This year’s Frankfurt Motor Show saw the unveiling of the Mercedes AMG Project ONE hypercar. The first of new wave of hypercars to hit the roads after the ‘Hypercar Holy Trinity’ of a few years ago (the other being the Aston Martin Valkyrie), the Project ONE adds new meaning to the term F1 car for the road.
Every aspect of the car has been influenced by Mercedes’ F1 expertise. To this end the powertrain consists of one turbocharged engine and 4 electric motors. The petrol engine is a mid mounted 1.6 litre V6 turbo which revs to an astonishing 11,000 rpm redline. The turbocharger is electrically powered and the excess energy from the exhaust generates electricity to be stored in the battery pack. Alternatively, the electricity is used to power another electric motor installed directly on the engine and connected to the crankshaft. All this means turbo lag is eliminated and Mercedes claim response times quicker than a naturally aspirated V8.
A further 2 electric motors are placed on the front axle effectively creating a four wheel drive setup. These are connected directly to each wheel and provide torque vectoring capabilities and regenerative braking. The battery pack is located behind the front axle. All of this means 1000+ hp, a 0-200 kmph time of less than 6 seconds and a top speed upwards of 350kmph. The car boasts an all electric range of 25km. The Mercedes AMG Project ONE uses a bespoke 8 speed automatic transmission. The monocoque body is made from lightweight high strength carbon fibre. The engine and transmission have load bearing functions and support the rear suspension. Both the front and rear suspensions are push rod multilink setups. The 10-spoke forged aluminium wheels are 19 inchers in the front and 20 at the back. ABS is standard and the brakes are carbon ceramic.
The exterior design is dominated by a full width air dam in the front, a roof mounted air scoop and a large wing at the back. This is accentuated by all manner of inlets and creases across the body to boost aero efficiency. The interior is dominated by two screens and an F1 style steering wheel. The seats are bolted onto the monocoque and the wheel and pedals move to provide adjustability. The overall design is sparse but manages to still feel luxurious in true Mercedes fashion.
The purpose of motorsport has always been the advancement of automotive technology and its application to more mundane scenarios. This is where the Project ONE shines through. It has managed to perfectly reproduce Mercedes AMG’s FI expertise into a road going form. While the design definitely chooses function over form, it is undeniable that this car is a huge step forward for the future of the hypercar.