Frankfurt debut for 1000hp Mercedes-AMG Project One

Sep 12, 2017, 00:36
Frankfurt debut for 1000hp Mercedes-AMG Project One

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 auto, driven to victory by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that season.

After months of rumours and teases, Mercedes' hypercar destroyer is finally here. We thought this was nothing more than a form of speech used to create hype but we were wrong.

Mercedes-AMG doesn't yet have a fully complete running prototype of the Project One - one where it is testing all of the components together in a single vehicle - but it is, obviously, thinking about what the auto ought to be like to drive; other than being apocalyptically fast and absurdly light, anyway. The vehicle is mid-engined (ahead of the rear axle) and it can easily reach speeds of 11,000 rpm, which is now unique for a roadgoing vehicle.

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Alongside being able to operate as a pure EV, the driving modes range to include a "highly dynamic" mode, which Mercedes says uses similar settings used by the Formula 1 auto during qualifying laps. On a road long enough, AMG suggests a V-max beyond 350km/h.

The car's carbonfibre construction and use of the engine and transmission as a structural member and mounting point for the rear push-rod suspension is heavily F1 inspired. Active aero is found at the front too, with an extending front splitter and movable flaps positioned over the front wheels.

A single large-bore exhaust provides the visual centrepiece of the tail section and appears to have little in the way of silencers. The seats don't slide, but adjustable backrests, pedals and steering wheel allow passengers to get comfortable.

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"The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is the hottest and coolest vehicle we have ever designed". There are two 10-inch screens, one in front of the driver and the other in the dash center and beneath it are two ventilation nozzles suspended like a gondola. Mercedes-AMG hasn't released any images of the interior of the auto.

And while the Project One may draw from Formula One, the overall look is more like that of a Le Mans prototype.

The local arm of Mercedes-Benz has confirmed nine examples are allocated to Australia and New Zealand.

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