MERCEDES-AMG is nearing completion of its upcoming Project One plug-in hybrid (PHEV) hypercar with the performance brand revealing this week it is moving into the final stages of development, including getting it approved for road use.
Due to launch in 2021, the Project One will not only be the fastest and most powerful road car ever produced by the three-pointed star, it will also signal the launch of Mercedes-AMG’s E Performance technology label.
According to Mercedes-AMG chairman Philipp Schiemer, the Project One is just a taste of what’s to come with another two electrified models in the pipeline.
“Developing the Project One was a very great challenge which we addressed as a team, and now we are firing the next stage for road-going approval; this car will strengthen our position as a high-performance luxury brand,” he said.
“Moreover, the Project One will emphasise the proximity between Formula 1 and Mercedes-AMG more than ever: we have the same motorsport genes, and believe in a direct technology transfer.
“The special disguise of the Project One also gives an initial outlook on our electrically powered future, which begins in 2021. The colour red will play a central role for our new technology label E Performance.
Four new images of the Project One prototype have been released to coincide with the news with the car wrapped in a special new red and grey livery, conveniently complemented by the darkened pit lane and red road markings.
As an extra reminder of both the Project One’s and E Performance brand’s link to Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton’s F1 racer from which a lot of the drivetrain and technology is derived from features in two of the four images.
No new details of the rabid PHEV have been revealed as part of the announcement with peak power for the turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 hybrid powertrain still quoted at “over 740kW” resulting in a top speed “in excess of 350 km/h”.
Power from the internal combustion engine is sent exclusively to rear wheels where it combines with the grunt of an assisting electric motor.
The front wheels meanwhile are driven by a pair of 120kW electric motors, resulting in an expected six-second dash from 0-200km/h and an all-electric range of up to 25km.
Current Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has been heavily involved in the development of the Project One and said he was proud of the efforts put in by Mercedes-AMG.
“I can still hardly believe that there will soon be a hypercar with a Formula 1 engine. We won the world championship with this engine in 2015, and I was involved in its development for a long time … this car is absolutely unique,” he said.
At this stage five of the 275 Project Ones slated for production will be headed Down Under with another two allocated to Australian buyers set to remain in Europe where their performance can be properly exploited on autobahns and mountain passes.
When it comes to market, the Project One will be going into direct competition with a range of established and upcoming hybrid hypercars including the Ferrari SF90, Aston Martin Valkyrie and the upcoming P1 replacement from McLaren.