight-speed automated gearbox with remote steering- wheel-mounted shift paddles. It offers the choice of either automatic or manual modes. 

All up, the petrol engine, electric motors and gearbox are claimed to weigh 520kg. No official kerb weight for the car has been revealed but Moers said rumours suggesting it would hit the scales at close to 1000kg are premature. 

Underpinning the new hypercar is a race-grade chassis with an adjustable multi-link set-up with pushrods both front and rear — the latter attached directly to the engine block. It is allied to standard 19in front and 20in rear centre- lock alloy wheels shod with 285/35-profile tyres up front and 335/30s at the back. 

As with current AMG models, the Project One receives a switchable ESP stability control system offering three distinct modes: ESP On, ESP Sport Handling Mode and ESP Off. Braking is via standard carbon- ceramic discs supported by what AMG describes as specially developed calipers. Moers is confident owners will find it easy to enjoy driving the hypercar, contending
that you won’t have to be a superstar driver to handle its prodigious reserves or lightning acceleration. 

Back to top

“You open the door, hit the start button and drive. Easy,” he said. “We have the most modern technology. The GT R is very innovative regarding ESP functionalities. The hypercar is going to have the next level. Controlling two individual motors on the front axle: we know how that works. We initially developed it with the SLS Electric Drive. Everything about torque vectoring: we know what we can do.” 

Related stories: 

Lewis Hamilton reveals the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar

What will the Project One be like to drive? 

Q&A: we put our burning questions to the Mercedes-AMG Chief Executive 

Mercedes' Project One allows F1 cars to have some road car relevance 

Join the debate

Comments
32
Add a comment…
jontywilliams 13 September 2017

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Terrible, derivative styling. A mess, adds nothing to anything. Corporate mind-think trying to leverage off the F1 team. No purity, no heritage, no vision.

eseaton 13 September 2017

I utterly hate this car.

I utterly hate this car.

Mainly because they have copied the most loathed engine format F1 has suffered for at least 50 years.

I have a CLS 63 AMG which I love, but would run a mile if such a format came near my list of potential replacements.

si73 13 September 2017

Negativity

There's a lot of negativity here, form follows function here and I think it looks very swoopy and aerodynamic, it also got the reaction from my teenage son that you would expect when seeing a super/hypercar, as for the engine, I am sure it would have been easy to build a car using the same engine supplied to pagani but this is Mercedes cashing in on their F1 success and wanting to effectively build an F1 car for the  road, and with their success why shouldn't they? Personally I think all the hypercars look too fussy with all the vents and aerodynamic aids etc, I prefer more simple elegant coupes, but they are what they are.

Find an Autocar car review