It’s got the right lines, but Merc remains tight-lipped

In case you didn’t hear, Mercedes is currently very busy working on a new hypercar. It’s tagged with the codename “Project One,” and it’s basically an out-and-out race car for the road, boasting huge aero on the outside and even a four-figure, F1-derived powertrain on the inside. Sounds tempting, no? Mercedes has teased the Project One before, giving us little more than a vague silhouette and a smattering of details. A full reveal is expected later this year, but in the interim, we may have just got a new, broad-daylight look at what’s coming in the above press image.

The picture is taken from a recent press release Mercedes issued that outlines the efforts of its design studios. The title of the press release is “Advanced design: Working on the future,” and it talks about show cars like the F015 Luxury in Motion, the Concept IAA, and the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6.

The release doesn’t mention the Project One by name, but we think the ultra-wide, ultra-low, black and white model we see parked in the background could, at the very least, be some kind of early prototype design. If it’s not, well… maybe it should be.

Read on for more info on the Project One, and why this image in particular could be so important.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

Is This The Upcoming Mercedes Hypercar? High Resolution
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So – what’s the deal with the Mercedes Project One hypercar, and why should you care?

Back in October of 2016, at the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes told the world it was building a new hypercar aimed at bringing insane performance levels to the street. The specifics of how the automaker aims to accomplish that goal are simply mind-boggling. To begin, output will be firmly in four-figure territory, which is absolutely more than appropriate considering the current crop of hypercars on the market (Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg One:1, etc.).

But here’s the kicker – Merc will source that 1,000+ horsepower from none other than it’s Formula One team, adapting the bleeding edge hybrid lump that Nico Rosberg is so familiar with for street duty.

But here’s the kicker – Merc will source that 1,000+ horsepower from none other than it’s Formula One team, adapting the bleeding edge hybrid lump that Nico Rosberg is so familiar with for street duty.

Talk about ridiculous. This is an absolute monster of a powertrain, with a mid-mounted 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6, mated with a slew of electric motors and lithium-ion battery pack. Braking energy will help provide extra electrons, and over 10,000 rpm should be possible when you wind it out. While F1 cars send all that output to the rear wheels, it’s speculated the Project One will be AWD instead, which is about right for this segment (unless, of course, you happen to be Ferrari or McLaren). Pretty much everything will be made from either carbon fiber or some other space-worthy material, while huge downforce will keep it planted at over 200 mph.

Such a vehicle is estimated to cost upwards of $2.5 million. Only a few hundred will be produced. The official debut should happen this coming September in Frankfurt as part of the celebration of AMG’s 50th anniversary, while deliveries will commence sometime in 2018.

But here’s the thing. Any time you start dealing in race cars for the road, there’s a bit of a balance that must be struck between aesthetic appeal and engineering necessities.

Amazing, right? Previous teasers of this thing presented what appears to be a prototype racer straight from the Circuit de la Sarthe, with the right proportions, the right stance, and a prominent center fin running the length of the car, all of which scream outrageous performance potential.

Mercedes-Benz Confirms F1-Inspired Hypercar In Paris; Offers First Look
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Mercedes-AMG Hypercar Gets A Proper Codename, Will be Limited To Less Than 300 Units
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See that white outline on the screen in back in the above pic? Now imagine seeing something like that pull up at a stoplight. Drool.

But here’s the thing. Any time you start dealing in race cars for the road, there’s a bit of a balance that must be struck between aesthetic appeal and engineering necessities. Form and function can butt heads at this intersection, and if this newly released image is an early prototype Project One, it could be Merc’s idea of what beauty at speed is supposed to look like.

Of course, with any concept, the pressures of making it work in the real world will inevitably alter a few things here and there, but either way, I think Merc is on the right track.

Looking at this thing, I can’t help but be reminded of the Mercedes CLK GTR, one of the other racers for the road Merc made in the ‘90s. That thing was an absolute beast, but even still, the Project One is shaping up to leave it in the dust.

These are indeed exciting times if you’re into fast cars. It should be mentioned that Red Bull and Aston Martin have revealed their own hypercar, the AM-RB 001, which also draws significant inspiration from Formula One.

Now if we could just get these things on a racetrack with an unbiased, highly skilled driver/journalist to sort them out. Koenigsegg and Bugatti, you can come too.

2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
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Read our full review on the upcoming Mercedes-AMG hypercar here.

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