Mercedes-AMG has released pictures of its F1-engined hypercar, the Project One, doing test rounds of the Millbrook Proving Grounds, England. The car looks production-ready.
If ever there was a creator of segments in the automotive world, it would be Mercedes-Benz. From super SUVs to four-door coupes, this German automaker has tried everything and forced other manufacturers to follow suit. And this time around, it has raised the bar very high indeed with the Mercedes-AMG Project One.
For those who don’t know why the Project One gets everyone’s heart racing, we have two words and one digit: Formula 1 derived. Indeed, the Project One is a formula car made roadworthy. The car first bowed at the Frankfurt Auto Show as a concept back in 2017. Mercedes-Benz recently shared photos of a production-ready test mule of the Project One going rather fast on the Millbrook Proving Grounds. Why did the company choose a racetrack in England to test the car on? Simply because Millbrook is close to the Mercedes-Petronas Formula One team headquarters.
Mercedes says it has deployed modern Formula One technology on the car. The tech includes an F1 derived powertrain, suspension as well as most components. Most prominently is a Formula car-aping air intake on the roof the Project One that channels air straight to the engine. The suspension is a direct lift from Formula, featuring horizontally packaged pushrod dampers. Active aerodynamics is standard, so are carbon-ceramic brakes, and a carbon tub. But let’s not beat around the bush and talk about the powertrain. Behind the passenger cabin is nestled a tiny engine that has belied its size by propelling cars it is put into to four consecutive constructors’ and drivers’ championships.
The engine we are talking about is a 1.6-litre V6 that redlines at a stratospheric 11,000 RPM, guaranteeing a raucous, hackle-raising exhaust note. Speaking about the EQ Power+ powertrain, Mercedes-AMG Tobias Moers said, “We are the first to make Formula One technology roadworthy.” Air is fed to the motor through a combined mechanical-electrical turbocharger to cut out lag and, AMG says, bestow the V6 faster responses than a naturally-aspirated V8. An electric motor also assists the engine, recovering waste exhaust energy which is used to replenish the battery block or drive the MGUK.
What is MGUK? It spells out as Motor Generator Unit Kinetic, essentially another electric motor directly connected to the crankshaft. It can either drive the crankshaft, adding 160hp to the total output, or be driven by it. AMG claims it has achieved 40 percent thermal efficiency with its new drivetrain as opposed to the standard 30-32 percent other manufacturers have managed. The engine sends its power to the wheels through an eight-speed single clutch transmission and breathes fire through a single tailpipe that gets a silencer and a catalytic converter.
However, the most significant difference between a Formula One car and the Mercedes-AMG Project One is the service intervals. While a Formula car needs major service after every race, Mercedes reckons owners of the Project One can drive their cars for close to 50,000km before an overhaul or ‘revision’ is needed.
We can go on for pages and pages talking about the Mercedes-AMG Project One’s many wondrous technologies, but we’ll end it here and let you gawk at the images of the beautiful formula car for the road.
Images Credit: Crank and Piston