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1 000 horsepower Mercedes-AMG Project One lands


After much teasing and speculation, Mercedes-AMG officially lifted the veil of secrecy off its Project One hypercar on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show last night (Monday, September 11th).

Effectively a road going version of the company's current Formula 1 dominating W08, the futuristic Le Mans prototype looking Project One combines the racer's 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine with four electric motors; two 120 kW units mounted on the front axle, a 90 kW motor integrated into the turbocharger and another 120 kW motor bolted directly on the engine, to produce "over 740 kW" or about 1 000 horsepower.

With drive therefore going to all four wheels via a specially designed automated eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters, Mercedes-AMG claims the Project One will reach a top speed "in excess of 350 km/h" and go from 0-200 km/h in "less than six seconds".

Limited to 11 000 rpm despite the front mounted electric motors being able to spin up to 50 000 rpm, the Project One also becomes one of the first models to utilise AMG's EQ Power+ setup, where the entire system runs on 800 volts as opposed to the usual 400 volts. Despite being a plug-in hybrid, the Project One's all-electric range is a mere 25 km, although it does feature the same type of lithium-ion battery pack and cell cooling system as its F1 sibling.

The selective Torque Vectoring system is also unique to the Project One in that the axle mounted motors recuperate energy lost during braking, store it in the battery and allow for a longer range as well as even distribution when the moment arises.

As it is made mostly out of carbon fibre, the Project One boasts a traditional multi-link front and rear suspension design, but with adjustable coil-overs, re-arranged springs and dampers and the traditional three mode AMG ESP system with ON, SPORT and OFF settings.

Riding on specially designed 10-spoke forged alloy wheels measuring 19-inch in the front and 20-inch at the rear, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, the Project One comes fitted as standard with weight-optimised compound carbon ceramic brakes designed to reduce unsprung mass and improve dynamics, and a radial carbon-fibre semi-cover over each centre wheel lock to improve airflow.  

Claimed by AMG to be "the coolest car it has ever designed", the Project One is said to take styling inspiration from motorsport, and aside from the usual mid-engine layout, features a large front apron, roof mounted air intake again derived from F1, and air vents down the side to aid cooling and aerodynamics.

The rear meanwhile is dominated by prominent wing, central mounted exhaust with two smaller outlets on its outer flanks, two section carbon fibre diffuser and three rhomboid lights claimed to resemble the AMG logo.

Touted as being a F1 car for two but with a driver focused layout, the Project One's interior has a distinctly minimalist design with a F1 inspired steering wheel, dual 10-inch displays, yellow seatbelts, Nappa leather trimmed bucket seats with contrasting yellow stitching, carbon fibre door panels and a screen instead of a rear-view mirror.

Production of the Project One will be limited to 275 units only at a reported price tag of $2.2-million (R28.3-million), all of which are allegedly accounted for.

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