Con­spic­u­ous by their ab­sence in the hy­brid-hy­per­car show­down over the past few years, Mercedes-AMG have re­vealed what is essen­tially a For­mula 1 car for the road

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The ‘Project One’ was also known by a few other names, in­clud­ing ‘R50’, and saw many a ren­der­ing sur­face around the In­ter­net. Mercedes have put the en­tire spec­u­la­tive furore to rest and cre­ated a whole new buzz, of­fi­cially re­veal­ing the con­cept of the 1,000+ PS Project One hy­per­car.

The high­light? The 1.6-litre V6 hy­brid powerunit straight off the F1 car; although there are some changes. First, the rev-limit has been toned down from 15,000 rpm to 11,000. This is to en­sure a longer life and to com­pen­sate for reg­u­lar Su­per Plus fuel — non-rac­ing fuel. The en­gine is, essen­tially, a rac­ing en­gine, with pneu­matic valve ac­tu­a­tion, spur gears for the over­head cams, di­rect fuel-in­jec­tion, an elec­tri­cally-as­sisted sin­gle tur­bocharger, and the two Mo­tor Gen­er­a­tor Units for Heat and Ki­netic en­ergy (MGU-H and MGU-K, re­spec­tively) from the F1 car.

The out­put, then. The com­bus­tion en­gine makes around 750 PS, with four elec­tric mo­tors on board. The first is a 90-kW (122-PS equiv­a­lent) unit on the turbo-shaft. The tur­bocharger it­self is split, with the ex­haust gas and com­pres­sor tur­bines sep­a­rated and lo­cated at op­ti­mal po­si­tions on the ex­haust and in­take sides, re­spec­tively, and con­nected by a shaft, which the mo­tor as­sists in spin­ning up to 100,000 rpm de­pend­ing on load re­quire­ments. Power is trans­ferred to the rear wheels by an all-new eight-speed au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion, de­vel­oped from scratch. It is ac­ti­vated hy­drauli­cally and can be op­er­ated in au­to­mated mode or man­u­ally, us­ing the shift pad­dles.

The elec­tric tur­bocharger per­forms an­other func­tion: part of the sur­plus en­ergy re­cu­per­ated from the ex­haust sys­tem is used to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity. This is ei­ther stored in the lithium-ion bat­tery or is used to power a se­cond elec­tric mo­tor, a 120-kW (163-PS equiv­a­lent) unit, mounted on the rear of the en­gine, linked to the crankshaft via a spur gear. More per­for­mance, more ef­fi­ciency.

Fi­nally, the third and fourth elec­tric mo­tors, each 120-kW (163-PS equiv­a­lent) and spin­ning up to 50,000 rpm, drive the front wheels. With the elec­tric mo­tors at the front and the com­bus­tion en­gine at the rear, the Project One ef­fec­tively fea­tures an elec­tric four­wheel-drive, and com­bined peak out­put of well over 1,000 PS — up to 326 PS at the front and 750+ PS at the rear. The en­tire pow­er­train boasts of a ther­mal ef­fi­ciency of over 40 per cent.

Aero­dy­nam­ics is also an area where the Project One shines. De­rived di­rectly from the F1 race car, the roof-line is dom­i­nated by the air in­take, through which the en­gine takes in large vol­umes of air. The ver­ti­cal shark fin, al­most iden­ti­cal to the F1 car, im­proves lat­eral sta­bil­ity when cor­ner­ing at high speed. Two large NACA air in­lets (low drag air in­lets de­vel­oped by the US Na­tional Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee for Aero­nau­tics, erst­while NASA) en­sure op­ti­mum guid­ance of the air­flows for the en­gine and trans­mis­sion oil cool­ers lo­cated at the rear end.

In­side, the cabin for two sports bucket seats with ad­justable back-rests, with an F1style rec­tan­gu­lar steer­ing wheel and just the es­sen­tials. Two 10-inch dig­i­tal dis­plays show all the in­for­ma­tion from the var­i­ous sys­tems.

The en­gi­neers have also man­aged to keep the weight down to just 1,000 kg, in­clud­ing the high-volt­age bat­tery packs. That helps the Project One break the 1:1 power-to-weight bar­rier. The weight man­age­ment is helped in no small part by the F1-de­rived suspension sys­tem: a multi-link setup front and rear, with ad­justable coil-overs and pushrod struts mounted across the di­rec­tion of travel. High­per­for­mance brakes get stan­dard ABS, with the ESP avail­able in three modes: On, Sporthandling, and Off. The wheels are light­weight al­loys with three flat ven­ti­la­tion slots per spoke as­sist­ing with brake heat dis­si­pa­tion. The tyres are Miche­lin Pi­lot Sport Cup 2 spe­cially de­vel­oped for the hy­per­car: 285/35 ZR 19 front and 335/30 ZR 20.

The Mercedes-AMG Project One will be pro­duced in strictly lim­ited num­bers with a price tag of €2,275,000 (Rs 17 crore).

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