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Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is an Actual F1 Car for the Road

Greg Kachadurian September 11, 2017 The News! 13 Comments

Nobody will ever be allowed to claim their car is a race car for the street again, not after this. Mercedes-AMG’s long awaited hypercar was revealed in Frankfurt today and it’s every bit as insane as promised. Nothing, besides the Aston Martin Valkyrie most likely, will be able to touch this thing while wearing a license plate. Let’s dig in.

It’s honest-to-god Formula 1-derived powertrain starts with a mid-mounted 1.6-liter V6 with a single turbocharger. It’s not some F1 “inspired” engine like some would claim, it actually is their F1 engine. The four overhead camshafts are driven by spur gears, pneumatic valve springs replace conventional mechanical ones, and the turbocharger is driven by its own electric motor (MGU-H) and can spin up to 100,000 RPM. There’s also an electric motor embedded within the engine and is connected to the crankcase (MGU-K). Engine speed is reduced to 11,000 RPM so that it doesn’t require race fuel to operate. Thermal efficiency is expected to exceed 40%.

Engine power is channeled to the rear wheels through a Project ONE-exclusive, hydraulically-activated eight-speed automated manual gearbox.

There are two additional 120kW electric motors at the front axle, each of which can accelerate and brake each wheel independently. This not only gives it AWD stability but can also allow for up to 80% of the braking energy to be recovered under normal driving conditions. Any energy recovered can be used to drive up to 15 miles or so under full electric power.

But who wants to drive something like this with only two of the motors running? All five working in unison deliver some incredible numbers. 0-124 mph is cleared in under six seconds, it tops out at least 217 mph, and it has over 1,000 horsepower to work with (still no exact figures).

Keeping all of that under control is a front and rear multi-link setup with adjustable pushrod suspension. Big and powerful ceramic brakes get additional cooling from ventilation slots on each of the ten spokes on the lightweight aluminum wheels. Additionally, a few active aero elements keep the car planted at any speed.

On the Project ONE’s design, it’s highlighted by extremely muscular proportions with the cockpit well forward, large wheel arches, a “wasp” waist, and an extended rear end. One term they used to describe this is “fascination and function”, meaning it looks wicked but everything on the car is there for a purpose.

Downforce is provided at the front axle by an automatically extending splitter and active ventilation louvers in the front wheel arches. Dominating its slick roofline is a vertical shark fin to improve lateral stability and a top-mounted air intake. There’s even more going on at the back with a two-section diffuser, vertical spoiler lip, and a two-stage extendable airfoil.

Inside, it’s Formula 1 for two. This all business cabin has two bucket seats with adjustable backrests integrated into the monocoque as well as fully adjustable pedal and wheel placement. The steering wheel looks straight out Hamilton’s F1 car and brings various adjustments right to the driver’s fingertips. It also has LED shift lights because they look cool.

It’s the ultimate expression of motorsports for the street and it’ll be priced like it. A casual $2.7 million brings one of the 275 planned examples home.

[Source: Mercedes-AMG via Autoweek]

  • Fred Talmadge

    Maybe McLaren would buy one just for the engine.

  • CraigSu

    “Close, but no cigar.”, says the Koeniggsegg One:1.

    • Too many ‘1’ around: F1 the car (McL), F1 the series of Ecclestonian heritage, K’egg 1:1 (it’s a draw?) and now the M E R C E D E S B E N Z P R O J E C T …
      one.

  • JayP

    The only thing Mercedes AMG about this is the badge.
    Stick any badge on it…

    • outback_ute

      Is the Mercedes F1 team not Mercedes? Like in the 1990s when they rebadged an Ilmor engine.

      There was an article in today’s paper about the car, where they quoted the guy who ran the project as saying “this is the first F1 car for the road”. This is probably true as the pre-WW2 grand prix cars that could be registered and driven on the road were before the F1 era.

      It also said that at least one has been sold to Australia, where it will cost AUD$5.1m, including $1.1m in luxury car tax!

      • cap’n fast

        the old saw about the golden rule has come into play. the one supplying the gold is also supplying the stickers

        • outback_ute

          Yes but this time I *think* it is an in-house team not a contractor. But as nanoop said, no research was harmed in the making of that statement.

  • Rover 1
    • Indeed. To be fair, the F1 (McL) started the huge-cooling-inlets-in-front-of-the-wheels thing for supercars (my impression, no research was harmed for stating this fact), and it is an excellent trick, everybody is using it today – even on SUVs.

      • Rover 1

        The McLaren definitely started it, for aerodynamic reasons, smooth airflow under the centre of the car. The sides have their aero mucked up by the wheels, so you might as well harness the turbulence. Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens are genii.

  • crank_case

    2.7m and you still get the Mercedes iPad stuck to the dashboard school of design.

    • outback_ute

      It seems less objectionable to me in a race-inspired car where you don’t need extra bits of plastic to add weight. Mind you reshaping the existing plastic to integrate the screens wouldn’t hurt! Whatever is best for eliminating windscreen reflection in my book.

  • I’ll be willing to call this “the first F1 car for the road” when they successfully get one entered in an F1 grid.