This will be one heck of battle for hypercar supremacy.
The next generation of the hypercar holy trinity is starting to take shape. We have now seen what the Mercedes-AMG Project One and the Aston Martin Valkyrie will look like, but the McLaren P15 hypercar remains a bit of a mystery. The McLaren should round out what we are calling the F1 holy trinity. The Porsche 918, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari made up the hybrid holy trinity, but this new generation of cars will focus on lightness and providing an F1 experience for rich people who want to feel like race car drivers on their commute.
The Aston Martin Valkyrie was the first of the two to be revealed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The car was going to be called the AM-RB 001, but we think that Aston Martin chose a much better name with "Valkyrie." The car itself looks unlike anything else we've seen on the road, and the occupants even sit with a feet-up position like an F1 or LeMans car. Aston Martin is still mum on the car's final power output, but we do know that the Valkyrie will have a power-to-weight ratio of 1:1. Since the car only weighs 1,000 ks, we'd expect the 6.5-liter Cosworth-developed V12 to produce around 1,000 hp and sound great doing so.
Aston Martin will only build 175 examples of the car, and they are (of course) sold out. Deliveries will begin in 2019, although cars like this typically take longer to make it to US customers thanks to stringent EPA checks. The price of the car will be around $3.2 million and we bet that these cars will trade for much more than that before a single car is delivered. The Mercedes Project One was just revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and we can now compare these two hypercars. The Project One was another codename that we thought would be dropped for a cooler name, but Mercedes has decided to keep the moniker for now.
Compared to the Valkyrie, the Project One actually looks a bit tame. Don't worry though, it will still be an incredibly fast car. The Mercedes doesn't have the extreme aerodynamic shape of the Aston, but it does look a bit more practical for someone who would actually want to get in and out of it (which is something we assume that these rich owners do from time to time). In a bit of a reversal, the Aston Martin uses a gullwing door setup, while the Mercedes uses butterfly doors like a McLaren F1 or the old SLR. The Mercedes cockpit also looks tight, but it does seem like the occupants will have more room than in the Aston Martin.
Both cars have advanced, F1-styled steering wheels and little else in the cockpit aside from a few screens. The Valkyrie will get all of its power from a massive 1,000 hp 6.5-liter V12, but the Project One gets power from a tiny 1.6-liter turbocharged V6. That engine may sound puny compared to the Valkyrie, but it revs to over 11,000 rpm and produces 670 hp by itself. The Project One also has four electric motors adding power. One drives the electrically-driven turbocharger, while the others add power to both the front and rear wheels for a total of over 1,000 hp. These two cars make power very differently, but should be very evenly matched in performance.
The Project One will be a bit more common with 275 units total, but it will also be slightly less expensive at around $2.72 million. From what we know so far, the Aston Martin seems most like the LaFerrari in this holy trinity equation. It is coming from a brand with a ton of heritage and tradition as a tribute to the where cars have come from in the past. The Mercedes seems more like the Porsche 918. It is coming from an automaker that has played it safe for years, but is now ready to push the envelope of what is technically possible with a hypercar, at a slightly lower price point. Although we know almost nothing about it, the McLaren will likely sit right in the middle of this new holy trinity just as the P1 did.
On styling alone, we think that the Aston Martin has the Mercedes beat. The Valkyrie is mesmerizing to look at, whereas the Project One just reminded us of some of the Gran Turismo Vision cars that we've seen in the past. We still love the way the Mercedes looks, but the Aston Martin is more of a game changer. When it comes to the drivetrain, the Mercedes seems to have the Aston beat. The 6.5-liter V12 sounds amazing, but it's hard to argue that a V6 that revs to 11,000 with a hybrid system doesn't push the envelope a bit more. We are a bit old fashioned when it comes to naturally aspirated engines, but even we can admit that the Mercedes wins when it comes to drivetrain.
The deciding factor will have to be a head-to-head test, which we are eagerly waiting to see. We just hope that this situation doesn't end up like the last time where the manufacturers didn't want anyone to know which car was the fastest. We bet that the Project One, the Valkyrie and the McLaren P15 will all be incredibly close when it comes to performance, but for now we have to say that the Valkyrie is our favorite.