Mercedes offers Formula 1-style performance for the road

Just a few years ago, Mercedes floated plans to create a new hybrid hypercar, one that would dominate in the burgeoning world of electrified ultimate-performance machines. The German automaker confirmed those plans a year ago, and now, with AMG celebrating its 50th anniversary, the uber-car has made its big debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Mercedes says the new mega-machine brings “the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology to the road.” That includes a 1.6-liter V-6 that’s shockingly similar to the powerplant in Merc’s F1 car, spinning to 11,000 rpm and producing upwards of four figures. Drivers sit in a carbon fiber tub, stick harder with active aerodynamics, and turn better with push rod suspension. All impressive stuff, to be sure, but is it enough to topple the current top-dog performance machines?

Regardless, the Project One is already a massive hit, garnering huge attention for Mercedes-AMG and nearly selling out even before its big sheet pull. Drawing from Mercedes’ championship-winning experience at the top of the motorsport heap and developed with input from various AMG Formula 1 team members, the Project One is the very definition of a halo car, promising to set the technological drum beat by which all future AMG cars will dance. Read on for the juicy details and specs.

Updated 09/18/17: The Mercedes-AMG Project One has arrived, and we’ve got all the info you need right here. Also, check the "Pictures" tab for some images taken in Frankfurt.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG Project One.

Exterior

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The Project One was clearly designed for performance over everything else, with aesthetic enhancements only added afterwards.

Following a series of murky teaser images, the Project One is now out in its full carbon fiber glory, and our first impressions are… well, mixed. While undoubtedly a striking thing to behold, you’d be hard-pressed to call it “beautiful.” Rather, some of us consider it to be “functionally beautiful,” like a well-engineered tool, as opposed to a traditionally beautiful object like a painting. Others think it’s just downright ugly.

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Either way, the Project One was clearly designed for performance over everything else, with aesthetic enhancements only added afterwards. In the nose is a trapezoidal central intake and mesh grille emblazoned with the AMG logo in white, plus the requisite three-pointed Mercedes star in silver higher up on the nose. Flanking the star are flat LED headlights arranged as a trio of squared projectors. Hood-mounted vents near the windshield guide hot air towards the sides of the car and around the cabin, thus allowing colder, fresher air to make its way into the central intake on the roof. Aero enhancements include an auto-extending front splitter, plus active ventilation louvers on the front wheel arches.

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Moving rearwards, we find a spherical shape for the greenhouse, on top of which is mounted that oval intake to force feed the engine, looking like it was plucked straight from F1. Behind the intake is a single fin that runs the length of the car’s spine, thus enhancing lateral high-speed stability. Below the greenhouse, we find a dash of green, once again as a nod to the Petronas-sponsored racer.

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In the rear, there’s a host of additional aero enhancements, including NACA ducts in place to keep the engine and transmission oil coolers nice and chilly. A two-stage extendible rear spoiler balances the downforce, complemented by a two-section diffuser below. The taillights use three “rhomboid” elements, similar to the headlights, suggestive in shape as the AMG logo. Making the good noise is a central exhaust pipe with two smaller outlets, a design once again used on the F1 car.

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On top of the greenhouse is an oval intake to force feed the engine, behind which is a single fin that runs the length of the car’s spine, enhancing lateral high-speed stability.

In the corners are newly developed 10-spoke wheels made from forged aluminum. These rollers are exclusive to the Project One and get center locks and a radial carbon fiber semi-cover that was aerodynamically optimized to reduce overall drag. The wheels also get three “ventilation slots” to help cool the brakes.

Up front, the wheels are 10 inches wide and 19 inches in diameter, while in the rear, the wheels are a full foot in width and 20 inches in diameter. The tires are Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 compound, measuring in at 285/35R19 and 335/30R20, front to back, respectively.

With its horizontal front deck line, impressively flared fenders, and roof-mounted intake, the Project One conjures thoughts of Merc’s ‘90s-era racer-turned-street-car, the CLK GTR. Check it out:

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Note: Mercedes CLK GTR pictured here.

