Now, we will finally be able to properly address Mercedes-AMG’s up and coming hypercar, which has been so popular that it is rumored to be nearly sold out. It was previously only known by people inside Mercedes-AMG as the R50 (its internal codename). But now, Mercedes-AMG wants us to call it Project One.
Mercedes-AMG hasn’t divulged why it chose Project One as the official moniker of its new hypercar. In September 2016, Mercedes-AMG confirmed that it was indeed developing a new hypercar that would have a power output that boasts 4 digits. There had been speculations and rumors that Mercedes-AMG had been developing the hypercar for some time already.
At the ongoing 2017 Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes-AMG big boss Tobias Moers revealed some delicious details about the new Project One hybrid hypercar. It would employ the same turbocharged 1.6-liter 90-degree angle engine found in the current W07 F1 car, as complemented by an electric drive and an Energy Recovery System (ERS). Moers has previously indicated that the ERS in F1 cars would be used more aggressively in the Project One hypercar in order to create the most efficient hybrid car ever. Mercedes-AMG’s Formula One powertrain generates around 1,000 hp in qualifying mode. As for the Project One hypercar, the power output could be more.
To note, the situation on the road is different from that on the race track, which means that this powertrain will be modified for street use. Logically, a road car comes with a different set of demands and running conditions from that of a Formula One car. For instance, Mercedes-AMG’s F1 engine revs up to 15,000 rpm, which could be too much for the road. This may mean that the engine would have a modified rpm of just 10,000 – which is already a high-rev figure.
While the F1 car features only two electric motor-generators, Project One will have a third powering the front wheels. This means that Project One will be an all-wheel drive unit. One motor-generator is connected to the main driveshaft to spin the rear wheels, while the second one is integrated with the turbocharger to spool up the turbo to get rid of lag.
Based on the teaser images from Mercedes-AMG, the Project Car looks similar to a Le Mans prototype race car but is built for the road. It could be as light as 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) from its usage of carbon fiber construction. Meanwhile, its handling and agility are boosted by its outstanding active aerodynamics.
While the company hasn’t hinted that there would be another hybrid hypercar in the works, we’re in high hopes that there will be a Project Two.