Everything We Know About the Mercedes-AMG Project One
The beast was recently spotted running in its camo dressby Michael Fira, on
Finally, we see it again! It’s been almost a year since Mercedes-AMG first unveiled the Project One at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show and the German Automaker has been slow on delivering news updates on its most insane creation yet. Now, though, Mercedes has released official spy shots of the car in full-body camo testing in the U.K., confirming our suspicions that prototypes have begun road testing.
Mercedes-AMG Project One
Over 1,000 horsepower from a hybrid V-6 with Formula 1 origins, mind-boggling acceleration with a 0-124 mph time of just 6 seconds, a top speed of over 217 mph, and a price tag of $2,653,000. These are just some of the numbers that define the Project One created by Mercedes-Benz with a lot of imput from their World Champion Formula 1 outfit.
How the Mercedes-AMG Project One Came to Be
The cooperation began as Mercedes wanted to have an ”F1 car for the road” that would benefit from all the experience and tech they have gathered while racing in Formula 1. This is how the Project One came about and, unsurprisingly, it quickly found interested customers.
In total, Mercedes looks to build no more than 275 of these amazing hypercars and all of them are already booked.
Mercedes also didn’t allow their clintele to buy two examples and, just like Ford, made everyone sign an an agreement that they won’t sell their new car the second they got it for profit.
With the F1 team’s headquarters in Brackley and HPP’s headquarters in Brixworth, it’s no wonder that one of the test mules was taken to the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. This comes after a period of silence from Mercedes due to what AMG’s CEO Tobias Moers qualifies as ”challenges”, to which he added: ” “It’s ambitious, and we’ve had our journey, but now we’re back on track. The biggest challenge has been powertrain, not durability but OBD [On Board Diagnostics], which is a different world.”
In spite of this, don’t expect the Project One to enter series production earlier than 2019 with some sources claming that deliver will start sometime in 2020. All that leaves us to do is wait for more info from Mercedes, analzye every detail in the images we’ve been offered so far, and think of how it will stack up against the Valkyrie kind – because of course everyone has been and will keep drawing endless comparisons between these incredible machines.
”Today it turns out to be more difficult to keep this testing confidential, [although] the camouflaged prototypes of the Mercedes-AMG hypercar are still being driven on closed test grounds and racetracks,” said Mercedes in an official press release that arrived shortly after German media suggested that the Project One test mules are out and about.
Indeed, with an F1-derived drivetrain and ludicrous styling, it’s hard to keep it inconspicious with so many spotters around the world ready to snap those juicy spy shots.
Mercedes-AMG Project One Development Process
The Mercedes-AMG team, together with the F1 team, employed ”Virtual Engineering” to develop the car before any part was manufactured or put on a dyno. Succesful completion of this stage, as well as the imbedment of the powertrain into the whole package meant that actual road testing was free to commence.
The car, as seen in the official spy shots, is almost identical to the Frankfurt-displayed concept with some key differences.
The big change is at the rear which was bare naked during the mule’s run on the Millford Mountain Course. This means that the production car might have a less Lamborghini-esque back end. The nose, on the other hand, is largely identical while the cavice just aft of the front wheel arch is no longer partially covered like on the concept car.
What We Know About the Mercedes-AMG Project One
Mercedes hasn’t disclosed the full technical specifications of the Project One but, there is a fair bit of information that we do know. We do know, for instance, that the car will have a carbon fiber monocoque with a subframe at the front to which the front wishbone suspension will be attached. At the back, the transverse wishbones will be linked directly to the transmission.
Given all the carbon, the car will be light – for a hybrid – with a curb weight of about 2,755 pounds of which 925 pounds are just the electric motors and battery packages.
In total, the car will have three electric motors – two at the front and one at the back in-unit with the engine – and an MGU-H system to eliminate turbo lag. The engine itself is a 1.6-liter, turbocharged, V-6 based off of the 2015 F1 car’s engine that will produce 603 horsepower and will rev to 11,000 rpm. With help from the electric motors, the total power figure vaults to roughly 1,090 horsepower – that’s without the overboost mode that adds 48 horsepower to the grand total. All that power will reach the road through an eight-speed, hydraulic, semi-automatic, flappy paddle gearbox developed by Xtrac. Unlike an F1 car, the Project One has four-wheel steering and all-wheel drive for obvious reasons. It also has energy recovery systems on the front axle to recharge the batteries when you step off the gas.
That puny 1.6-liter V-6 will be put under a lot of stress in the Project One, though, so much so that it will require a re-build every 31,000 miles.
We don’t know how much that will cost, but it might just surpass the bill for a similar operation on a Bugatti or a McLaren F1 given the added mountain of tech gizmos behind the seats.
Talking about the interior, we’ve got a good look at it on the concept car, but it may change. What we know is that you’ll get cameras instead of classic rear-view mirrors, a center console dominated by an LED screen with another one sitting behind the steering wheel and enough space to fit even a tall guy like Mercedes’ CEO Dieter Zetsche.
Although the car does have electric motors and battery package, it’s no Tesla. Mercedes say it will never do more than 13 miles on electrical power alone, but it will launch itself using only electricity which it will also employ below 37 mph like many other Mercedes-Benz models already in production.
With the car being more track-oriented than other extreme hypercars, the AMG boss didn’t shy away from admitting that an onslought on the Nordschleife is plausible.
Currently, it’s Lamborghini who hold the production vehicle record thanks to the Aventador Superveloce’s lap of 6:44.9 seconds.
Finally, we hope that Mercedes will release some footage of the car running at Millbrook since there are at least two exterior cameras on the car in the images available. There could be more onboard so we’d love to see how the car feels and sounds. Mercedes said about the prototypes that ” “However, because of their specific and very characteristic F1 sound, they are hard to keep from the public.” We are intrigued!
Mercedes-AMG Project One Specifications
|Engine:||Mid-mounted 1.6-litre V-6 with direct injection, four valves per cylinder, four overhead camshafts and electrically boosted single turbocharger, electric motor connected to the crankshaft|
|Engine Horsepower:||603 hp|
|Max Engine Speed:||11,000 rpm|
|Combined output:||over 1,090 horsepower|
|Drivetrain:||Variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with hybrid-drive rear axle, electrically driven front axle and torque vectoring|
|Transmission:||Automated AMG SPEEDSHIFT 8-speed manual transmission|
|0-124 mph:||6 seconds|
|Top Speed:||217 mph|
|Curb Weight:||2,755 lbs|
Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One.