Mercedes-Benz chief designer Gordon Wagener has divulged a few more details regarding the upcoming Mercedes-AMG hypercar – codenamed R50 – according to CarAdvice. To be revealed as a concept this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the in-house tuner, the performance flagship is set to use an actual Formula 1 engine.
Speaking to the Australian publication at CES 2017, Wagener said that the project was a fulfilling one to lead, adding that the car will be extremely low and wide. “The car is very clean and pure, but also very extreme,” he said. “Such a proportion is almost like you have a penalty shot in soccer without a goalkeeper. You can’t do much wrong, because it’s low, it’s wide – it’s perfect, it’s stunning.”
Wagener added that it was a challenge to differentiate the R50 from its rivals. “The hard part is what makes it different to all other super or hypercars that are out there,” he said. “What makes it the Mercedes of the hypercar, and always relates it to Formula 1? I think this is a very special car – it happens maybe once every 50 years or so, so you truly make a statement in history here. And you’d better do it good, yeah?”
Other details include the fact that the occupant layout won’t be a straight copy from a Formula 1 car, meaning that it will have more than one seat. “It’s not a monoposto,” Wagener said. That’s not to say it will be practical, either, but we’ll just have to wait and see when the new hypercar is revealed in the coming months.”
Lastly, Wagener indicated that the teaser sketch released by the company is representative of the final car, meaning that it will indeed feature a curvaceous body, a roof-mounted air intake and a central fin reminiscent of a Le Mans prototype – as the above teaser photo, revealed at CES, shows. “I think what we came up with is fantastic,” he said.
As mentioned, the R50 will use a variation of a Formula 1 powertrain, which includes a 1.6 litre turbo V6 supplemented by a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) system and electric drive. However, the engine will be toned down slightly for production, according to AMG boss Tobias Moers: “We run that [F1 engine] up to maybe 15,000 revs, maybe we’ll reduce it by a little bit for the road.”
Mind you, the expected powertrain is still good for around 1,000 hp, putting it around the ballpark of the Aston Martin AM-RB 001, another Formula 1-inspired hypercar to be developed with Red Bull Racing and legendary Formula 1 car designer Adrian Newey.
“We will have to change some things, but if you have a closer look at the Formula 1 engine and the demands – what they have now in the spec book – and you compare the loads of F1 cars we’re racing on track, and compare it to what we apply for a street-legal car which you use on the track, for sure it’s still different but it’s not that far away,” Moers said.
He also added that the yet-unnamed AMG hypercar will be the “most efficient hybrid car ever,” suggesting that the KERS would be more aggressive in the car. Carbon fibre construction is a definite, and the car’s design will include active aerodynamics as well. Former world champion Lewis Hamilton will be involved in the dynamic development of the car, which is set to be limited to under 300 units.