Rumours gain momentum, suggesting Mercedes' rival for the Aston Martin AM-RB 001 is under development; Lotus involvement could involve chassis set-up

Mercedes-AMG is developing a new mid-engined hypercar that will feature F1 hardware and a Lotus-influenced chassis set-up, a source close to Autocar has revealed.

The Mercedes-AMG hypercar has now been fully revealed. Click here for full details.

The insider said the new model – the existence of which has been rumoured for several months – was now moving into stages of physical development. He added that the car (imagined by Autocar in the rendering above) will feature a Mercedes F1 hybrid powertrain redeveloped for the road and engineered at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth, where F1 racing engines are also made.

It is not yet known whether the F1 engine’s 1.6-litre capacity will be retained or if the road engine’s block will be bored out for improved reliability. The racing engine’s 15,000rpm rev limit will almost certainly be significantly reduced for the same reason.

The car’s chassis and body will be built around an F1-style carbonfibre monocoque, with software and hardware for its systems that take influence from the F1 team’s F1 W07 race car. The results will make for a car that should rival Aston Martin’s similarly focused AM-RB 001, which also benefits from F1 technology and construction know-how.

Pricing for the Mercedes will most likely be similarly stratospheric; a figure of around £3 million has been mooted.

This week’s new information supports earlier comments revealed to Autocar, which suggested an F1 powertrain was being considered for use in a Mercedes hypercar earlier this year. “We have the most energy-dense hybrid pack in existence,” said one insider in April. “It would make a great deal of sense to harness that technology for the road.”

Our source’s suggestion of involvement from Lotus relates to road car chassis set-up. The information was supported with claims that the Norfolk car maker had been involved with the final chassis tuning for another recent Mercedes performance model.

Autocar has contacted Mercedes and Lotus for comment on the claims, but neither has yet offered any official response.

BMW rival

Interestingly, our source also revealed that secret development of a mid-engined rival model built by BMW had been shelved. The car was being designed to feature a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and would have been billed as a modern-day M1.

"It's such a pity it didn't go into production,” the source said. “It would have blown a lot of rival cars away."

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Comments
7

31 August 2016
Fantastic news! It is good to see that Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG's tie-up will only go so far and there is room for healthy competition. What a nice surprise to see Lotus being brought in with chassis tuning. This is the kind of project that Lotus needs to be involved with, rather than messing with laughable Chinese and Malaysian budget cars.

31 August 2016
I wonder if Mercedes are interested in acquiring Lotus ? Imagine the next Elise powered by the A45 engine

31 August 2016
Daimler's acquisition of Chrysler went so well, and Lotus's various owners have made so much money over the years, what's not to like?

31 August 2016
Exactly, its a match made in Heaven

2 September 2016
I thought that AMG was supposed to be Mercedes' high performance tuning division? Surely they have the expertise and could do the work in house, without recourse to the Proton-owned company whose most recent experience in this field is probably confined to go faster versions of the Elise and Evora?
Maybe Mercedes just want another badge to stick on the car...

4 September 2016
The source is described as "close to Autocar" and the as an "insider". My natural suspicion of the press leads me to think that means an Autocar staffer has guessed, imagined or invented the whole thing.

I'd like it all to actually be true, so I'm going to try and convince myself it was just badly written, which wouldn't be a first for this website either. Given that, it would be interesting to see if competition between Formula One teams could lead to the first three hundred mile per hour road car.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

4 September 2016
bowsersheepdog wrote:

The source is described as "close to Autocar" and the as an "insider". My natural suspicion of the press leads me to think that means an Autocar staffer has guessed, imagined or invented the whole thing.

I'd like it all to actually be true, so I'm going to try and convince myself it was just badly written, which wouldn't be a first for this website either. Given that, it would be interesting to see if competition between Formula One teams could lead to the first three hundred mile per hour road car.

Should read "and then as"

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

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