With its horizontal front deck line, impressively flared fenders, and roof-mounted intake, the Project One conjures thoughts of Merc’s ‘90s-era racer-turned-street-car, the CLK GTR.

Obviously, the Project One doesn’t come with open wheels like a true F1 machine, but rather, uses fenders to house the rubber. As a result, the profile and roofline are reminiscent of a Le Mans LMP1 prototype endurance racer.

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Note: Le Mans LMP1 prototype racer pictured here.

The profile and roofline are reminiscent of a Le Mans LMP1 prototype endurance racer.

That all makes sense coming from a company like AMG, as an open-wheel, open-cockpit design would make the Project One much less street friendly, and in all honesty, we can’t really see Mercedes forcing its customers to wear a helmet when driving its halo car.

Furthermore, the design helps substantially when it comes to aerodynamics. All those wings, vortex generators, spoilers, and the like will make the Project One stick with shocking tenacity in the corners, and in this segment, it’ll need all the help it can get.

Interior

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Rather than the usual Mercedes gloss, the Project One was “stripped down to the essentials,” all in the name of more performance. “Here too every detail has a function, with nothing included merely for visual reasons,” says Mercedes. Minimalism is the name of the game, and although there’s space for two passengers plus features like ventilation, air conditioning, and power windows included as standard, this thing is still very, very serious.

Passengers settle into bucket seats with adjustable backs, while the pedals and steering column are both adjustable as well. Interestingly, Mercedes says the dash forms an integral structural component of the monocoque. Two high-resolution 10-inch displays, both angled towards the driver, provide visual info, and come equipped with the Comand infotainment system for a bit of digitized support.
Carbon fiber adorns the door panels (real carbon, not the fake stuff), while mounted high is a third screen projecting the digital view captured by a rear-mounted camera. Small storage compartments are scattered here and there for your convenience.

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One of the coolest features of the interior is the F1-style steering wheel, which gets a flat top and bottom, as well as a top-mounted LED shift display and thumb-length buttons to scroll through the various drive modes and suspension settings.

Aesthetically speaking, the Project One interior gets colors and materials inspired by (can you guess?) Merc’s F1 race car. Magma Grey and yellow contrast stitching pervade throughout, while the seats are covered in a microfiber that helps grip passengers and prevent any sliding about. A little Nappa leather was added for a high-quality finish. Gullwing doors are used to get in and out, a nod to the 300 SL of the past and the SLS of the present, and a fittingly dramatic form of ingress and egress for a machine such as this.

Put into perspective, the Project One isn’t the most comfortable thing on the road, but it isn’t a total dungeon, either.

Put into perspective, the Project One isn’t the most comfortable thing on the road, but it isn’t a total dungeon, either. Rather, we see it as a back-to-basics sports car, without the frills you see on most AMG-branded offerings. What’s more, in terms of harshness and noise, we expect the Project One to be relatively livable on the street, without the break-your-back attitude of most racers designed for the road.

Also, as a side note, top marks to anyone crazy enough to actually drive this around on the street without a full police escort. We salute you – garage queens are far too common these days.

Drivetrain

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The Project One isn’t about top speed. The big difference here is that the Merc was inspired by Formula 1 technology, a sport wherein top speed plays second fiddle to grip, acceleration, and aerodynamics.

Before we dive into the technical specs, let’s just get right to the important numbers. The Mercedes-AMG Project One is powered by a mid-mounted, turbocharged, hybrid gasoline-electric engine juiced by no less than four electric motors. Peak output is rated at over 1,000 horsepower, while top speed clocks in at 217 mph. Launch it in the Race Start mode, and you’ll be doing 112 mph from a dig (0 to 200 km/h) in less than six seconds.

Without a doubt, there’s probably more than a few of you out there unimpressed by those specs. After all, when you’ve got something like the Bugatti Chiron claiming 261 mph at the top end, 217 mph could be seen as a bit of a let down.

