Manufacturers gave us a glimpse into the future at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show with a number of important cars making their debut and hybrid/ electric technology clearly at the forefront of designers and engineers ambitions.
The big news from the show was undoubtedly the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE – a ready for production concept that Mercedes claims brings Formula One technology to the road for the very first time.
Developed jointly with Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team in Brackley, the hypercar is claimed to develop over 1000 hp through its hybrid powertrain. Described by Mercedes as “the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken”, it certainly appears to be just that.
What’s interesting about it?
Yes, it has all the usual acres of carbon fibre, active aero and performance that you would expect from a car of this nature, but Mercedes have decided to do things a little differently. While we’re used to hybrid hypercars with large, production-based engines (like the Cosworth-fettled V12 in the Aston Martin Valkyrie) , Mercedes have installed the 1.6 litre V6 from their F1 car in the Project One. The four electric motors don’t just drive the front two wheels – one has been integrated into the turbocharger with another installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase. Mercedes say that the engine easily reaches speeds of 11,000 rpm (in F1 tune it is capable of 18,000 rpm), but this is nothing compared to the electric motors on the front axle which can spin at up to 50,000 rpm – 30,000 more than the current state-of-the-art…..
Finally managed to fight through the crowd and get a proper look at the Project One… pic.twitter.com/GKAXSrEPzb
— Charlie Turner (@TopGearEditor) September 12, 2017
Designed for both road and track use, the Project ONE is AWD with an eight-speed automated manual gearbox and a 25 km range on battery power alone. The cockpit is unashamedly F1-esque and Mercedes claims that 0-200 km/h takes less than 6 seconds which makes it quicker to 120 mph than the Bugatti Chiron (6.1 seconds) – it will be priced in the same ball-park as the Chiron too, with the cost expected to be around the £2.5 million mark for one of the 275 cars earmarked for production. The design is pleasingly Group C / CLK GTR and we would be very surprised if all aren’t already spoken for.
This is Mercedes’ first step into the hypercar arena – since the term came into widespread use, at least – and it looks like a game-changer. If you are one of those who rue the days of turbo-charged V6s, electric propulsion and flappy-paddle gearboxes, we’re guessing the future is looking a little brighter now.
Images courtesy of Mercedes Benz UK
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