Today, the world is a brighter place, for there is a new hypercar on the block.
Fellow enthusiasts, take a moment and cast yourself into the spectacular world of hypercars. What comes to your mind? The LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, Koenigsegg Agera, Lamborghini Aventador, Bugatti Chiron, and now this. In celebration of AMG’s 50th anniversary, Mercedes-Benz has just teased the world premiere of its hybrid hypercar at the Frankfurt Auto Show (September 14 – 24). News of this Formula One-derived monster isn’t new – Mercedes officially announced the Project ONE earlier this year – but we’ll now soon see it in all its screaming glory. So, as we’re on the cusp of the big reveal, here’s what we currently know about AMG’s performance leviathan.
Mercedes-Benz claims this high-performance hybrid will have an output of “over 1,000 horsepower” and a top speed “exceeding 350 km/h (217 mph). Delivering that performance is a turbocharged, 1.6-liter V6 coupled to a fast-discharge hybrid system, both taken from the F1 car. Acceleration figures aren’t available at time of writing, but given this car’s F1 origins, expect nothing less than spine-shattering haste.
The Project ONE will be all-wheel-drive, with the V6 powering the rear wheels through an eight-speed gearbox. To handle the power, AMG has chosen to use a computer-controlled manual gearbox, rather than a more fashionable dual-clutch setup. Drive to the front wheels will come purely from the electric motors. That means the front wheels will power the car in pure-electric mode for up to 15 miles. That ranges puts the Mercedes ahead of the McLaren P1 (7 miles) and in league with the Porsche 918 (18 miles).
Appearance? Futuristic, yet familiar.
While Mercedes has been forthright about the Project ONE’s performance, one area light on information is the car’s appearance. Let’s not forget AMG has been down this road before with the CLK GTR of the late 90s. This car looks vaguely familiar to that car, with its wide front end, as well as other hypercar titans of that era. However, its headlights suggest a design that appeals to the futuristic traits of modern hypercars. The teaser Mercedes-Benz provides doesn’t show much, but we’ll finally see what this car looks like at the Frankfurt Auto Show in a couple weeks.
Price? Around $2,540 per horsepower.
Mercedes-Benz touts the Project ONE as a project to deliver modern F1 technology in roadworthy form. Its primary objective is to turn the hypercar scene on its ear. Big claims such as these come with equally big price tags: each of the 275 units produced costs $2.54 million. Even if you could afford the asking price, all examples of AMG’s latest hypercar have already been spoken for. If you’re one of the lucky few to receive one, the first deliveries of the car are due next year, with production rapping up by the end of 2020.
Is this a new performance benchmark for hypercars?
Whether Mercedes’ claims ring true and this car rewrites the rule book remain to be seen. On paper at least, the Project ONE’s impressive performance figures make it a serious rival to the current crop of hypercars. Its eye-watering price tag and exclusivity give it the potential to usurp the current elite. Most importantly, this car is a chance for Mercedes to deliver F1-style performance in a street-legal package, and further cement the legitimacy of hybrid technology in modern performance cars. Regardless of the car’s ultimate ability, the Project ONE’s unveiling is a remarkable celebration of 50 years of AMG cars.