Introducing the Mercedes-AMG Project One Hypercar
By Zlatan Stankovic on September 15, 2017
Within the auto industry, there are certain manufacturers that just demand attention. As soon as they announce a new vehicle, the industry seems to stop and take note. Although there are others, are there any bigger than Mercedes-AMG? Nowadays, they’re certainly up there with the most popular brands of all time. Therefore, when we heard the early stories regarding the Formula One model for the road, we put everything on hold to do some research and we can now bring you the latest!
Called ‘Project One’, the Mercedes-AMG Formula One is likely to open the supercar industry right up and the competitors are surely watching this with a worried frown. Boasting a V6 turbo hybrid F1 engine, which has been approved by three-time F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton, the numbers that have been released so far are impressive.
The Numbers - According to Mercedes, the model will offer a 1.6-liter engine and this allows up to 11,000rpm. For those who are aware of the 15,000rpm available in F1 cars, this has been reduced for usability reasons as well as for servicing. However, this doesn’t affect the power too much and the driver will have 1,000 brake horsepower available which pushes top speed past 215mph.
On the flip side, AMG aren't being quite so open and their cards are very much close to the chest. We can understand this though considering the information we have available is from the show car in Frankfurt; as we speak, AMG are probably honing this model and making all the adjustments necessary for top speed and safety. Despite being careful in the details though, a representative has said that Project One will reach 124mph in under six seconds which, in truth, leaves us a little speechless. If we compare this to the Bugatti Chiron, which takes 6.5 seconds, it’s hard to think where they’ll make up that half-second but Mercedes certainly know how to push everything up a notch.
Mechanics - In terms of mechanics and the work put into this model, we believe it to be one of the most challenging and advanced setups ever seen in the industry. If we look at the V6 engine, the turbocharger has an electric motor built-in to remove turbo lag; on the crankshaft, there’s also a 160bhp e-motor works. Elsewhere, two 50,000rpm, 160bhp electric motors allow control in the front wheels, fast launches (hence the fast 0-124mph speed test), and torque-vectoring. With the front motors in place, you can also choose a zero-emission EV mode and this takes your £2.5 million hypercar and transforms it into a front-wheel drive vehicle; this is similar to what we’ve seen with the BMW i8.
To build speed, an eight-speed automated gearbox is utilized and the driver will have paddles just like an F1 car. According to AMG, there will be two seats inside along with plenty of carbon, ten-inch screens for data, and simplicity. In fact, the simplicity will surprise many as the model doesn’t even offer a back window.
Although a V6 engine, AMG believes the fantastic throttle response actually creates a naturally aspirated V8 engine. Why? Because the compressor turbines and exhaust gas from the turbo work on the Motor Generator Unit; an F1-type energy system. In case you didn't notice, this is now the fourth electrical machine within the vehicle. Whenever the engine isn't at full power, a mounted generator on the shaft of the turbo will drive. As soon as the throttle is pushed to the floor, the generator reverses into a motor which, in turn, spins the turbo and brings it into action.
With high-quality carbon brakes, AMG believes 80% of the braking force will go towards power recuperation which allows a juiced battery for the very next straight. Since F1 went turbo-hybrid in 2014, Mercedes has won all three championships (two for Lewis Hamilton and one for Nico Rosberg). Now, with this road car version and all these details being released, it’s not hard to see why.
With the batteries (and the linked cooling system), you’ll benefit from the same units as those enjoyed by current Mercedes F1 drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. In order to create optimal weight balance, they can be found behind the front axle and they can run an 800V system; this allows half the current for the standard 400V and much thinner wires compared to previous models. As you can see, this is a positive spiral of weight-saving and one that really makes a difference.
With all the technical details covered, there’s only one thing left to cover; the classy and stunning bodywork. With hints of Porsche in some areas, the bodywork looks like a combination of AMG muscle and a supercar you might have seen at Le Mans back in the 1990s. With a pop-up rear wing, this will activate an airbrake. In an attempt to increase downforce and reduce drag, this is coupled with retractable front wheel arch extractors.