But here’s the thing – the Project One isn’t about top speed. The big difference here is that the Merc was inspired by Formula 1 technology, a sport wherein top speed plays second fiddle to grip, acceleration, and aerodynamics. And we’ll have to wait for the inevitable track test, but something tells me the Merc is what you want if lap times are a major concern, not the Bugatti.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the specs, shall we?

Let’s start with the gas engine. Like Merc’s F1 car, the powertrain starts with a 1.6-liter V-6 with direct injection, overhead cams driven by spur gears, and pneumatic valve springs. The lump will even get built in the same factory as the competition engine. Redline is set at 11,000 rpm, which is several thousand rpm less than the F1 car, but it makes sense when considering the Project One must meet the demands of low octane fuel and similar daily driver constraints. And besides, 11,000 rpm is still mighty impressive, don’t you think? Yeah, we can’t wait to hear it either.

Redline is set at 11,000 rpm to meet the demands of low octane fuel and similar daily driver constraints. Yeah, we can’t wait to hear it either.

Incredibly, Merc claims a thermal efficiency of 40 percent for the ICE, which is frankly pretty insane for any car, let alone a fire-breathing hypercar. Basically, 40 percent thermal efficiency is the kind of number you’d expect from a Prius in a lab. Good stuff.

Now to those electric motors. As previously stated, there’s four of ‘em total – one for the turbo, one for the internal combustion engine’s crankcase, and two for the front axle, with one motor per wheel. Each of the electric motors in front can spin up to 50,000 rpm, a big improvement over the majority of electric motors in use in automotive applications these days (Merc says the average is about 20,000 rpm).

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One of the electric motors is used to spin the compressor, thus creating on-demand boost. Buh bye turbo lag.

Speaking of high rpm, even the turbo is worthy of note. In designing the snail, Merc separated the compressor and exhaust gas turbine such that they were optimally placed on the intake and exhaust sides of the V-6, respectively. Connected by a shaft, one of the electric motors is used to spin the compressor, thus creating on-demand boost. The motor also produces upwards of 90 kW of power all on its own, and can spin the turbo up to 100,000 rpm without any assistance from the exhaust gasses. Those of you familiar with F1 tech will recognize this as the Motor Generator Unit Heat (or MGU-H), and the ultimate result is razor-sharp throttle response (Merc says it’s even better than a naturally aspirated V-8). What’s more, the set-up helps to generate surplus electricity from the exhaust gasses, which is then either stored in the battery pack or sent to the motor in the crankshaft for additional power.

While we’re on the topic, the motor in the crankshaft produces 120 kW, and links to crankshaft via a spur gear. In F1 parlance, this is the Motor Generator Unit Kinetic, or MGU-K.

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Moving to the electrically motivated front axle, Mercedes says both of the nose-mounted electric motors can generate 120 kW of power, which is sent to the wheels by way of a reduction gear. Yep, that’s well over a Subaru WRX STI’s worth of all-electric motivation just for the front wheels. These motors also enable individual acceleration and braking per wheel, thus enhancing torque vectoring capabilities and overall handling as a result. Furthermore, upwards of 80 percent of braking energy is reclaimed under normal use, enhancing efficiency even further.

Quick side note – while AWD is another clear break from F1 tradition, it makes a whole lot of sense in a car like this. After all, 1,000 horsepower in the hands of a novice is a daunting proposition, so you might as well give ‘em all the traction you possibly can.

Storing all those electrons is a lithium-ion battery pack, offering a similar arrangement and cooling system as Merc’s F1 car. However, the Project One comes equipped with more batteries than the racing car, giving it more all-electric power and practicality as a result.

An all-new, hydraulically activated eight-speed automatic transmission handles the cog swaps.

Multiple drive modes help to maximize the efficacy of available energy, ranging between an efficient all-electric mode, to maximum power mode. The onboard computer will even automatically switch between all-electric and gas power depending on driver inputs.

Finally, an all-new, hydraulically activated eight-speed automatic transmission handles the cog swaps. Developed specifically for the Project One, this gearbox offers both an automatic mode, or if more control is desired, a manual mode via steering wheel shift paddles.

