6 killer facts about the Mercedes-AMG Project One
‘Gott im Himmel…’
We imagine those are the words the boffins at Mercedes-AMG uttered when first setting eyes upon this absolute beast.
Last night at the Frankfurt Motor Show we were given our first glimpse of the Mercedes-AMG Project One – a two-seater high-performance road car dripping with the very latest Formula 1 technology from the sport’s current greatest team.
We’ve trawled through the vast list of technical specifications to bring you six killer facts about the Mercedes-AMG Project One.
There’s no doubt the best feature of the Project One is its engine. The reason for this is it’s the same 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine found in the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 car that has dominated the sport since 2014, leaving teams such as Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren in its dust.
This engine is quite simply the best of the best. Mounted in the middle of the car, it features direct injection, four overhead camshafts and an electrically assisted single turbocharger, which Mercedes-AMG claims has no lag whatsoever, meaning the throttle response time is quicker than that of a naturally aspirated V8 engine.
In addition to all of this, there are two extra electric motors – one on each front wheel. They’re connected via reduction gears, allowing both front wheels to have individual acceleration and braking capability.
Such an incredible engine requires a very special gearbox to accompany it. Fortunately, Mercedes-AMG has covered that base with an all-new eight-speed gearbox.
The hydraulically activated unit has been developed from scratch for the car. It can either be operated with a pair of shift paddles or left in fully automatic mode.
Even though the Project One is all-wheel drive, the gearbox only supplies engine power to the rear wheels, as the front pair have their own independent electric motors.
Right, let’s get into the facts and figures. The Project One is a cornucopia of ridiculous performance numbers. Owing to the fact the car isn’t ready for the road yet, we don’t have many precise statistics, but the ballpark figures are very exciting.
The Project One’s total power output is approximately 1,000bhp, with at least 670bhp going through the rear wheels and around 322bhp at the front. Mercedes-AMG claims the final confirmed figure will be four digits.
All this power means the Project One can achieve 0-124mph in under six seconds, which is a scary thought when you remember that this is a fully road-legal car – even more so when you consider that the Mercedes will carry on to a top speed in excess of 217mph.
Another number that’s guaranteed to be titanic is the price. We don’t have a figure yet but we predict it will be somewhere in the region of £2.5 million. Not even the spare change down the back of the SuperUnleaded sofa will cover that!
The mental technical facts continue with the suspension. A multilink design is used at the front and rear of the vehicle, along with an adjustable coil-over system.
Push-rod spring struts have been installed, while a new arrangement for the spring and damper unit acts as a replacement for conventional tubular cross-members, preventing rolling movements without making the ride uncomfortable.
Mercedes-AMG boasts that the suspension set-up is perfectly balanced, easily controlled and sporty. Assistance is also provided by AWD, ABS and ESP.
Of course, a magnificent car such as this has to sit on some equally magnificent wheels. Mercedes-AMG clearly thought of this when designing the 10-spoke forged aluminium wheels.
These exclusive wheels are centre-locking and feature a carbon-fibre semi-cover that increases aerodynamic efficiency, while the three ventilation slots on each spoke section allow for maximum brake heat dissipation.
Speaking of brakes, the Project One has a weight-optimised, ceramic, high-compound system, the low weight of which reduces unsprung masses, improving dynamics and agility.
6. Driving modes
It’s only natural to finish this list by discussing how someone who isn’t a racing driver goes about operating a car with this much power and technology. For this purpose, the Project One has a variety of driving modes.
The tamest way to drive the Project One is in fully electric mode, which will see the car whistle along with total eco-friendliness. Alternatively, the Mercedes-AMG can be pushed all the way up into a highly dynamic mode, which is based on a setting used for Formula 1 qualifying lap times.
The Project One provides its driver with the optimum balance of performance and efficiency. If the driver accelerates gently from stationary, the car pulls away with just electrical power. If the accelerator is pushed a bit harder, the V6 kicks in. There’s also a race start mode for more violent initial acceleration.
Excuse us while we go and have a lie-down…
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