After months of teaser images and speculation, Mercedes-AMG finally unveiled their incredible new Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Taking championship winning Formula One technology to the streets, AMG CEO Tobias Moers was quoted saying to Top Gear: “Zero to 100km/h [0-62mph] is not a serious figure any more. So many EVs are quick, they have traction and no lag. But yes, the Project One will match a Formula One car”. If that isn’t the way to celebrate a brand’s 50th anniversary, then we don’t know what is.
The figures certainly back Moers up; over 1000bhp, a top speed beyond 217mph and, possibly most amazing of all, a 0-124mph time of under six seconds. These sensational performance statistics come courtesy of a plug-in hybrid drive system – consisting of a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 and multiple electric motors - that comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One car.
The trend of implementing Formula One tech into the Mercedes-AMG Project One has led to some fascinating ways of implementing the car’s electric motors. For example, the first of four electric motors is within the turbocharger to eliminate turbo lag – much like on an F1 car. A second 160bhp e-motor works on the crankshaft and then another two 160bhp, 50,000rpm, electric motors independently drive the front wheels.
Promoting that the fact that Project One is literally a Formula One car for the road, those two electric motors on the front wheels grant this hypercar the ability to drive in pure electric mode. Impossible for Formula One cars due to the MGU-K system that they utilise, this ability for emission free driving was an important accomplishment for the Mercedes-AMG team.
These two independent 120kW electric motors also assist handling by forming part of the all-wheel drive torque vectoring system that can accelerate and brake each wheel independently.
Of course, this much power requires a good splash of aerodynamic wizardry if it’s going to be used effectively; as such, Project One uses a whole host of active aerodynamic elements to make sure it stays stuck to the tarmac. Underneath the car, deployable vanes open to help increase downforce whilst flaps in the front wheel-arches help to control air through their respective areas. Moving to the rear, you’ll find active aero in the form of a two-stage rear wing that features a moving rear wing that is embedded in another moving rear wing.
Looking at the overall aesthetic of Project One, it certainly has the look of a hypercar; sporting a sleek silhouette, muscular wheel arches, the aforementioned aerodynamic elements and the much debated shark fin. Combined, the muscular body – that benefits from ground effects – and active aero elements grant Project One more downforce than a modern GT3 racing car.
The interior continues the racing car aesthetic through the use of high performance materials, such as carbon fibre, and minimalistic design. Featuring few distractions, the driver is free to focus on the road/track ahead whilst being seated in a stunning bucket seat and utilising a steering wheel that has seemingly come straight from a Formula One racing car.
Minimalistic design and racing technology aside, Mercedes-AMG have ensured that Project One remains a usable road car by including features like air conditioning, power windows, the COMAND infotainment system and small lockers behind the seats for luggage.
The Mercedes-AMG Project One is an incredibly exciting car and we very much look forward to seeing more details as they appear over the coming months. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure that you keep up-to-date with this Formula One car for the road.