Drivetrain Specifications

Rear-wheel drive 1.6-liter V6 with direct injection, four valves per cylinder, four overhead camshafts and electrically boosted single turbocharger, electric motor connected to the crankshaft
Engine capacity 1,600 cc
Rear-wheel drive output > 500 kW
Front-wheel drive output 2 x 120 kW
System output > 740 kW (> 1,000 hp)
Electric range 25 km
Drive system 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
Acceleration 0-200 km/h <IMG//> 350 km/h (217 mph)

Suspension And Chassis

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Unsurprisingly, the Mercedes-AMG Project one utilizes a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, mating low weight with high rigidity. The engine and transmission are both integrated as load-bearing components in the chassis, and act to support the rear suspension in keeping the tail in line. A multi-link set-up with pushrods is used in all four corners, with the springs and dampers replacing a traditional tubular cross member.

On the digital side of things, the suspension system integrates with the AWD, system, torque vectoring system, ABS, multi-stage ESP, and various other onboard tech for a comprehensive, holistic approach to going really ‘effin fast.

The suspension control integrates with the various onboard systems for a comprehensive, holistic approach to going really ‘effin fast.

Hauling it down are lightweight ceramic brakes, which reduce unsprung mass and offer high performance even after repeated hard stops. The phrase “AMG Carbon Ceramic” is branded onto the calipers, just in case you forget.

Prices

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The Mercedes-AMG Project One costs $2.7 million a pop. Production is limited to 275 units total, 50 of which will head stateside, and so far, just about every unit is already spoken for.

Competition

Aston Martin Valkyrie

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If you’re looking for F1-style performance for the street, then Aston Martin has an alternative to the Project One. Teaming up with the championship-winning Red Bull Racing team and RBR’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey, Aston is offering up this, the AM-RB 001, matching the Merc blow for blow in terms of motorsport-style speed. Making it go is a naturally aspirated V-12 powerplant pumping out enough ponies to match the Merc’s insane speed potential. Look for it to drop next year.

Read the full review on the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Ferrari LaFerrari

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Ferrari LaFerrari 2.5 Seconds
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Of course, we had to include one of the original members of the hybrid hypercar holy trinity in the competition list, and nothing scream F1 quite like a Ferrari. Powered by a hybrid 6.3-liter V-12, the Ferrari Squared manages to hit 60 mph in the low-two-second range, while top speed matches the Project One at around 217 mph. I for one can’t wait to see this thing line up against the Merc.

Read the full review on the Ferrari LaFerrari.

Conclusion

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All told, the Mercedes-AMG Project One still is a massively impressive machine, sporting some of the craziest go-faster tech we’ve seen in a while. The engineering hurtles Mercedes had to overcome to make this thing work are mind-boggling – how do you go about turning an ultra-sensitive F1 engine into something even remotely streetable? Reliability, novice drivers, regular pump gas – all these things should keep that engine on the track. And yet, here we are. Amazing.

What makes the Project One stand out the most is the close ties it has to Formula 1.

But I suppose that’s the new reality when it comes to the top echelon of street performance. Never mind a top speed over 217 mph, never mind a multi-million dollar price tag, never mind 1,000 horsepower. That’s all been done before. What makes the Project One really stand out are the close ties it has to Formula 1. That’s what makes it special and unique. But – will it be enough to topple the current breed? We can’t wait to find out.

  • Leave it
    • * Seriously expensive, and you can’t buy one anyway
    • * 217 mph isn’t all that impressive anymore
    • * Will it really see any track time, or will be just another garage queen?

