Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren… move over. The hypercar race just got more interesting, with the arrival of this: the Mercedes-AMG Project One.
It’s been rumored for nearly two years now, but it’s finally here. It doesn’t just beat the others at their own game, but it completely redefines the rules for what a modern hybrid hypercar should look, sound and drive like.
Making its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Mercedes-AMG Project One completely stole the spotlight. Visually, I don’t think you can confuse it with anything else.
It’s got a CLK GTR silhouette, with a Koenigsegg Agera R rear end and a completely bespoke front end.
Everything about the exterior screams race car, much more so than any of the other hypercars. From the widebody kit and the aggressive splitters to the large roof scoop and the enormous wing at the back. I don’t think there’s a word to describe the way it looks. Menacing, striking and aggressive do little justice to it.
There are cars that are quick, there are cars that are fast, and then there’s the Mercedes-AMG. Mercedes hasn’t quoted an official 0-62 mph time, but the sprint to 124 mph takes less than six seconds.
The new Civic Type R, an incredibly quick car by modern standards, needs 5.7 seconds to reach 62 mph. In the same time, the Project One will be traveling twice as much. To say that that’s anything other than ridiculous would be an understatement.
This mind-blowing performance is courtesy of a Formula 1 derived powertrain. Essentially, Mercedes took their hybrid F1 drivetrain, detuned it slightly for road duty, and proceeded to promptly install it in the Project One.
The result is a 1.6-liter V6 with an electric turbocharger that can spin up to 100,000 rpm. To increase longevity they’ve limited the engine to ‘just’ 11,000 rpm instead of the usual 15,000 the F1 cars get.
The V6 is aided by three other electric motors, each producing 161 horsepower. Two live in the front axle (one on each side), and the third is linked to the crankshaft.
Combined power output is north of 1000 horsepower, though Mercedes won’t state the official figure just yet.
It rides on a multi-link suspension setup both front and rear, with adjustable coilovers on all four ends. Push-spring struts negate the need for tubular cross members, eliminating body roll all together though probably sacrificing some comfort in the process.
The tires are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, 285-section at the front and a staggering 335-section at the rear. The top speed is well over 217 mph, though it’ll probably be limited by gearing more than anything else.
It may blow the LaFerrari, the P1 and the 918 straight out of the water, but that comes at a cost. In price, namely. The Mercedes-AMG Project One will supposedly cost more than $3.2 million. Ouch.