Mercedes-AMG doesn’t yet have a fully complete running prototype of the Project One — one where it is testing all of the components together in a single car — but it is, obviously, thinking about what the car ought to be like to drive; other than being apocalyptically fast and absurdly light, anyway.
And that is? Well, they won’t say, predictably, but there are clues in the way that other AMGs drive. Take the GT, which is a surprisingly relaxed car to drive quickly. AMG has quite a few racing drivers or former racers in its engineering ranks, but it knows not every customer is a race driver.
The GT R is one of the fastest production cars around the Nürburgring — and our test track at MIRA — but it produces that time without the sweaty-palmed drama of some other supercars. You don’t have to be Bernd Schneider to get a lot out of it.
The inherent balance AMG has put into the GT R is to give it a little understeer, for less experienced drivers to nudge into and know they’re at the limit, and then use the power to push through it if they’re experienced enough.
AMG’s engineers admit they could have made the R faster still. But doing so would have made it harder to drive, which, ultimately, they think, would make for a worse car.
Which is fine: the GT is a front-engined rear-drive car and cars like that inherently have an easy balance. How do you give stable characteristics to a lightweight, mid-engined car with 1000bhp? I think the key will be those electric motors on the front axle. AMG has already experimented with torque vectoring on the SLS Electric Drive, which had four motors and could put power exactly where it wanted.
Careful tuning of the motors’ delivery could make the difference between the Project One being an urgently fast but shockingly tense car to drive fast, or an equally fast but reassuring and faithful car, which more owners will be able to get the best out of.