For long, Mercedes had relied on its partnership with McLaren for its racing cars such as the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren but after the two companies parted ways, Mercedes commenced a project to develop its own in-house supercars. However, the automaker has never really managed to develop a model that can boast a true supercar status leave alone a hypercar status. But finally, the automaker has nailed it by producing a one-of-a-kind hypercar that I personally think is more extreme than McLaren’s P1 and the LaFerrari. While doing it, Mercedes has opted for a completely different direction than most of us expected. Mercedes has produced a hybrid hypercar as the automaker believes that the future of the automotive engineering depends on electrification. The hypercar is dubbed “AMG Project One”; it is a 2-seater stunning hypercar that has brought Formula 1’s hybrid technology to the streets. In other words, I am saying the Mercedes-AMG Project One is all street legal so as soon as the automaker starts delivering them to a select 275 buyers, you might see one near you; that is if one of the 275 well-moneyed guys happens to live near you digs.
Mercedes-AMG Project One Exterior
The Mercedes-AMG Project One looks ugly and I love it; I love the fact that Mercedes did not design the hypercar based on the brand’s contemporary sportscar design. Although Mercedes describes the car as both a Beauty and a Beast, I think the last definition is better for this menacing 2-seater. I believe hypercars with drive-trains churning out over 1000 hp should look as ugly as they can to signify their monstrous capabilities but many automakers do quite the opposite; they try to make them as beautiful as possible. That said, the front fascia of the Project One is dominated by two gigantic vents. On the other hand, a pair of LED headlights chiseled onto the model’s bonnet. The hood also features a 3-tiered scoop; the scoop helps to direct airflow to the sides as well as help to adjust the front splitter to increase downforce; active ventilation louvers in the model’s front wheels also aid in this cause.
On the sides, you will definitely not miss the model’s naked-carbon aerodynamic flaps or the custom-made 10-spoke forged aluminum rollers which are specifically made for the Project One. Front and rear wheels will be of different diameters and width and will be wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 rubber. Stopping power comes from gigantic golden calipers that integrate wide carbon-ceramic brake discs.
The rear is even more stunning. The first thing that blows your mind away is the model’s F1-like shark fin that is placed above the engine section in a way that it virtually divides the rear fascia. Other attractive features include a retractable rear spoiler and a gigantic diffuser that improve downforce at the rear.
The rooftop also comes with an air intake to further enhance the model’s aerodynamics.
The body structure is a carbon-fiber monocoque and the panels are also made of carbon-fiber. However, Mercedes has not announced how much the hypercar weighs. To cap the styling is a Petronas green paint finish that completes the stunning look of the Project One.
The cabin is designed to ensure the driver easily controls the car. Despite it being street legal, the Mercedes-AMG Project One is largely a car for the tracks. Thus, the hypercar is optimized for track driving. The cabin features a huge dose of carbon fiber even on the seats rather than Alcantara or leather as expected. I understand the automaker did this to save weight as much as possible without affecting the premium quality associated with Mercedes. The two seats are actually inbuilt into the model’s structure but they come with reclining backrests. The two seats are actually a single piece that stretches over the central tunnel. In addition, the seats feature holes to fit in racing harnesses.
To ensure a driver gets to sit into a comfortable driving position, the pedals and the steering wheel are adjustable. Talking of the steering wheel, the unit is borrowed from F1; it has the F1’s typical rectangular shape with few buttons. Directly in front and above the steering wheel is a 10-inch display that allows the driver to keep tabs of all important information without his/her eyes leaving the road. There is also another 10-inch floating display at the center of the dashboard that is used to gain access to the model’s infotainment system.
To ensure the two passengers don’t die of heat while navigating the tracks or cutting across the Nevada desert, Mercedes has fitted dual vents below the screen. The vents channel in cooling air into the cabin. The door panels look big and bulky with their large recessed section. The doors are closed using a pull strap. In place of the conventional rearview mirror is a screen that displays a live feed from a rear-facing camera.
Engine and performance
You must be deeply interested to know the drive-train that provides the 1,000 hp for the AMG Project One. Well, you will be astounded to learn that the juice comes from a turbocharged 1.6 L, V-6 good for 670 hp…This, however, is not your conventional V-6 but a unit sourced from Formula One. The mill is also joined by four electric motors. Two of the motors each producing 161 horsepower are mounted on the front axle, one in the crankcase rated at 161 hp while the last motor is mounted inside the turbocharger (it produces 121 hp). The V-6 and the four motors combine to produce 1000 hp which enables the hypercar to run from 0-126 mph in under 6.0 seconds on its way to a 217 mph top speed.
Unlike your usual battery system, the unit on the AMG Project One is an 800-volt system. The system is paired with an 8-speed automatic gearbox specifically designed for the Mercedes-AMG Project One.
Price and release date
Deliveries to customers will start in the second half of 2018. The Mercedes-AMG Project One will be available to the select few members of the society who can afford to spend $2.7 million (€2.2 million) for a car that will spend most of its time lying unused in the garage. Although there were over 1000 orders, Mercedes will produce only 275 units.