Even with four electric motors and a tiny 1.6-liter engine, this thing is more F1 car than downsized hypercar.
As any good superhero movie will tell you, there's more than one route to freakish and corruptible amounts of power such as getting bitten by a spider or being dropped into a vat of toxic waste. In the car world, that’s not much different. Bugatti uses large quad-turbo W16 engines that require cooling units galore to attain its legendary status. Mercedes, however, has just opened a new can of worms by using its Formula 1 engineers on this creation, the highly anticipated Project One Hypercar unveiled at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Rest assured, it produces more than enough mind-bending numbers to compete with a Chiron, but Mercedes’ means to its high-horsepower end couldn't be more different. Let’s start with the engine, a 1.6-liter V6 boosted by an electrically-assisted turbocharger, both of which get mounted in the hypercar’s midsection and provide the drumbeat. Or more like the drum sprint. Despite its ability to putt along in stop-and-go traffic, it can be revved to 11,000 RPM. Total power output is over 1,000 horsepower, but despite the impressive Formula 1 tech, that’s not all due to the engine’s might. Like the current generation of hypercar heroes from Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche, the AMG Project 1 is a hybrid.
A total of four electric motors help the Project One top out at 217 mph and more importantly, accelerate out of corners as if a rocket was strapped behind that shark fin wing. One motor powers the electrically boosted turbocharger in order to eliminate lag while another is placed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase. The final two power the front wheels. Total engine output sits at 670 horsepower while the front wheels split a 321 horsepower sundae. Of course the electric motors have no issue getting the torque down but the gasoline engine is mated to an automated 8-speed manual transmission for maximum acceleration. Just how quickly does it get up to speed?
Well, Mercedes didn't quite quote a 0-60 mph time, but it did mention that its hypercar should hit 124 mph in less than six seconds. How do you like them apples, Aston Martin? Though the interior is decked out with creature comforts such as air conditioning, a smartphone dock, and two digital displays, the interior is otherwise stripped out for business, the only other ode to daily drivability being a spare seat for a passenger sitting next to the driver. Don't expect to be able to get your hands on one of these hypercars even with the $2.72 million starting price in the bank because all 275 cars are already spoken for. Best put a napkin on the keyboard before digging into these sumptuous photos.