If you think it looks like the McLaren F1, you could be forgiven. It does and its way more beefy, but the Mercedes-AMG Project One is the latest Formula One related inspiration for the performance brand, albeit that this time around it brings hybrid technology and more than 1000 horsepower to the table.

The partnership between the Formula One race team and the high performance car end of Mercedes-Benz business is not new – a la the McLaren F1. This time the partnership stays in-house, offering a new twist.

“Motorsport is not an end in itself for us. Faced with intense competition, we develop technologies from which our production vehicles also subsequently benefit. We are drawing on our experiences and successes from three constructors’ and drivers’ world championships to bring Formula 1 technology to the road for the first time: in Mercedes-AMG Project ONE”, says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The Mercedes-AMG Project One is a plug-in hybrid that uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 petrol engine with four electric motors. The turbocharging is also electric motor assisted, with added innovations like pneumatic valve springs and spur gear driven camshafts.

Engine layout is mid-engined, with a split turbocharger arrangement that uses a shaft to connect the exhaust gas impeller and the compressor fan, which are placed on the appropriate sides and the shaft is further powered by a 90kW electric motor that can spin up to 100,000rpm to add selective boost when needed.

Placing the motor there enables it to be used to recover energy from the exhaust, feeding that back into the lithium-ion battery bank or making it available to another motor of 120kW that is connected to the engine through a spur gear linked to the crankshaft. This provides drive in electric-only mode when a boost is required. Additionally, the Project One uses an eight-speed robotised manual gearbox to transfer power from the engine crankshaft to the rear wheels.

The other two electric motors sit on the front two wheels, each of these rated at 120kW too. These motors can spin at up to 50,000rpm and are connected to the wheels through reduction gearing. This gives the Mercedes-AMG Project One all-wheel drive and also serves to recoup energy from the braking process (the company estimates this to be 80% efficient).

The electric system is comprised of a Lithium Ion battery pack along with its cooling gear that uses an 800 volt EQ+ system instead of the usual 400 volts.

The Project One is set to be a performance supercar. It can hit the standing 200 km/h in six seconds, features a carbon-fibre shell and has load-bearing engine and gearbox like on an F1 car. The suspension is multi-link all-around with coil-over shocks.

Wheels are forged aluminium with a carbon-fibre sheath with unique high performance tyres from Michelin. At the front the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE runs on 10.0 J x 19 dimension wheels and 285/35 ZR 19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres which were exclusively developed for the hypercar and at the rear the vehicle features 12.0 J x 20 wheels running on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 335/30 ZR 20 tyres.

Specifications

Rear-wheel drive 1.6-litre V6 with direct injection, four valves per cylinder, four overhead camshafts and electrically boosted single turbocharger, electric motor connected to the crankshaft
Displacement 1,600 cc
Rear-wheel drive output > 500 kW
Front-wheel drive output 2 x 120 kW
System output > 740 kW (> 1,000 hp)
Electric range 25 km
Drive system Variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with hybrid-drive rear axle, electrically driven front axle and torque vectoring
Transmission Automated AMG SPEEDSHIFT 8-speed manual transmission
Acceleration 0-200 km/h < 6 secs.
Top speed > 350 km/h

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