With the EV mode activated, you won’t hear a thing as you drive; you might as well be riding a bicycle (but without all the hard work that comes with it!). With a standard hybrid setting, this is for those ‘hot laps’ where performance is key and you need to get from A to B within a quick time. According to many experts, they’re expecting lap records around Nurburgring as well as many other tracks around the world. In F1, Adrian Newey, of Red Bull F1 Racing, is widely known as a design genius but AMG boss, Tobias Moers, believes the Project One can compete on every level.
Other Details - According to the manufacturers, there’s an option to turn all the ESP off but we highly advise against this unless you’re reading this while sitting next to three F1 World Championships. In any case, it shouldn't be necessary with the ESP Sport mode as this solution is the only one you’ll need along with the standard mode.
For suspension, this has been designed especially and it utilizes a pushrod design. With carbon aero covers, the wheels have retained their ten spokes as aluminum models and this helps to reduce drag when on the road. As mentioned previously, we haven't actually seen the cabin in its full glory just yet but we hear it’s simple and clean. Just like the Ford GT, the seats are molded somewhat into the carbon frame. For this reason, you adjust the steering wheel and pedal box as opposed to the chair itself. Compared to the Red Bull-Aston Martin rival vehicle, Moers has already promised more space.
Finally, we should note the added extras that have become standard these days and this includes air conditioning, luggage stowage behind the seats, electric windows (butterfly doors), and more. If you're a little concerned at the lack of a back window, there’s a small camera mounted into the roof which shows on a screen so you aren't at a disadvantage at all.
For now, this is everything we have regarding the Project One and it suggests we have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, we can bask in its beautiful bodywork while admiring the potential speed and times this vehicle will produce!
Popular AMG Models
Currently, AMG has many popular models on the market and they’re separated into four different categories; Coupes, Sedans, Convertibles & Roadsters, and SUVs & Wagons. Today, we’re going to look at a couple of the models available just in case the Project One is a little out of your price range (like most of us!).
AMG CLA45 Coupe- With a handcrafted 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged engine, performance is supreme within this coupe model and you can also benefit from 375 horsepower and 350 lb-ft torque. Already a 2018 model, you can buy it straight from the manufacturer at a little over $50,000 and they offer a fantastic building service so you can personalize your new vehicle.
Starting with the all-important color, you can choose between Night Black, Jupiter Red, Polar Silver Metallic, Cirrus White, Lunar Blue Metallic, and many more. After these, the wheels are customizable and you can make smaller additions like the roof, rear spoiler, and mirror covers.
AMG C43 Sedan- As a sedan model, the C43 has been fitted with a V6 engine which means you’re in for a treat every time you get behind the wheel. As a 3.0-liter engine, it will prove too large for some but the 362 horsepower allows for up to 60mph in a little over 4.5 seconds. Once again, you can make additions and personalize the vehicle to your preference and this is something many seem to like about AMG models.
AMG SLC Roadster- With a sleek design few manufacturers could produce, the stunning exterior of this model is matched by only the classy and traditional interior. With leather seats, a wide rear, and the opportunity to lose the roof and let the wind blow through your hair, this model manages to find the combination between performance and style for an affordable price. Furthermore, it has modern details that add to the enjoyment factor and technology that brings the car into 2018 with a bang.
AMG G-Class SUV- Sure, we could have discussed one of the standard SUV models, of which there are some high-quality options, but why do that when we have an opportunity to show off the G-Class SUV? Available for over $120,000, this classic ‘box’ design is durable, as tough as a mountain, and has all the additions you could ever want from a vehicle. According to AMG themselves, the SUV has been designed to ‘conquer challenges on six continents’. With this in mind, it’s the one for you if you like travelling and exploring new areas.
AMG B-Class Electric- Finally, coming in at under $40,000, this electric vehicle is said to offer 87 miles of range and over 100 years of depth. Based around their first all-electric vehicle over a century ago, the B-Class Electric is designed for functionality and this shows with comfortable seats, long mileage on each charge, plenty of room for storage, five doors, and many more benefits.
Summary - Though these are just a select few from Mercedes-AMG range, they show how diverse the company has become and the experience the company boasts to offer the Project One. Not only will it offer Project One, we believe they’ll excel with Project One too!