The Mercedes-AMG Project One debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show as the brand's ultimate hypercar.
Mercedes-Benz didn’t bother to compete in the hypercar wars when the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, and McLaren P1 hit the scene. By waiting to see the best that the competition offered, the German brand may have opened up an opportunity for its Project One to be an even more impressive vehicle. Mercedes isn’t yet divulging much about the Formula-One-inspired coupe, but here’s everything we know about it so far.
What Is It?
The Project One is Mercedes-AMG’s effort to bring innovations from Formula One directly to the road. The racing-inspired coupe would use a carbon fiber monocoque. The overall weight would remain low and could be between 2,900 pounds (1,315 kilograms) and 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms). Upon officially confirming the model’s existence in September 2016, Head Mercedes-Benz Cars Development Thomas Weber promised: "There will be no compromises in terms of the emotion appeal of this car."
What Will It Look Like?
Mercedes official teasers show the Project One looking like a road-going Le Mans prototype. The cockpit hunkers just above the front fenders, and the following roofline features a prominent scoop for feeding cool air to the engine. A prominent fin extends high above the tail, and massive rear fenders suggest equally gargantuan tires back there.
What’s Under The Hood?
The Project One’s engine is the part of the vehicle that we know the most about. The turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 with hybrid assistance borrows its structure extensively from Mercedes-AMG’s W07 Formula One car. The internal combustion part of the powertrain would sit behind the driver and produce an estimated 748 horsepower (558 kilowatts). Four electric motors – two at the front wheels, one assisting the turbo, and another for the crankshaft – would allegedly generate an additional 408 hp (304 kW). In total, the hypercar’s maximum output could be as high as 1,020 hp (761 kW). To save gas, it can reportedly go 30 miles (48 km) purely on electric power.
The biggest change to the engine versus its F1 counterpart would be reducing the revs at idle to something more civilized than the racer’s 4,000 rpm. AMG boss Tobias Moers promises the redline would still be above 10,000 rpm, though.
The major downside of this high-strung setup is that it requires lots of maintenance. Reports suggest that owners might need to have technicians work on the powertrain every 31,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) to keep things functioning correctly.
How Much Will It Cost?
Mercedes-Benz allegedly charges 2.4 million euros ($2.6 million) for each Project One. However at this point, that figure is a technicality because the company has buyers for the entire run of 275 units. So even if buyer has the cash now, the person would need to negotiate with a current reservation holder to get a spot in line for the hypercar.
When Will See It?
Mercedes-AMG will let the public see the Project One for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Actual deliveries won’t begin until 2019. Wealthy potential buyers allegedly got to see an 85-percent finished example in Switzerland in April.