The most hyped premiere of the 2017 edition IAA in Frankfurt has arrived – the bonkers Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar, a car that stands in a completely new league next to Aston Martin’s collaboration with Red Bull, the Valkyrie.
You’re definitely in a different league when the first performance figure you give up isn’t even the usual zero to 62 mph / 100 kph time, but the zero to 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph) sprint, which takes place in less than six seconds. All the previously revealed stats are also confirmed – more than 1,000 horsepower and a maximum speed above the 217 mph (350 kph) threshold, along with a green 16 miles (25 kilometers) of all-electric driving range. “This vehicle will make all previous performance limits at AMG and Mercedes look small,” commented Dieter Zetsche during the reveal.
We finally see the Project One in full glory – while the technical bits and pieces are directly inspired from the world of Formula One, the styling definitely makes you think this hypercar could compete at Le Mans with minimal modifications. The body is a carbon-fiber monocoque, there’s a tail just like on the F1 single-seaters, along with a roof scoop to feed the mid-mounted 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine, capable of reaching up to 11,000 rpm. There are, in total, four electric motors – one integrated into the turbo, one linked to the engine and crankcase and two others – good for 120 kW – handling the power feed to the front wheels. Power is stored in lithium-ion batteries, with up to 80 percent braking energy recuperation, and the 220 pounds (100 kg) of batteries means there are four times more cells than in the Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid racer – while the electrical system now runs at 800 volts, double the usual of its other plug in cars.
The production volume, of just 275 units, has been sadly confirmed once more: “This means that we will have to make some car lovers sad, whereas some, few, will burst with happiness I believe,” commented Zetsche. Although it’s €2.275 million a pop, it seems the Project One was presented already with sold out status. The chassis makes use of inboard, pushrod suspension coilovers, with a completely new 8-speed automated-manual transaxle attached to the rear suspension. 19-inch front wheels are backed by 20-inch rear ones, with carbon ceramic brakes being standard – while on the inside everything exudes function over style. The cockpit doesn’t feature many perks – two body-hugging seats, a Formula 1-inspired steering wheel, a large color display for the instrument cluster and another one serving as the infotainment center.