We got a chance to chat with Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, to gain a little insight into the company’s incredible upcoming hypercar, Project One. Moers got right to the point, and here are three bits of information — including some myth busting — we learned:
One: We believe Lewis Hamilton helped develop the Project One, but he hasn’t yet driven it. Hamilton lent a hand in the development process, but not in the way you think — at least not yet. The powertrain is close to the Formula 1 car, which Hamilton helped develop, and many simulations of the car have been run, so it’s very possible that Hamilton contributed there, too. But he has not yet driven any test mules or prototypes. So far, the engineers have more miles on the car than anyone.
Two: Yes, it uses Formula 1 tech, but from what years? 2015 and 2016 according to Moers. “2015 and 2016 was the same spec, so it is 15/16 Formula 1 spec.” True, but certainly the powertrain was developed throughout that time period, so we suspect it’s effectively a 2015 power unit from the beginning of that season. This unit comes from Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth, England, just as the Formula 1 power unit does.
Tobias Moers speaks about Project One at the Frankfurt motor show.
Three: Over 1,000 system hp, but from where?
Mercedes claims over 1,000 hp, and we believe them. But where does that power come from? Of course, the single biggest contributor is the super-high-tech turbo 1.6-liter V6 with pneumatic valves and an 11,000-rpm redline, which produces 510 hp. Attached to the crankshaft is a 161-hp electric motor to help motivate the car along. Total power in back, 671 hp.
Up front are two more electric motors to power the front wheels; they are the same as the motor attached to the crankshaft, producing 161 hp each, or 322 hp. Total power comes to 993 U.S. spec hp, which converts to 1,006 metric ponies, or pferds, since we’re talking about a German car. And we’re willing to bet those are conservative estimates — look for at least 1,100 hp from the production car.
The initial Mercedes-AMG Project One model run may already be spoken for, but technologies from it will certainly make its way down market — think of the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E Hybrid and its relationship to the Porsche 918 Spyder. It’s only a matter of time before a “regular” AMG product includes some Project One, hence F1, tech.