Mercedes-AMG Project One Bursts Onto Stage With 1,000 HP

2 months ago by Jake Holmes 6

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Over 217 mph thanks to four electric motors and an F1-derived V6 engine.

It’s finally here. Ahead of the start of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dieter Zetsche, revealed the new Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar, and it’s just as impressive as expected. The stats you care about: Zero to 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph) in under six seconds. A top speed above 217 mph (350 km/h). More than 1,000 horsepower. And, to top it off, up to 16 miles (25 kilometers) of all-electric driving range.

“This vehicle will make all previous performance limits at AMG and Mercedes look small,” Zetsche said, adding that it will be “the most efficient” hypercar of its kind.

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Although we had, of course, seen its basic shape in various teaser photos, and learned much already about its powertrain, this is our first official look at the Project One from top to bottom. It’s a stunning, aerodynamic shaped design that hugs the road. The entire body is a carbon-fiber monocoque, Note front fenders that rise above the wheels, a dramatically sculpted tail with ultra-wide taillights, and a roof scoop to feed the rear-mounted 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine – yes, which is derived from Mercedes’ F1 engines and can rev to 11,000 rpm. To achieve such lofty speeds without valve float, there are pneumatic valve controls rather than traditional valve springs. It’s fed by an electric turbocharger and, Mercedes says, has more than 40 percent thermal efficiency, an impressive figure. Another electric motor is linked to the engine for additional hybrid boost. Total output to the rear wheels is “over” 671 hp (500 kw).

The engine is supplemented by two more electric motors, one for each front wheel; they are rated for 120 kilowatts (161 hp) each and can spin up to 50,000 rpm. Power is stored in lithium-ion batteries, and Zetsche says that up to 80 percent of braking energy can be recuperated from the front wheels to the batteries. The batteries alone weigh about 220 pounds (100 kg), and in fact, there are four times more cells than in the Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid racing car. The electrical system also runs at 800 volts, which Mercedes says is double the usual voltage of its plug-in cars.

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Production volumes, as expected for an extreme hypercar like the Project One, will be extremely limited: just 275 copies at €2.275 million (that’s about $2.27 million) apiece. In fact, we’ve even heard the car is already sold out.

“This means that we will have to make some car lovers sad, whereas some, few, will burst with happiness I believe,” Zetsche said.

As to the chassis, motorsports-style inboard, pushrod suspension coilovers suspend the wheels, and the 8-speed automated-manual transaxle is a stressed member to which the rear suspension is attached. The front wheels are 19 inches in diameter and 10 inches wide, while the rears are 20×12 inches; both wear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard. The transmission is brand-new for the Project One and can either be used in automatic mode or via paddle shifters.

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Inside, the function-first cabin features a Formula 1-inspired steering wheel, a large color display that serves as the instrument cluster, and a secondary display perched atop the center stack. There’s no much else inside the cabin: The two seats are relatively spartan, though Mercedes notes that the car’s pedals and steering wheel are adjustable for different drivers to fit comfortably.

The Mercedes-AMG Project One is, then, everything we expected: A high-tech push at the limits of road-car technology that quite literally brings F1 performance to the streets.

Below:  Mercedes-AMG Project One Gallery

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6 responses to "Mercedes-AMG Project One Bursts Onto Stage With 1,000 HP"

  1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    800V is the only important thing about it.

    1. Jake Brake says:

      Yes and no. Hybrid buses have been running at 800v for 15+years now.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      That sort of over-simplifies. 800v is important advances, but there’s electrification R&D in this car that goes well beyond Tesla. The car regenerates, like other hybrids, but 80% recovery??? That’s great. I remember 35% anecdotally once being discussed on GM-Volt. “50,000 RPM” also caught my eye. I wonder how little torque is left, at 49k, but that’s a lot faster than the 15,000RPM I thought most single-geared EVs approach. “four times the F1 battery”, even if only good for ~15 miles, these batteries are good for repeatedly soaking up energy, and spending it, in a super-hot, fast C-rate, track environment. Tesla has its ~60KW regen, when you lift off the throttle, and that’s it. FE = ~150KW. F1??

      F1 never allowed much more than ~2KWh of non-gas output, per lap. The cars probably spend 20-40KWh. The formula never gave way to pit-charging, or starting grid storage, or battery swaps (like FE’s car swaps). It was still mostly engine.

      Despite the breakthrough batteries need for longer than ~15 minute races, I think the door is closing for hybrid racing as teams capitulate by joining Formula E. The cars are going to slow down, dramatically, for traditional >1hr events, but the test bed will bear more fruit instead of $2.7 million dollar cars.

      What Mercedes is doing, they don’t meaningfully sell. This tech isn’t “finally here”, as the article states. It’s on the shelf, along with the exhaust parts, the filters and everything else that creates a Euro of profit. ~250 production may as well be fictional, just like the “R8 e-Tron”.

      Enough of the slow walk.

  2. Kdawg says:

    “The stats you care about: Zero to 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph) in under six seconds.”
    ——-
    How about 0-60?

  3. DJ says:

    Certainly does look a lot better than those hideous pictures (renderings??) we have seen here over the past several months I have to admit.

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