Merc’s new F1-pow­ered road car

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS - JESSE ADAMS

AF­TER only a hand­ful of sketchy de­tails late last year, Mercedes-AMG has re­vealed some more juicy info on its up­com­ing hyper­car and con­firmed it will use the same (or very sim­i­lar) hy­brid driv­e­train as the team’s cham­pi­onship-win­ning 2015 For­mula One car.

The Project One is still around three years away, and will likely get a new name closer to its launch date in 2020, but for now we know that it’ll be pow­ered by a mid-mounted tur­bocharged 1.6-litre V6 linked to a set of floor-mounted bat­ter­ies which drive four sep­a­rate elec­tric mo­tors. One of these di­rectly sup­ple­ments the en­gine’s crank­shaft out­put, an­other is used only to con­tin­u­ously spool the tur­bocharger, and the re­main­ing pair drive the two front wheels in­de­pen­dently.

To­tal sys­tem out­put is un­con­firmed, but Merc’s web­site says it ex­pects “more than 735kW”. Per­for­mance claims are also yet to be made, but with this much power, all-wheel drive trac­tion and a car­bon­fi­bre body/chas­sis struc­ture, we’re sure it’s wor­thy of chal­leng­ing As­ton Martin and Red Bull’s sim­i­larly F1-in­spired Valkyrie hyper­car which is due next year.

Though the fully road-le­gal Project One will un­doubt­edly be started from the driver’s seat with­out help from a pit crew (as per F1 stan­dards), Mercedes-AMG’s boss has dis­closed that en­gine re­builds will be re­quired ev­ery 50 000km. Per­fectly un­der­stand­able for a such a highly strung mo­tor that idles at 4000rpm and red­lines at 13 500!

For now we’ll have to make do with pic­tures of the Project One’s body-less chas­sis con­fig­u­ra­tion and a typ­i­cally shad­owy teaser im­age, but a full re­veal is ex­pected at this year’s Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber.

In­ter­ested? Tough. All 275 units have been sold sight un­seen.

MercedesAMG hyper­car de­sign sketch.

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