At a special event on the eve of the 2016 Paris auto show, Mercedes-Benz finally confirmed that it’s Mercedes-AMG skunk works is working on a world-beating hypercar. The confirmation came from Mercedes-Benz’s outgoing R&D boss Thomas Weber.
“Under the lead of Mercedes-AMG, our performance companies will join forces and create the most efficient and, at the same time, most dynamic and most spectacular AMG of all time,” he told media on Wednesday. “Some might even call it a hypercar.”
Along with the confirmation, this teaser shot showing a stylized silhouette of the car was briefly shown. Similarities with the rival AM-RB 001 penned by famed Formula One designer Adrian Newey are clear, though this was to be expected given the laws of aerodynamics and the fact AMG is also relying on Formula One talents for the project, in this case the Mercedes AMG F1 team.
Interesting elements include the roof-mounted scoop and prototype racer-style fin. The former is a nice nod to the legendary CLK GTR homologation special of the late 1990s.
Mercedes AMG W07 Hybrid 2016 Formula One car power unit
Weber wasn’t willing to divulge details but did say the new hypercar will feature “intelligent drivetrain technology.” Intelligent is the German automakers’ way of saying electrification, suggesting that the new hypercar will feature some form of hybrid technology. The move makes sense given current trends, not only for road cars but also motorsport, including F1.
Speaking of F1, it’s reported the hypercar will feature an engine based on the turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6 fitted to the Mercedes AMG F1 team’s championship-winning car from the 2015 season, the the W06 Hybrid. Modifications—expected to be increased displacement, a second turbocharger and improved cooling—required for road use is reportedly being handled by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, the British unit that builds the F1 engines.
Other rumors include a power-to-weight ratio of at least one horsepower per kilogram, Lotus Engineering-tuned handling and a production run of just 50 cars. Why 50? Because the hypercar is thought to be arriving in 2017 to celebrate AMG’s 50th anniversary. The rumored name for the car is R50.
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