References

Bugatti Chiron

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Read our full review on the Bugatti Chiron.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie Is Getting Ready For Its Close-up Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Ferrari LaFerrari

2014 Ferrari LaFerrari Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review on the Ferrari LaFerrari.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

1957 - 1962 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (W194)
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Read our full review on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

Press release

The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will celebrate its world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt: for the first time, the two-seater supersports show car brings the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road almost par for par to represent the highlight of AMG’s 50th anniversary. This high-performance hybrid produces over 1,000 hp and reaches top speeds beyond 217 mph (350 km/h). The show car combines outstanding racetrack performance and day-to-day suitable Formula 1 hybrid technology with exemplary efficiency. This is a world first. The overall responsibility for the realization of Project ONE lies with Mercedes- AMG. The complex development work was carried out in close cooperation with the Formula 1 experts at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth and with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula 1 team in Brackley. Together with the four-door AMG GT Concept, the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE show car provides another insight into the future performance-hybrid drive strategy of the sports car brand within Mercedes-Benz.

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Ever since the early days of motorsport, engineers have dreamed of bringing motor racing technology to the road. Mercedes-AMG is now making this dream a reality at the very highest level. "Motorsport is not an end in itself for us. Faced with intense competition, we develop technologies from which our production vehicles also subsequently benefit. We are drawing on our experiences and successes from three constructors’ and drivers’ world championships to bring Formula 1 technology to the road for the first time: in Mercedes-AMG Project ONE," says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is the first Formula 1 car with MOT approval. Our highly efficient hybrid assembly stems from motor racing and the electrically powered front axle generates a fascinating mixture of performance and efficiency. With a system output of over 1,000 hp and a top speed beyond 217 mph (350 km/h) this hypercar handles exactly as it looks: it takes your breath away," Ola Källenius says, Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

The concept car gives specific indications of what to expect from the upcoming production model. "The hypercar is the most ambitious project we have every undertaken. It marks yet another pinnacle of the successful, strategic development of Mercedes-AMG towards a performance and sports car brand. Project ONE raises the bar in terms of what is currently technologically feasible and thanks to its combination of efficiency and performance it represents an absolute benchmark. At the same time, Project ONE provides an outlook on how AMG will define driving performance in the future," Tobias Moers explains as the Head of Management at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Powertrain: one turbocharged engine and four electric motors

The high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE comes directly from Formula 1, and was realized in close cooperation with the motorsport experts of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth. It consists of a highly integrated and intelligently networked unit comprising one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine with a total of four electric motors. One has been integrated into the turbocharger, another has been installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase and the two remaining motors drive the front wheels.

The 1.6-liter V6 hybrid gasoline engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. The four overhead camshafts are driven by spur gears. To achieve high engine speeds, the mechanical valve springs have been replaced by pneumatic valve springs. The vehicle is mid-engined (ahead of the rear axle) and it can easily reach speeds of 11,000 rpm, which is currently unique for a roadgoing vehicle. For higher longevity and the use of commercially available "Super Plus" gasoline instead of racing fuel, max engine speed remains significantly below the F1 engine speed limit.

The electric motors on the front axle are also true rev wonders, with rotor revolutions up to 50,000 rpm – current state of the art is a speed of 20,000 rpm.

The very high-revving engine is additionally boosted by a high-tech turbocharger. The exhaust gas and compressor turbines are separated from one another and located at an optimum position to the exhaust side and to the intake side of the V6 engine, and connected to one another by a shaft. This shaft features an electric motor with approximately 90 kW which, depending on the operating status, electrically drives the compressor turbine with up to 100,000 rpm – for instance when moving off or following load changes. The Formula 1 designation for this unit is MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit Heat).

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Lightning-quick response, faster than a naturally aspirated V8 engine

The major advantage of the advanced engine: the delayed response to accelerator pedal commands owing to the inertia of the large charger, known as turbo lag, is completely eliminated. Throttle response time is greatly reduced, and is even shorter than that of a naturally aspirated V8 engine. The electric turbocharger brings about another advantage: it uses parts of the surplus energy from the exhaust system to generate electricity, and either stores it in the high-voltage lithium-ion battery as part of recuperation or provides additional drive power by feeding it to an additional electric motor. This motor produces 120 kW, has been installed directly on the engine and features a link to the crankshaft via a spur gear (MGU-K = Motor Generator Unit Kinetic) – another technology that ensures maximum efficiency and performance in Formula 1.

