Mercedes-AMG Project One revealed: F1 on the road


We are drawing on our experiences and successes from three constructors' and drivers' world championships to bring Formula One technology to the road for the first time: "in Mercedes-AMG Project One".

If there was ever going to be a headline act here at the Frankfurt Motor Show it's the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE.

In terms of design, the Project ONE noticeably avoids blending contemporary Mercedes styling cues into its racing vehicle inspired shape.

Manufacturers frequently cite racetracks and racing cars as inspiration for some of their faster models, but the Project One can make this claim more credibly than many: it features the same hybrid engine as Mercedes' 2014 Formula One vehicle, driven to victory by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that season.

Teaser images of Mercedes' F1-powered hypercar emerge

Power for the Project One ultimately flows through an automated eight-speed manual transmission specifically developed for the auto. It uses the same 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid V6 that has powered the German marque's Formula 1 entry since 2014, and though this is still a concept auto, Mercedes says it gives a "close indication" of that to expect from the upcoming production model coming in 2019. To allow for the stratospheric maximum engine speed of 11,000rpm, the four overhead cams are gear driven and the valvetrain uses pneumatics rather than conventional springs. Our highly efficient hybrid assembly stems from motor racing and the electrically powered front axle generates a fascinating mixture of performance and efficiency.

To give the Project One the extra traction of all-wheel drive, AMG's engineers have augmented the F1 powertrain with a pair of electric motors on the front axle. The amusing bit is that the model will also feature and all-electric driving mode, during which it will become the first ever FWD hypercar, since only the front axle will receive power.

After months of rumours and teases, Mercedes' hypercar destroyer is finally here. This energy is stored in the battery and is available for a longer electric range. Combined with an electric motor that powers the front wheels, the Project One pumps out power of around 1000 horses. The steering column is adjustable, as are the seat backrests - they're not fixed buckets, or not as standard, at least.

Only about 275 will be built.