Future Cars

Mercedes-AMG Project One Hypercar’s Powertrain Revealed

First look under the skin of the forthcoming, 1,000-plus hp Formula 1-inspired road car

On Saturday morning at Germany’s famed Nürburgring, Mercedes-AMG officials gave a select group of journalists a first glimpse beneath the skin of its forthcoming Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar, which will cost more than $2 million and be limited to 250-275 examples. AMG plans to unveil the final production car at this fall’s 2017 Frankfurt auto show ahead of deliveries commencing in 2018. Most, if not all, of those cars have already been spoken for.

As seen here, the underpinnings of the Project One are gorgeous. The car’s foundation is the 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 engine taken from the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 program. Mercedes has claimed the past three F1 driver and constructor championships, dominating the sport ever since the small-displacement hybrid-powertrain formula came into effect in 2014.

The turbocharged internal combustion engine will make somewhere in the neighborhood of 748 horsepower, augmented by four electric motors, F1-style MGU-H and MGU-K units, and a two-battery pack that AMG says produces four times as much energy as the batteries found in the F1 cars. Expect total powertrain output to exceed 1,000 horsepower, and as you’d expect from Mercedes, various driving modes will be available on command, including fully electric, emissions-free capability. The entire drivetrain weighs about 926 pounds; the battery pack weighs “more than 220 pounds,” the company said. The internal combustion engine’s redline is set to a dizzying 11,000 rpm.

Performance should be astounding when the Project One hits the road. We’ve previously reported the car’s total weight as possibly being less than 2,900 pounds. AMG confirmed an eight-speed transmission but won’t reveal what kind of architecture it uses. It would only say it is not a double-clutch gearbox — “too heavy,” we were told Saturday at the Nürburgring reveal event. All-wheel-drive capability, advanced aerodynamics, beautifully formed, racing-style suspension, and plenty of rubber — 335/30R20 rear and 285/35R19 front Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s — should ensure the Project One provides a driving revelation to the fortunate few who find themselves firing up the F1-derived powertrain.

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