Is the F1-inspired Mercedes hybrid hypercar a future classic in the making?
Mercedes instantly got our attention when it unveiled plans to produce a new F1-inspired hybrid hypercar, much in the same vein as Aston Martin’s radical AM-RB-001 currently in development with Red Bull. Now known as the Project One, built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Meredes-Benz AMG, sadly we have to wait until this year’s 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show in September for the full unveiling, but in the meantime Mercedes has been supplying us with a few tantalizing teasers to get us excited.
In an interview with Car Advice at this year’s CES, the hypercar’s chief designer Gorden Wagener has been hyping up the project, going as far to say it’s “perfect”. Well, he would say that wouldn’t’ he? Still, such a bold statement has certainly ramped up our already mammoth expectations. “The car is very clean and pure, but also very extreme,” he explained to Car Advice. “Such a proportion is almost like you have a penalty shot in soccer without a goalkeeper. You can’t do much wrong, because it’s low, it’s wide – it’s perfect, it’s stunning. The hard part is what makes it different to all other super or hypercars that are out there.
“What makes it the Mercedes of the hypercar, and always relates it to formula one?” he posited. “I think this is a very special car – it happens maybe once every 50 years or so, so you truly make a statement in history here. And you’d better do it good, yeah?” The Project One will utilize the same hybrid setup as its current Formula 1 cars with a high-revving 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 paired to an electric motor capable of churning out around 1,000 horsepower. It will also have four-wheel drive. Its F1 influence can be seen in its mid-engined, aerodynamic design which was recently shown at CES.
Mercedes recently updated its official website about the hybrid hypercar, which is now being referred to as the Project One, describing it as "probably the most fascinating two-seater that will ever hit the road." Only 300 units will be sold. Is the Project One destined to be a future classic up there with the Bugatti Veyron in the list of defining hypercars of the 21st century? With the launch of Aston’s AM-RB 001 set for next year as well, 2018 is already shaping up to be a landmark year for eccentric hypercars. In the meantime, Mercedes is currently exhibiting its all-new new GT C Coupe and updated GT and GT S models revamped for 2017 at the Detroit Auto Show.