Mercedes-AMG has revealed a few juicy details regarding its fascinating Project One hypercar, set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. According to Autocar, the car’s F1-derived powertrain will get some pretty spectacular-looking specifications, albeit for quite a pretty coin – a whopping €2.275 million (RM10.8 million) plus taxes.
But your money will buy you a 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine from last year’s championship-winning F1 W07 Hybrid racer, paired to two motor-generator units. The first, the MGU-K, converts kinetic energy typically lost under braking into electricity, while the other, the MGU-H next to the turbocharger, does the same to exhaust heat.
Added to that are Honda NSX-style twin electric motors at the front, providing all-wheel drive and torque vectoring called AMG Torque Dynamics. Despite the car being detuned for the road, Mercedes-AMG still targets a total system output of 1,000 hp, which is similar to the race car. Being a plug-in hybrid, the Project One will also have an all-electric range of 30 km.
“We will have four electric motors – one for each front wheel, one on the crankshaft and one on the engine turbocharger,” said Mercedes-AMG chief executive Tobias Moers. “We will use the same ‘perfomance’ battery cells as the F1 cars, which have advantages and limitations – but we will still be able to deliver 30 km of EV range. And our target for kerbweight is 1,300 kg DIN.”
The engine does not rev out to quite the same stratospheric 15,000 rpm limit as the race engine, but Moers said “the redline is over 10,000 [rpm] even in the street legal car.” He has since confirmed that the rev limit will indeed be set at 11,000 rpm.
Moers also confirmed that the Project One will use a sequential manual transmission rather than a more complex dual-clutch transmission. “I can tell you we will be using an AMT [automated manual transmission] because there’s no twin-clutch gearbox capable of working with an engine that revs to 11,000 rpm.”
Acceleration targets have yet to be disclosed, but Moers did have something to say about the top speed. “This will not be a top speed car,” he said. “We will certainly be beyond 350 km/h, but to go far beyond that brings too much compromise for me – to tyres, to aero and to handling balance.”
Moers also claimed the car can be driven much like a normal road car, without all the preparation required by a real Formula One car. “We expect to develop a special program to support owners, but using the car will not be as complicated as many prospective customers seem to expect.
“Because of the F1 technology in the car, people are asking me, “Will I need a support crew or dedicated fuel to run it?” And my answer is always no. This will be a street car. You keep it plugged in in the garage. You fill it with [RON] 98 when you buy fuel. That’s it,” he said.
Production will be limited to under 275 units, and Moers expects all to be sold out before the Frankfurt show. Customers will be able to get to drive the car in mid-2018, and the company has already racked up 1,000 expressions of interest. “It will be up to local-market management to decide who gets a car,” said Moers.