Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar almost ready for Frankfurt debut


Mercedes-AMG’s shown us the Formula 1-spec powertrain and suspension of its code-named Project One hypercar, and now we have the first real look at the body that will be draped over all the beautiful mechanical parts.

Holy Pete, this thing is going to look evil!

The Project One is basically going to be a race car for the street. The powertrain is confirmed as a 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 from the Mercedes AMG F1 team, albeit with two additional electric motors on the front axle to add extra thrust as well as all-wheel drive. It means the powertrain will have four electric motors in total—each of which is able to recapture energy to be stored in a lithium-ion battery.

Mercedes-AMG Project One's Formula 1-derived powertrain

Mercedes-AMG Project One's Formula 1-derived powertrain

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The engine, which will have a split turbocharger design and be able to spin to 11,000 rpm, will create about 750 horsepower. The rest will come from the two electric motors on the front axle plus a third motor connected to the crankshaft and help power the wheels. The resulting power output should be around 1,020 hp, and we’re told a small electric range will be possible. The powertrain’s fourth electric motor is integrated with the turbocharger to spin its compressor.

This is the first time we've seen some details of the body, and it shows the car will look absolutely sinister. The Project One will have a race-car-for-the-road look, with a central canopy, and wide fenders that extend well beyond the reaches of the cockpit. It looks like the car will fit two, but there may also be a small backseat. And there’s no overlooking the exhaust. This car really is all about that F1-spec powertrain.

The F1 theme will also continue into the cabin. A photo uploaded to social media by AMG boss Tobias Moers shows a steering wheel not unlike the one used by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in their race cars. The dash also appears to be devoid of features save a couple of digital screens.

Teaser for Mercedes-AMG Project One debuting at 2017 Frankfurt auto show

Teaser for Mercedes-AMG Project One debuting at 2017 Frankfurt auto show

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The Project One helps celebrate AMG’s 50th anniversary this year. It’s also a precursor to the new hybrid performance route the Affalterbach tuner is about to embark on. Just 275 will be built and all have been sold. The first deliveries are due in late 2018 or early the following year—about the same time Aston Martin will start deliveries of its rival Valkyrie hypercar. The ensuing battle will be wild.

The starting price, not that it matters much for the car's potential buyers, is 2.27 million euros (approximately $2.73 million).

The full car will be shown in the metal and carbon fiber on Tuesday at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show. For more coverage, see our dedicated hub.

 
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