Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar: 986bhp+ F1-style powertrain unveiled

£2.4m hypercar gets in excess of 986bhp from F1-sourced 1.6 V6 with four electric motors, is set to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show

Mercedes-AMG has used the 2017 Nurburgring 24hr race to provide a powertrain preview for the upcoming hybrid hypercar. Codenamed ‘Project One’, it uses an F1-spec turbocharged V6 and a bank of electric motors producing “1000hp and above”.

Journalists were privately shown a scale display demonstrating the groundbreaking drivetrain in all of its glory. Buried beneath the roof-mounted carbon fibre intake is a road-tuned version of an engine with very similar specifications to Mercedes‘ current W08 Formula 1 car.

The forced-induction 1.6-litre V6 engine has a redline set at 11,000rpm – 2,500 down on the race-spec unit – and a thermal efficiency of 40 per cent, which is groundbreaking for a road-legal unit. It’s said to produce around 750bhp by itself.

The other 250bhp or so comes from four electric motors split across both axles, powered by highly efficient lithium-ion batteries. The front two directly power the front wheels, allowing four-wheel drive and a claimed all-electric range of 16 miles. The two rear motors have different purposes; one 80kW unit drives the turbocharger, and the other is connected directly to the engine via the crankshaft.

Officially dubbed “Project One”, Auto Express can reveal the F1 hybrid powered hypercar will be limited to a maximum of 275 examples, the vast majority of which have already been sold.

Speaking with Mercedes new R&D boss Ola Källenius at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show, he told us: “They are not all allocated but they are going away fast.”

A second teaser image of the McLaren P1 rival was revealed last week, ahead of the car’s official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The car will also celebrate 50 years of the Mercedes-AMG bran.

This latest teaser shows a vented rear-end with no rear windscreen. A distintive silhouette and racecar-style low roofline also mark out the hypercar in the picture. A side view design sketch shows the roof-mounted air scoop feeding cold air to the turbo.

Mercedes-AMG boss, Tobias Moers, previously told Auto Express that the car would be ‘the most efficient hypercar you can get’.

Although the total power output will be less than that of Merc’s F1 cars, carbon fibre will be used extensively for the body and chassis to keep weight to a minimum. Like the P1, the driver and passenger are expected to sit within a carbon tub.

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The car was confirmed on the eve of the 2016 Paris Motor Show, with Moers telling Auto Express: “It’ll be a combination of low weight, range, power, lap times around the Nurburgring – things like that. We are chasing for the whole package.”

The car was first shown in a teaser image flashed up during an official announcement on the eve of the Paris show (below). Bosses let slip that the time between now and first customers receiving cars is around two and half years.

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Källenius added: “We have started development on this car and what is going to be absolutely unique about it, which nobody has ever done and very few are capable of doing, we are going to take the F1 powertrain and put it in a road car.”