After nearly a year of teasing, Mercedes is finally showing us the Mercedes-AMG Project One Hypercar. It's a 1,000 hp tribute to the company's Formula 1 successes and 50 years of AMG.
It started with a silhouette. A rough line drawing of one, really. Shown at the Paris motor show last year. Prof. Thomas Weber, head of Mercedes car development dropped the line "the most efficient...best performing and most spectacular AMG of all time."
"The phone in Affalterbach hasn’t stopped ringing ever since," according to Mercedes head Dieter Zetsche.
So what do we know about the Project One so far? It'll have more than 1,000 hp. How much more, they haven't said. But it'll have two 161 hp electric motors linked to the front wheels, and a third of the same hooked to the engine. It has a fourth motor giving an additional 121 hp worth of electric turbocharging. Since it's an F1-style powertrain, it'll be a 1.6L turbocharged V6. The engine has pneumatic valves; air opened, instead of controlled by a spring like in a conventional car. It can rev to 11,000 rpm. The system is good for a 350 km/h top speed, and zero to 200 km/h in under six seconds.
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Despite that massive horsepower rating, Mercedes claims a 25 km electric range. Partial thanks for that goes to the electric motors that Zetsche says can capture up to 80 percent of braking energy. It has two seats, so you can bring along a passenger. Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton said on stage that he wants the first one, although Zetsche wouldn't confirm it for him.
No word on when it will arrive, but Zetsche said that it will be a very limited production run, "and that means we’ll have to make a few car fans unhappy – and a very few, extremely happy."