A Mercedes two-seater supersports car that draws on Formula 1 technology is making its global debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Developed by Mercedes-AMG, the German carmaker’s high performance division, the hybrid hypercar concept is called the Mercedes-AMG Project One is priced at around $2.7 million.
Just 275 of these cars will be produced.
The concept car is basically a street-legal version of the company’s Petronas Formula One racing car, combining a mid-mounted 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine with four electric motors, two of which are on the front axle.
Developed as a highlight of AMG's 50th anniversary, the high-performance hybrid is said to produce over 1,000 hp and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h.
Zero to 200 km/h takes under six seconds.
The show car combines outstanding race track performance and day-to-day suitable Formula 1 hybrid technology with exemplary efficiency, according to Mercedes-AMG.
The car was developed with Formula 1 experts at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth and with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team in Brackley.
Together with the four-door AMG GT Concept, the Mercedes-AMG Project One provides another insight into the future performance-hybrid drive strategy of the sports car brand within Mercedes-Benz.
The all-wheel-drive Project One concept offers specific indications of what to expect from the upcoming production model.
The high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system consists of a highly integrated unit comprising one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine with a total of four electric motors. One has been integrated into the turbocharger, another has been installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase and the two remaining motors drive the front wheels.
Located ahead of the rear axle, the 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car.
The vehicle can easily reach speeds of 11,000 rpm, which is said to be currently unique for a roadgoing vehicle.
The two 120 kW electric motors at the front axle are connected to the front wheels via a reduction gear. With the axle motors, it is estimate that up to 80 per cent of the braking energy can be recuperated and stored in the battery for a longer electric range.
The lithium-ion battery is the same as used in the Petronas racing car, but the quantity of battery cells in the AMG Project One will make it significantly more practical for everyday use.
As a further innovation, the high-voltage EQ Power+ drive system operates with 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts.
The car can move off purely electrically, initially with just the electric motors on the front axle driving the hypercar and the electric motor on the crankshaft supporting short-term acceleration wishes. If the driver presses the accelerator more firmly, the V6 engine also switches on.
Power is transferred to the rear wheels by an 8-speed manual transmission. It is activated hydraulically and can be operated in automated mode or manually using the shift paddles.
The basis for the outstanding driving characteristics of car is provided by the lightweight, high-strength carbon-fibre monocoque body.
Another new development is the 10-spoke aluminium wheel with centre lock, which is exclusively for the Project One.
The car is equipped with an advanced ceramic compound braking system.
The show car has extremely muscular proportions with the cockpit well forward, large wheel arches, a wasp waist, an extended rear end, and Petronas green paintbrush design on the flanks.
All four wheels are spanned by tight-fitting, muscular wings that appear ready to leap into action, while the doors open both forwards and upwards.
The two-seater’s interior is minimalist both in design and function.
The bucket seats have adjustable backrests while the pedals and steering wheel are also adjustable. The centre tunnel visually separates the driver and passenger areas from each other.
There are two free-standing 10-inch displays - one slightly raised in front of the driver, the other on the right of the centre console angled towards the driver.
The double-nozzle ventilation unit is suspended under the centre screen like a gondola. The screen and nozzles form a single unit, emphasising the lightweight design principle.
The F1-styled steering wheel offers motorsport functionality, as do the two integrated controllers which can be used to set adjustment functions.
Small items can be stowed in two compartments behind the seats. An air conditioning system and power windows are standard equipment, while the Comand infotainment system ensures connectivity.
Colours and materials are also inspired by the Petronas racing car. The racing seats are in slip-resistant black microfibre. The seat surfaces are interspersed with nappa leather in magma grey and inlays in a sporty textile mesh to assist air circulation. There is also yellow contrasting topstitching.
Mercedes-AMG says Project One will be an ultimate driving machine that directly brings current Formula 1 hybrid technology onto the road and combines top-class race track performance with full day-to-day suitability.
The concept was unveiled yesterday ahead of the Frankefurt Motor Show, which gets under way today.
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