Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar debuts with 1000hp at Frankfurt

As I found out in my interview with Andy Cowell, managing director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, F1 is as much about efficiency as power - and it looks like Mercedes is taking that thinking to the road. Based around a carbon-fibre monocoque body and calling to mind both the Mercedes CLK DTM and CLR, the Project One has a roof-mounted air intake that segues into a huge rear fin.

What is possibly the most awaited vehicle of the year, the Mercedes-AMG Project One has made its debut on the eve of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. 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.

Read mid-engine with up to 11,000 rpm. But for purposes of practicality and longevity and because it does not use racing fuel, engineers have stopped significantly short of that. It's also said that it can dash from 0 to 124 miles per hour in under 6 seconds, which is less than most cars can get to 60. By comparison, the 1,500-hp Bugatti Chiron needs 6.1 seconds for the sprint, while the McLaren P1 requires 6.8 seconds to reach that speed.

"This marks another highlight of the successful strategic development of Mercedes-AMG as a performance and sports auto brand".

The Project One is packed with technology from the company's back to back to back World Championship-winning Formula One team. This separates the turbines with an axle, this driven by its own 122hp electric motor to enable boost on demand and avoid what AMG describes as "dreaded turbo lag". He added that it will be "the most efficient" hypercar of its kind. Power is transferred to the rear wheels by an 8-speed manual transmission that has been entirely developed from scratch for the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. It's the closest link we've seen between grand prix and road machines in recent years, with the gearbox, battery and electric motors also benefiting greatly from F1 know-how. Voltage has been doubled from 400 volts to 800 volts too, which Mercedes says allows space saving by reducing cable diameters, and the battery system lies on the floor behind the front axle.

Though street-legal, the Project One is also designed as if it was meant for the track.

Inside the vehicle you'll find a nod to motorsports, like the F1-style rectangular steering wheel, and more conventional details for the everyday commuter.

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

Externally, the large front apron's trapezoidal centre section is highlighted by a white "AMG" logo and flanked by prominent air inlets alongside the German brand's signature silver-coloured A-wing, while LED headlights also make an appearance. Now, they are all set to take the wraps off a new hypercar at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

AMG puts special attention to the optimization of parts and accessories, while Mercedes delivers on the long-standing tradition of world-class cars it has always made.

  • Arturo Norris