New all-wheel drive with purely electrically driven front axle

There are also two further 120 kW electric motors at the front axle. Each is connected to a front wheel via a reduction gear. The fully electrically driven front axle allows individual acceleration and braking of each front wheel, and therefore selective torque distribution (torque vectoring) for particularly high levels of vehicle dynamics. With the axle motors, we estimate that up to 80 percent of the braking energy can also be optimally used for recuperation under everyday driving conditions. This energy is stored in the battery and is available for a longer electric range. Each electric motor is controlled by its own power electronics located in close proximity to the electric motors in the floor assembly.

Top marks for thermal efficiency

The thermal efficiency of the combustion engine with electric turbocharger (MGU-H) in conjunction with the electric motor on the crankshaft (MGU-K) will be over 40 percent. This is a previously unattained peak value for series production vehicles, and confirms the dominant position of the drive system where efficiency is concerned. This means that the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE show car obtains significantly more drive energy from one liter of fuel than other cars. It is therefore both economical and powerful. By way of comparison, the thermodynamic efficiency of conventional series production engines is around 33 to 38 percent.

Lithium-ion battery with Formula 1 technology

The battery cells, their arrangement and the cell cooling system are the same as used in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car, however, the quantity of battery cells in the AMG Project ONE show car will make it significantly more practical for everyday use. The lithium-ion, high-voltage battery and the DC/DC converter supporting and charging the 12 V onboard electrical system are space-savingly accommodated in the vehicle floor behind the front axle.

As a further innovation, the high-voltage EQ Power+ drive system operates with 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts. Thanks to the higher voltage levels it is possible to influence elements, such as significantly reducing the cable diameters and accordingly saving design space and weight.

Intelligent operating strategies for optimum output and efficiency

Overall the high-performance EQ Power+ plug-in hybrid drive system offers numerous intelligent operating strategies which are optimally tuned to different application scenarios. The driving modes range from purely electric operation through to a highly dynamic mode which corresponds to a setting used in Formula 1 qualifying for optimum lap times. Despite the high system complexity, and depending on the current requirement, the driver will always receive the optimum combination of performance and efficiency. In this process, Mercedes-AMG engineers make use of the many years of experience and know-how from Formula 1, the SLS AMG Electric Drive and Daimler AG’s research and development.

For instance, the driver can move off purely electrically, initially with just the electric motors on the front axle driving the hypercar and the electric motor on the crankshaft supporting short-term acceleration wishes. If the driver presses the accelerator more firmly and demands more output, the V6 engine also switches on. The drive system unfolds its full power as the engine speed increases. Impressive acceleration figures are possible with the Race Start function: Acceleration from zero to 112 mph (200 km/h) takes under six seconds.

If the driver’s foot leaves the accelerator again to let the car coast, the system switches to electric drive at the front axle – whilst braking under normal driving conditions recuperates up to 80 percent of the energy, which is fed into the battery.

Completely new, automated 8-speed manual transmission

Power is transferred to the rear wheels by an 8-speed manual transmission that has been entirely developed from scratch for the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. It is activated hydraulically and can be operated in automated mode or manually using the shift paddles.

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The basis for the outstanding driving characteristics of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is provided by the lightweight, high-strength carbon-fiber monocoque body, the technology of which likewise comes from Formula 1. The same applies to integration of the engine and transmission: both have load- bearing functions and completely support the rear suspension.

Multi-link suspension with innovative pushrod springing

The suspension developers also gave their utmost. Multi-link designs are used at the front and rear. The adjustable coil-over suspension has several special features: Both push-rod spring struts have been installed across the direction of travel. The innovative arrangement of the spring/damper unit replaces the function and application of conventional tubular cross members. This solution reliably prevents rolling movements even during very rapid directional changes, without being uncomfortable.

The overall setup of the springs and dampers is configured for perfectly balanced, easily controlled and above all sporty handling characteristics. These are also assisted by all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. ABS is standard equipment, with ESP® adjustable in three stages as is usual for AMG. ESP® ON stands for a high level of safety, ESP® SPORT HANDLING MODE allows greater yaw angles before system intervention for a sporty driving style, and ESP® OFF switches the system off for sporty driving on enclosed racetracks.

