Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Joan Schultz

Mercedes unveils F1-powered 1000+ HP hypercar

Mercedes unveils F1-powered 1000+ HP hypercar

It's an auto industry cliché - Formula 1 technology trickling down into road cars you can actually buy.

The auto, unveiled at the International Motor Show in Germany by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche, is capable of more than 217mph (350kph) and can accelerate to 124mph in "under six seconds", half a second quicker than the Bugatti Chiron.

Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton talk during the opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show in Frankfurt Germany
Mercedes-AMG Project One teased for Frankfurt

MERCEDES-AMG has torn the covers off Project One at a media event on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show. The company has previously revealed the auto comes with a 1.6 litre turbo V6, which can go up to 11,000 rpm. It'll be priced at around £2.4 million.

Manufacturers frequently cite racetracks and racing cars as inspiration for some of their faster models, but the Project One can make this claim more credibly than many: it features the same hybrid engine as Mercedes' 2014 Formula One auto, driven to victory by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that season.

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What we've learned is that its high-performance spec includes the F1-based 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine and four electric motors, an output of over 1000 hp and a top speed exceeding 350 km/h. Two drive the front wheels, then there's a further 120kW one attached to the V6 engine's crank, and an 80kW one is fitted within the turbocharger itself. With the axle motors, we estimate that up to 80 percent of the braking energy can also be optimally used for recuperation under everyday driving conditions.

The four electric motors will use energy from a lithium-ion battery. Voltage has been doubled from 400 volts to 800 volts too, which Mercedes says allows space saving by reducing cable diameters, and the battery system lies on the floor behind the front axle.

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The car's carbonfibre construction and use of the engine and transmission as a structural member and mounting point for the rear push-rod suspension is heavily F1 inspired. "At the same time, Project ONE provides an outlook on how AMG will define driving performance in the future", Tobias Moers explains as the Head of Management at Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Huge vents on the front apron and beneath the windscreen dominate the car's front end, while a pair of flat LED headlights are sunk into the bonnet. The roof features an air intake derived from Formula 1, and like race cars, the doors open forwards and upwards. The traction control system can be switched off entirely too. The steering column is adjustable, as are the seat backrests - they're not fixed buckets, or not as standard, at least. While sparse, the interior features two high-resolution 10-inch displays as well as a third screen acting as a rear view mirror.

Auto Express has reported most Project One cars have already been allocated, while Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers called it "the most efficient hypercar you can get". Let us know below...

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