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Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar: 217mph+ top speed and tea

Formula One-inspired Mercedes-AMG hybrid hypercar gets 1,000hp and £2.4m price tag
 
The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hybrid hypercar is nearing its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and the German firm has released a number of dark teaser images of its 1,000hp Formula One-inspired machine in the run-up to the event. The latest features a gloomy peek at the rear of the car, showing the central exhaust and the signature of the tail-lights. Mercedes-AMG has also confirmed that the Project One hypercar will have a top speed in excess of 217mph.
 
The brand has used a number of events over the past few months to showcase some of the car's technology. At the Nurburgring 24 Hours back in May, Mercedes revealed that the F1-spec 1.6-litre turbo V6 and associated electric motors would help the Project ONE produce "1,000hp and above". The drivetrain features an engine that's similar to the one used in Lewis Hamilton's W08 F1 car.
 
Image 5 of 13Mercedes-AMG Project One outline
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The turbocharged V6 has a redline set at 11,000rpm. This is estimated to be around 3,000rpm lower than the F1 car's unit, but that's to make sure the unit isn't as highly stressed and can cover more than a race distance before it needs servicing. Another great fact is that the engine has a thermal efficiency of 40 per cent, which is a groundbreaking figure for a road-legal power unit.
 
It's said to produce around 750bhp by itself, while the remaining 250bhp comes from the four electric motors that are used. The front two directly power the front wheels, allowing four-wheel drive with torque vectoring, while drive from these alone gives the Project ONE a full EV range of around 15 miles. The two rear motors have different purposes; one 80kW unit drives the turbocharger, and the other is connected directly to the engine via the crankshaft. Highly efficient lithium-ion batteries are used to store power for the electric motors.  
 
Image 2 of 13Mercedes-AMG Project One - front teaser
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Speaking with Mercedes new R&D boss Ola Källenius at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show, he told us: “They are not all allocated but they are going away fast.”
 
This latest teaser shows a vented rear-end with no rear windscreen. A distinctive silhouette and race car-style low roofline also mark out the hypercar in the picture. A side view design sketch shows the roof-mounted air scoop feeding cold air to the engine. 
 
Mercedes-AMG boss, Tobias Moers, previously told Auto Express that the car would be ‘the most efficient hypercar you can get’.
 
Image 9 of 13Mercedes-AMG Project One powertrain rear high
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Although the total power output will be less than that of Merc’s F1 cars, carbon fibre will be used extensively for the body and chassis to keep weight to a minimum. Like the P1, the driver and passenger are expected to sit within a carbon tub.
 
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The car was confirmed on the eve of the 2016 Paris Motor Show, with Moers telling Auto Express: “It’ll be a combination of low weight, range, power, lap times around the Nurburgring - things like that. We are chasing for the whole package.”
 
The car was first shown in a teaser image flashed up during an official announcement on the eve of the Paris show. Bosses let slip that the time between then and first customers receiving cars is around two and half years, so deliveries should begin by about the autumn of 2018.
 
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Källenius added: “We have started development on this car and what is going to be absolutely unique about it, which nobody has ever done and very few are capable of doing, we are going to take the F1 powertrain and put it in a road car.” 
 
Development of the car is a joint project between AMG in Affalterbach, Germany, and the team in Brixworth, Northampton who are responsible for the F1 car’s high performance powertrains.
The hypercar will act as a halo product for the AMG brand, with the cutting-edge technology later filtering down to other models. Moers insisted there was still a market for V8 and even V12 engines, but liked the idea of downsized turbo engines with some kind of electrification. “We have to be prepared for the future, whatever the path may be,” he said. 
Tobias Moers, CEO Mercedes-AMG: Full Q and A 
AMG performance division boss Tobias Moers has been with the company for nearly 25 years, and believes the firm’s first hypercar will be a halo model for future hybrids.
Image 2 of 13Mercedes-AMG Project One - front teaser
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Q: Mercedes-AMG is famous for its V8 engines, so what made you choose the downsized hybrid route?
 
A: “We looked at doing a hypercar with a big V8 or V12, but thinking about the situation in the automotive industry right now [with electrification], we decided that we had to make a hypercar that was something different, something technologically more challenging, something more sophisticated than anyone else.”
 
Q:  Are you confident that customer deliveries of the Project One will begin by 2019?
 
A:  “We are on track. We are still in digital testing phases, with simulators, but we have a mule for the engine that we will start testing in October. We have had to install a brand new dyno at Brixworth to handle the power.”
 
Q: Is the Project One the start of a programme of electrification for the AMG brand?
 
A: “Yes. With the Project One and the GT Concept [seen at the Geneva Motor Show in March] we are pushing the door open on a new era of electrified powertrains from us. There is no better way to start that era than with a halo car. The hypercar is the first in 2019, but beyond 2019 we will see more.”
 
Q: Will there be a more track-focused variant, like McLaren did with the P1 GTR?
 
A: “We’re not going to do what others are doing – there will be one version. No ‘Spider’ [convertible] or track-only versions, that’s it. There’s no spec for a racing version, either.”
 
Can the Mercedes-AMG hypercar beat those from Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche? Give us your view in the comments…