Mercedes launches a road-legal hypercar with an F1 engine

Otis Hoffman
September 12, 2017

Heralded by Tobias Moers of Mercedes-AMG as "the most ambitious project we have every undertaken", the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE show auto is a technological marvel, particularly the high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system.

Manufacturers frequently cite racetracks and racing cars as inspiration for some of their faster models, but the Project One can make this claim more credibly than many: it features the same hybrid engine as Mercedes' 2014 Formula One auto, driven to victory by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that season.

Teaser images of Mercedes' F1-powered hypercar emerge

However when Mercedes-AMG announced it would build a road-legal hypercar with a drivetrain lifted directly from Formula 1, it was time to take notice. Its output is supplanted by three 120 kW electric motors, one mounted directly to the engine as well as two additional motors on the front axle, each driving a front wheel for a combined power output of at least 1,000 horsepower. Another electric motor is bolted to the crank for more power. But all that power does do a number on the battery. As we previously reported, the Project ONE is heavily derived from Formula 1 technology, including its carbon fiber monocoque construction and its turbocharged V6 engine. "At the same time, Project ONE provides an outlook on how AMG will define driving performance in the future", Tobias Moers explains as the Head of Management at Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The new photo reveals a rear profile of AMG's latest brainchild, days after confirming its top speed would exceed the 350km/h mark.

The powertrain needs five different cooling circuits, for engine, transmission, batteries, electric motors and charge air. These drive the vehicle through an eight-speed gearbox, complete with manual and automatic modes.

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In addition to previewing an upcoming AMG product, the brand says the Project One is also an exercise in learning more about plug-in hybrid performance models and suspension components.

You're looking at around 30,000 miles before the engine needs maintenance - a figure that's easier to swallow when you consider that an F1 engine is created to be rebuilt every four to five races. While sparse, the interior features two high-resolution 10-inch displays as well as a third screen acting as a rear view mirror.

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How fast is the AMG Project One?

"The hypercar is the most ambitious project we have every undertaken".

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With its MOT approval, Mercedes-AMG said it will produce 275 vehicles priced at $2.72 million each.

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