The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE celebrated its world premier at the Frankfurt Motor Show recently with dropped-jaws from every quarter of the industry and it’s no surprise why. The two-seater hypercar is pretty much, for the lack of better description, a Formula One car for the road with full-fledged Formula One hybrid technology and design adopted, not to mention output figures comparable to the pinnacle of motor racing.
It is a world first – extreme lengths have been pushed in terms of design and powertrain. Despite that, the Project ONE is the first “Formula One car” with a MOT approval – essentially a test by a governing body in the UK on emission levels and the road-worthiness of a car. It’s got an output of over 1,000 hp – all derived from a petite 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engine mated to an 8-speed AMG transmission. Petrol engine aside, its got four other electric motors and as a result, 0 to 200 km/h takes just under six seconds with a top speed exceeding 350 km/h.
But that’s not all, here’s five other interesting quirks of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE car that might amuse you:
1. Formula One-styled seats and steering
From its rectangular, Formula One-like steering wheel to the sculptured nappa leather racing seats which are integrated into the monocoque much like a Formula One car, every major detail in the Project ONE takes inspiration from the pinnacle of motorsports. Unlike a Formula One car though, the Project One comes with two high-resolution 10-inch displays, storage compartments, power windows, air-conditioning and even a COMAND infotainment system.
What’s also really cool is that the rear-view mirror has been replaced by a screen showing real-time images of the rear from a mirror cam.
2. It shares the same engine as an actual Formula One car!
The 1.6-litre V6 hybrid, direct injection petrol engine with an electrically-assisted single turbocharging system comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. It’s got one hybrid, turbocharged engine with four other electric motors. One motor is integrated into the turbocharger, one is installed directly to the engine by the crank and the remaining two drives the front wheels.
The quad cam engine with pneumatic valve springs can easily reach speeds of 11,000 rpm. However, for higher longevity and the use of conventional petrol instead of racing fuel, it remains significantly below the F1 engine speed limit. On the other hand, the two electric motors for the front wheels can up to 50,000 rpm!
3. Turbo lag eliminated
With a large turbocharger, turbo lag, a dreaded delay in performance every time you floor the accelerator is completely eliminated in the Project ONE. Throttle response is said to be even shorter than that of naturally-aspirated V8 engines. Its electric turbocharger uses surplus energy from the exhaust system to generate electricity either for storage or to provide more power by feeding it to the electric motors in the front.
4. It can go full EV mode
The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE allows you to opt for a fully electric operation or an intense-mad-rage mode. The car can set off entirely in electric mode with the two motors driving the front wheels. When more power is needed, the V6 engine comes to life and in Race Start mode, 0 to 200 km/h takes just under six seconds.
When the driver lifts off the accelerator, the system switches to full electric again with braking forces under normal driving conditions capable of recuperating up to 80 percent of the energy, which is then re-fed into the battery.
5. Formula One exhaust…..tips.
The of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE’s construction is provided by the lightweight, high-strength carbon-fibre monocoque body, a technology owing to Formula One. The religious following of Formula One teachings are such that even the design of the exhaust tailpipes with a large, round outlet and two smaller exits were adopted directly from the Formula One cars.
Even the battery cells, their arrangement and the cell cooling system are the same as the ones used in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. However, the quantity of lithium-ion batteries battery cells tucked away in the vehicle floor behind the front axle of the AMG Project ONE will make it significantly more practical for everyday use.