The F1 Engine Powering The Mercedes Project One Will Only Last 31,000 Miles


After 31,000 miles, the $2.4 million Mercedes Project One will need to have its engine reworked.

The radical Aston Martin Valkyrie made a grand appearance at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, but we still have to wait until the Frankfurt Auto Show in September for the reveal of its main rival: the mighty Mercedes-AMG Project One. But that didn’t stop some juicy details about the mysterious hypercar emerging. We now know that only 275 examples will be produced, each costing $2.4 million. Powering the Project One is a modified 1.6-liter engine from a Formula One car which revs up to 11,000 rpm and produces at least 1,000 horsepower.

All the electric components are sourced from F1 technology too, from the crank motor to the split turbo and the two electric motors on the front axle to send power to all four wheels in conjunction with the engine. That’s all very exciting, but applying fancy F1 tech to a road car comes at a cost. Speaking to Motoring, AMG boss Tobias Moers revealed that the preposterously powerful engine will only last around 31,000 miles before it needs some significant work. “That’s the life of the engine. Then we do some rework, like in a race car,” he said. “But you don’t need an F1 team, you don’t need special gas. You can push the button and it fires up.”

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Then again, it seems unlikely that any of the Project Ones that are sold will achieve a mileage anywhere near 31,000 miles. This isn’t a car designed for the daily commute, after all. Tobias also reaffirmed that the engine powering the Project One is “100 per cent from an F1 car.” Of course, some modifications had to be applied to make it road-legal. “You have to reduce compression ratio, for emissions, you have to meet regulations,” he said. “It’s still 1.6 liters. The crank, it is not fully machined anymore, because we have a cast crank. The cylinder-head is cast like the F1 car as well, but it’s the same thing."

"You have to change injection levels, because formula one idle speed is not 1200 rpm, it’s 4000 rpm yeah? So you have to change things to make it feasible and street-legal. That’s it.” We still don’t have any official photos of the Project One, but expect more tantalizing teasers to be released in the coming weeks and months. Until then, the striking renders produced by Jan Peisert are the closest we’re going to get to seeing the final design in all its glory. The final reveal can't come soon enough.

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