All posts in “2017 frankfurt auto show”

Why the Mercedes-AMG Project One’s active aero doesn’t split like Lamborghini’s

Related: We obsessively covered the Frankfurt Motor Show — here’s our complete coverage

FRANKFURT, Germany — We learned some interesting facts from Mercedes-AMG’s CEO Tobias Moers at the Frankfurt Motor Show about the Project One. While the machine boasts a comprehensive suite of active aerodynamic technology from adjustable spoilers to opening vents, the right and left sides of the Project One can’t operate independently of each other.

As you may remember, the Lamborghini Huracán Performante‘s party pieces are vents that adjust the amount of downforce applied to either the left or right side. This helps keep the car level in corners, and it likely contributed to the Lambo’s wickedly fast Nürburgring lap time. The astonishing Project One will not take advantage of a similar system.

Moers told us he didn’t see an advantage to such a variable system. He feels that having downforce is vital right from the moment of turn-in, and adjusting downforce left and right can’t be done quickly enough to make a difference at corner entry. And there’s no way to predictively adjust aero to prepare for a corner, at least not at this point in time. That being said, Lamborghini certainly sees merit and has said there are benefits in high-speed corners and we agree that it makes a difference.

Mercedes-AMG Project One powertrain

According to Moers, 1,000-horsepower Formula 1 V6 hybrid powertrain wasn’t particularly difficult to make durable and reliable enough for daily driving on the streets. He said that the criteria from racing wasn’t too far off. One of the primary difficulties was getting the idle down from around 4,000 rpm to a more livable 1,000 rpm. Accessories like air conditioning, which usually require belt-driven compressors from the engine, were taken care of by simply powering them with electricity, something the hybrid will have plenty of.

We also gather that Mercedes will take the car to the ‘Ring to set a lap time. Unfortunately, Moers wouldn’t give us a target time the company is shooting for. After all, there are still some things to fine tune and prepare before the company starts delivering cars to customers in 2019.

Deciding who gets a Project One is another of the things Mercedes-AMG is still working on. Despite a cost of over $2.5 million, demand is impressively high. Moers told us that about 3-4 times as many people asking to buy one as the total allotment of 275 cars. So if you’re not already in line, well, it’s probably not gonna happen.

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Aspark introduces the Owl, claims it hits 62 mph in 2 seconds

In a little corner of the massive convention center where the Frankfurt Motor Show is held, a relatively unknown Japanese company revealed a car with some mega-sized claims. The company is called Aspark, and its car is called the Owl, a name that apparently derives from the butterfly doors that representatives said look like an owl’s wings. This electric supercar seems more like a peregrine falcon than an owl, though. The company claims it can hit 62 mph in just 2 seconds.

Aspark Owl

According to representatives of the company, this acceleration number was a key focus when developing the car. They considered going for top speed, but felt that ultimate acceleration is something more people could realistically experience. To achieve this, Aspark gave the Owl a carbon fiber body and kept weight to just under 1,900 pounds. It also gave the car two electric motors powering all four wheels that can produce about 429 horsepower. The company also claims a top speed of just under 174 mph. Another interesting aspect of the car is the use of capacitors for storing power — a choice made for rapid discharge of electricity to help achieve the fast acceleration numbers. With ambitious numbers like these, it will be interesting to see how the car compares to other electric supercars such as the Nio EP9 and the Rimac Concept One.

Aside from the interesting specs, the car itself looks quite attractive. It has an appearance similar to modern Daytona prototype race cars; long, wide, and oh so low. The height at the roof is a scant 39 inches. the car has impressive fit and finish, with tight panel gaps and crisp lines. The interior is fully furnished and is covered in leather upholstery. It also brings to life the concept dream of cameras as side mirror replacements. The quality of this prototype has us hopeful the company will be able to follow through with its production plans, though we’ll maintain a healthy skepticism until we see it running and driving.

Aspark Owl

Speaking of which, the company aims to start selling the car in 2019. It will build Owls on a per-order basis. Buyers will have to be quite wealthy as well. Aspark expects to sell each Owl for 3.5 million euros, which comes to $4.16 million at current exchange rates. That’s a lot of money regardless, but especially when considering that a Bugatti Chiron costs just under $3 million, and the new Mercedes-AMG Project One will cost $2.54 million. Even the upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie is expected to cost about $3 million. Of course, none of those cars can claim full electric power.

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Brabus unveils world’s fastest convertible to race the sun

Brabus, a German aftermarket speed and power specialist, is preparing to unveil what it says is the fastest, most powerful four-seater convertible: A Mercedes-AMG S65 cabriolet with an output of a whopping 887 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque. That’s a lot of wind in your hair.

Set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Rocket 900 supercar took Mercedes‘ standard 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine and made it a 6.3-liter, increased the size of the turbochargers and added a custom exhaust system. It’ll go 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds and boasts a top speed of 217 miles per hour.

The Rocket 900 eclipses the Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo Cabrio as the fastest cabriolet.

Brabus also says it added carbon aerodynamic-enhancement exterior components, 21-inch forged wheels and a custom leather interior. Motor Trend reports the company has also upgraded the seven-speed automatic transmission, added a limited-slip differential and installed a lowering control module to drop the car more than a half-inch closer to ground level.

Pricing for the Rocket 900 will be made available during its public debut in Frankfurt from Sept. 14-24.

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Mercedes teases 1,000-horsepower, 217-mph AMG Project ONE

Mercedes has been surprisingly forthcoming with details and information about its upcoming AMG Project ONE hypercar, having shown a completely undisguised powertrain. But the one part of the car the company has been tightlipped about is the body. Finally, the company has released a teaser giving us some idea of what the car will look like.

One of the first interesting things we noticed about this car is that it seems the three-pointed star is not going to have the same prominent position in the center of the grille as with virtually every other production Mercedes. Instead, it appears to be lying flat against the bodywork, away from the grille. This also seems to indicate that Mercedes isn’t trying to shoehorn the AMG GT‘s fascia onto this unique car. The headlights are narrow slits unlike the more bulbous units on regular Mercedes. The silhouette also looks reminiscent of GT1-class race cars of the late 1990s, such as those based on the McLaren F1 and Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.

Mercedes-AMG Project ONE powertrain

We’ll have to wait for the car’s full reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show to get a clear look at the body, but we can tell you plenty about what’s under the skin. It uses a hybrid powertrain consisting of an F1-based 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 that revs to 11,000 rpm and a quartet of electric motors. Mercedes confirmed with this teaser that the powertrain will produce over 1,000 horsepower and take the car to a top speed of over 217 mph. The company will build 275 examples of the car at $2.54 million a piece. Mercedes has said that the car can be operated like a normal car, but the engine will have to be rebuilt at 31,000 miles. Such is the life of a racecar engine, but we doubt prospective buyers will be too concerned about the short engine span, and many cars likely won’t even reach that any miles. Expect more fascinating details to come forth when the car is revealed.

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