Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar finally unveiled – sub-6 seconds 0-200 km/h, top speed over 350 km/h

Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar finally unveiled – sub-6 seconds 0-200 km/h, top speed over 350 km/h

Hello! We’re reporting live at the Mercedes-Benz Media Night on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show, where the covers have finally been pulled off the spectacular Mercedes-AMG Project One. The long-awaited plug-in hybrid hypercar delivers on Affalterbach’s promise of bringing genuine Formula 1 technology to the road.

General details of the astonishing powertrain have been known for some time, but let’s run through them again. Behind the two-seater cabin sits a 1.6 litre turbocharged and direct-injected V6 directly from an F1 car, with pneumatic valve springs to enable it to spin at up to 11,000 rpm.

Stratospheric that may be for a road car, but it’s still significantly lower than the race mill’s rev limit, to extend the life of the engine and allow for the use of commercial RON 98 fuel. Also carried over from the world of F1 is the split turbocharger that places the turbine and compressor on opposite ends of the engine, connected by a shaft – this enables the compressed air to be cooler as it is separated from the hotter exhaust.

Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar finally unveiled – sub-6 seconds 0-200 km/h, top speed over 350 km/h

Fitted to the engine are two electric motor-generator units. The MGU-H (for heat), which produces around 90 kW (120 hp), scavenges energy from the exhaust to drive the compressor, thereby reducing turbo lag – Mercedes-AMG claims the engine’s response betters that of a naturally-aspirated V8.

A second motor, MGU-K (for kinetic), is connected to the crankshaft and recuperates up to 80% of the car’s kinetic energy under braking. When called for, it delivers 120 kW (161 hp) of extra power, pushing output at the rear wheels alone to over 670 hp – routed through a new eight-speed automated manual gearbox. The engine’s thermal efficiency of over 40% betters the production record set by the latest Toyota Prius.

That’s not all – another pair of 120 kW electric motors sit at the front to provide all-wheel drive and torque vectoring on the front axle. All in all, the headline total power figure stands at over 1,000 hp, propelling the Project One from zero to 200 km/h in under six seconds and onwards to a top speed of over 350 km/h.

Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar finally unveiled – sub-6 seconds 0-200 km/h, top speed over 350 km/h

The car is also capable of an all-electric range of 25 km thanks to the two front motors, the MGU-K and a lithium-ion battery pack aft of the front wheels. The latter is positioned in the same place as on the F1 car and uses the same cells, but is larger to provide the extra energy needed for road use. There’s still a traditional 12-volt electrical system, but the hybrid powertrain runs at 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts.

Aside from the engine and four electric motors, the Project One also features a carbon fibre monocoque, with the engine and transmission sharing load-bearing duties à la Ferrari F50. The multilink suspension features pushrod dampers mounted transversely, preventing roll even during very quick direction changes, without resulting in an uncomfortable ride. Carbon ceramic brakes come as standard.

All this performance and technology calls for an out-of-this-world design, and you’ll certainly find that here. The car is long and low, and features an aggressive front end brought on by the slim LED headlights and the typical AMG A-wing design of the sizeable front air intakes. The front splitter extends automatically at speed, and works with vents above the front wheels to increase downforce.

Meanwhile, another set of vents ahead of the front windscreen directs hot air around the sides of the cockpit, allowing fresh air to flow uninterrupted to the engine’s roof scoop. Carbon fibre panels direct air along the sides which feature a Petronas green motif, designed by the same person who does the race car’s livery. The clear engine cover is punctuated by slats and a pair of NACA ducts to cool the engine and transmission.

Splitting the cover is a dorsal fin running along the spine of the car to increase lateral stability, while a two-stage extendable rear spoiler and a twin-channel rear diffuser improve aerodynamic efficiency and high-speed performance. A flat rear apron features a mesh cover and three rhomboid LED tail lights on either side, echoing the AMG logo as well as the headlight design.

Sitting at the centre of the car is a large round tailpipe with two smaller exits, just like on an F1 car. Forged aluminium alloy wheels measure 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the back, wrapped in 285/35-section front and 335/20-section rear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres designed specifically for the Project One. The multi-spoke rollers carry carbon fibre covers with ventilation slats all around.

Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar finally unveiled – sub-6 seconds 0-200 km/h, top speed over 350 km/h

Inside, the two-seater cabin is as minimalist as they come, punctuated by a race-style rectangular steering wheel with LED shift lights on the top, coloured buttons and a rotary controller to adjust various vehicle settings. The dashboard, which is also a load-bearing structure, houses the twin 10-inch displays – a digital instrument cluster and a central COMAND infotainment screen – held up with solid metal components.

The twin bucket seats are integrated in the monocoque and feature an adjustable backrest (the pedals and steering wheel are also adjustable); they are upholstered in magma grey nappa leather and black microfibre. Between them sits a stowage console with the transparent lid, minimal switchgear and an engine start button, while up top, a rear-view camera screen replaces the usual mirror.

For now, the Project One is only a concept, but Mercedes-AMG has already committed to building the road car with a purported 275-unit run – and even with a rumoured €2.17 million (RM10.9 million) price tag, all of them are reportedly sold out.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.

 

Comments

  • Meanwhile Chiron reached finish line at 4.2secs

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7
    • AutoFrenz (the original) on Sep 12, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      The headlights pinjam from hyundai elantra issit…looks so ordinary..not that hyper…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • lilytan on Sep 12, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Petronas livery or not, this baby wont be using any petronas fuel as the best that they can do is only RON 97. What a shame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5
    • U can oso use RON100 for this car.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
      • lilytan on Sep 12, 2017 at 2:01 pm

        Luckily Petron is smart enough. In many country esp europe the fuel choice for petrol is RON 95 and RON 98. So performance oriented manufacturer optimized their engine for RON 98. Too bad msia does not follow this.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
        • In MY, perf vehicles from brandholders r optimised for RON97. 100 is more for trackday use, althou its cleaning agents is useful.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
        • Theres oso Shell VPower Racing (Red one), which is on par with RON98.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Senpai on Sep 12, 2017 at 10:53 am

    An engineering marvel, look at the gorgeous thing

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Sep 12, 2017 at 11:05 am

    it doesnt look that great….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8
  • Sonyman1 on Sep 12, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Looks like you guys back to retro looks

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Supercarfan on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    The design remind back to the 90s Mclaren F1 supercar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • hyperdude on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    275 units all sold out? Aiyooo i miss my chance to book 1. Lol

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • BMW weeps. No real history in motorsport except failures. Audi bossed the rally in the 80s with its legendary quattro and Lemans, Porsche bossed the Lemans and still today, VW in the Dakar and WRC. DTM doesn’t count.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
    • Or not on Sep 13, 2017 at 1:03 am

      The Mclaren F1 GTR that dominated Le Mans in the 90’s used a BMW engine. Does that count as some racing success?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • sf4hmi on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Just put two tablets and your interior should look modern. Nobody ever care whether they blend in with the dashboard. Same goes to the current MB’s interiors in E and S. Nice idea but poor implementation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • not merc at all

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • RM10 Million car with RM90 road tax.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
 

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