The New Zealand Herald
Formula 1 tech hits the street
AMG first manufacturer to put a F1 engine into a road car
Eight models of MercedesAMG’s Project One show car, featuring the latest Formula 1 technology, are earmarked for New Zealand and Australia.
The head of AMG in Australasia, Dennis Mehan, said the pace of technological change taking place in the company was incredible.
He told the opening of New Zealand’s first dedicated AMG Performance Centre in Auckland last week that Australasia was an important market for AMG.
“There are plenty of more exciting cars to come — we’re only just seeing the beginning,” he said.
Customers here would see this shortly with the Project One hypercar, a high-performance hybrid said to feature the latest fully fledged Formula 1 technology “almost par to par” with the power unit Lewis Hamilton uses on race weekend.
“We’ll be the first manufacturer ever to put a Formula 1 engine into a road car,” said Mehan.
“There are eight of these coming Down Under, at an on-road cost of just under the $5 million mark.”
The company unveiled the new Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 coupe at the official opening of the performance centre in Newmarket on Thursday.
He said one in every five Mercedes cars sold in Australasia was an AMG, and it was AMG’s fifth-largest market in the world.
“We see a lot of technology that’s currently in F1 coming down to these [road] cars. In fact, keep a look out for the upcoming 53-range. The 48-volt technology that’s in these cars called EQ Boost is straight out of last year’s F1 car.”
He said AMG produced more than 130,000 cars a year, and had 1500 employees.
A second AMG Performance Centre was under construction in Christchurch.
Mercedes-Benz said the performance centres presented customers with “an immersive yet approachable” brand experience.
The general manager of MercedesBenz Cars New Zealand, Ben Giffin, said the new centre was well placed to capitalise on the strategic expansion of the Mercedes-AMG product range in recent years.
“Mercedes-AMG understands the passion New Zealand customers have for the performance brand,” he said.
“We are very proud to be opening New Zealand’s first AMG Performance Centre here in Auckland. This showroom space will offer a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the Mercedes-AMG brand to our customers, and will allow performance enthusiasts to experience the true spirit of the Affalterbach brand here in New Zealand.”
Mercedes-AMG revealed the first details of its Project One show car earlier this year.
Project One was developed inhouse by Mercedes-AMG in collaboration with engineers from Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (Mercedes’ engine building division) and designers for Mercedes-AMG Petrons Motorsport team. The three entities also worked on the AMG GT electric concept released last year.
“The Mercedes-AMG Project One is the first Formula 1 car with MOT [WOF] approval,” said Ola Ka¨llenius, member of the Daimler AG board of management responsible for group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development.
“Our highly efficient hybrid assembly stems from motor racing and the electrically powered front axle generates a fascinating mixture of performance and efficiency.”