Exclusive forged wheels with innovative carbon-fiber semi-cover

Another completely new development is the 10-spoke forged aluminum wheel with center lock, which is exclusively reserved for the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. This has a radial carbon-fiber semi-cover with an aerodynamically sophisticated shape: this improves the car’s aerodynamics and Cd figure by optimizing the airflow around the wheels.

At the same time, three flat ventilation slots per spoke section ensure optimum heat dissipation from the brakes. This is another example of how the AMG development team pays the utmost attention to even the smallest aspects, so as to improve the efficiency of the hypercar.

At the front the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE has size 10.0 J x 19 wheels shod with 285/35 ZR 19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires exclusively developed for the hypercar, and at the rear 12.0 J x 20 wheels running on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 335/30 ZR 20 tires.

The car is equipped with an advanced, weight-optimized ceramic high- performance compound braking system. Its low weight reduces the unsprung masses, thus improving driving dynamics and agility. Furthermore, the ceramic brakes are distinguished by a longer service life, higher corrosion resistance and higher thermal stability. The "AMG Carbon Ceramic" lettering and the specially painted brake calipers visually distinguish this unique braking system.

Exterior design: Beauty and the beast

The design of the show car is very obviously inspired by the premium class in motorsport. But above all, it embodies the Mercedes-AMG principle that fascination is always linked with function. Every part has a specific purpose. The result is a mid-engine concept, extremely muscular proportions with the cockpit well forward, large wheel arches, a wasp waist and an extended rear end.

"The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is the hottest and coolest car we have ever designed. It combines our design philosophy of Sensual Purity with the performance of our Formula 1 racing cars and is the perfect embodiment of Performance Luxury," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. "This hypercar’s extreme design marks a milestone in design - there are no lines, and the interior is stripped down to the essentials."

Front view: Powerful and functional

The front view is characterized by the large front fascia, the various air inlets of which extend across the entire vehicle width. The trapezoidal center section bears a large, white AMG logo. Above it, on the vehicle body, is the Mercedes star. The hallmark AMG A-wing below the center section creates a silver- colored highlight, and seamlessly transitions into the front fenders.

On the left and right are large, prominent air inlets which are framed by U- shaped flaps and each subdivided by two black horizontal fins. Flat LED headlamps blend seamlessly into the body contours.

The black air outlets in the hood guide the hot airflow around the sides of the driver compartment. This allows the flow of fresh air to pass unhindered across the driver compartment and into the intake tract on the roof. The downforce at the front axle is positively influenced by the automatically extending front splitter and the active ventilation louvers in the front wheel arches, contributing to the perfect aerobalance of the car.

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Taut flanks, large fenders

The low, dynamic greenhouse has an unmistakable, spherical architecture with a distinctive window pattern. The large, dark area stands for important technical functions. These technical components form a visual contrast to the clean overall lines of the vehicle.

The roof line is dominated by an air intake derived from Formula 1, via which the engine takes in large volumes of air. The black intake transitions elegantly into the black, vertical shark fin, which improves lateral stability when cornering at high speed. The rear window placed well to the rear is an integral part of the intake/roof-fin unit. It allows a view of the power unit. Two large NACA air inlets ensure optimum guidance of the airflows for the engine and transmission oil coolers located at the rear end.

The side view also shows a sensuous, clean surface design combined with functional features. The vehicle flanks are tautly recessed, with black carbon- fiber surfaces redirecting the airflow around the vehicle body as in motorsport.

The Petronas green paintbrush design on the flanks is the work of the artist who designed the paintwork for the Formula 1 racing car. All four wheels are spanned by tight-fitting, muscular fenders that appear ready to leap into action.

As in motor racing, the doors open both forwards and upwards. The fuel filler flap is at the rear right, the charge socket for the plug-in hybrid battery at the rear left.

Rear end: Fascination and function

The sharp, vertical spoiler lip and the large, two-section diffuser, which is interrupted by the central exhaust tailpipe, as well as the two-stage extendible rear aerofoil, contribute to aerodynamic efficiency and performance at high speeds. The design of the exhaust tailpipe with its large, round outlet and two further small, round apertures was adopted directly from the Formula 1 cars.

The muscular appearance is further enhanced by the rear fascia with its large, black mesh and carbon-fiber components. The rear lights each feature three rhomboid lighting elements to echo the graphic design of the AMG brand logo, and therefore also the design of the headlamps.

Interior: Formula 1 for two

The interior design concept of this ultimate driving machine follows function on the racetrack, and this is expressed in the radical design idiom. Formula 1 technology is made authentically tangible on both the racetrack and on the road. Here too every detail has a function, with nothing included merely for visual reasons. In the monocoque interior, the reduced components are emphasized in minimalist style both in design and functional terms.

The ergonomically contoured interior has room for two occupants. The bucket seats with adjustable backrests are integrated into the monocoque. The pedals and steering wheel are adjustable, allowing the driver to adopt the ideal driving position. The center tunnel visually separates the driver and passenger areas from each other. It blends fully into the seat sculpture and follows the principle of minimalism with its gently rising contour.

Interior with functional structural parts

The lightweight construction is also obvious from the slim, wing-like profile of the dashboard. It appears to be light and free-floating. As a functional, structural component it also makes the monocoque of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE more rigid. The two high-resolution, free-standing 10-inch displays (one slightly raised in front of the driver, the other on the right of the center console angled towards the driver) are adapted with high-quality and weight- optimized solid metal components.

The double-nozzle ventilation unit is suspended under the center screen like a gondola. The screen and nozzles form a single unit, emphasizing the lightweight design principle of the whole. The displays’ rectangular basic form is echoed by the ventilation nozzles, and by the center console in which the start/stop button is located.

Also seamlessly integrated as a unit are a high-quality stowage compartment, a reduced switch array and the engine start button. The stowage compartment is fitted with a transparent lid.

Formula 1-style steering wheel

The steering wheel with flattened upper and lower sections and an integrated airbag offers motorsport functionality, as do the two integrated controllers which can be used to set adjustment functions such as the driving modes and suspension setup, or the LED shift display in the upper steering wheel area.

The door panels are in functional, high-grade carbon-fiber, and integrate smoothly into the sporty interior. As if to mirror the aero winglets of the exterior, the door paneling is visually interrupted to create space for technical implements and a generously concave door center panel. An aluminum cassette combines the air vents and power window switches, which are integrated as deeply recessed rectangles.

Stowage compartments behind the seats, screen replaces interior mirror.

Mercedes-AMG developers have ensured suitability for everyday use and operating convenience: small items can be stowed in two compartments on the left and right behind the seats. An air conditioning system and power windows are standard equipment, while the COMAND infotainment system ensures optimum connectivity.

2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One High Resolution Interior
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The user interface is integrated as an autonomous concept. The most important information is displayed on the road in the line of vision above the steering wheel, so that the driver is not distracted. To ensure optimum visibility to the rear, the rear-view mirror is replaced by a screen showing real-time images of the rear from a mirror cam. The aluminum screen housing is fully integrated into the roof, and also holds other controls.

Colors and materials from the racing car

The choice of colors and materials takes its inspiration from the Mercedes- AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. The sculptured racing seats are in slip- resistant black microfiber, creating an unmistakable association with motor racing. The seat surfaces are interspersed with nappa leather in magma grey and inlays in a sporty textile mesh which optimally assists the air circulation of the seats. There is also yellow contrasting topstitching.

The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE: the future of driving performance

The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is not only an ultimate driving machine that directly brings current Formula 1 hybrid technology onto the road and combines top-class racetrack performance with full day-to-day suitability. Its purpose is also to obtain extensive findings about performance-oriented plug-in hybrid drive technology, further developments of suspension layouts and extended onboard electronics that will later benefit series production AMG cars. The Project ONE team is working hard on successfully bringing this vision onto the road.

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