Racing and Formula 1 used to be about taking futuristic automotive technology and trickling it down to road cars by the manufacturers who were competing. It seems like we’re finally getting back to that point with the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE.
We took a quick look at Project ONE last week as it was teased ahead of this week’s IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, but now that the covers have come off we can finally see what the new hypercar looks like and learn a little more about it.
The idea is fairly simple; take the same, small displacement V6 used in Formula 1 now, add the MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit – Heat,) and MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic) and make a streetable model. However, there are some challenges to doing that, namely in the MGU-H and the cost of making a motor generator small enough and powerful enough to spin to 100,000rpm, while being reliable for road use.
At the heart of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is a 1.6-liter V6 very similar to the unit used in Formula 1, with spur gears driving the camshafts (instead of a chain or belt), the use of pneumatic valve springs (over spring metal we normally see in road cars and not FreeValve, either), and a mid-engine setup that can spin up to 11,000rpm (lower than the F1 screamers from the ’90s and ’00s but still very high for road use). The big difference is the use of two additional MGUs at the front wheels, which means there will be four MGUs in Project ONE with one on the crankshaft, one in the turbo, and two at the front wheels. The front wheel motors are capable of spinning up to 50,000rpm where most MGUs are only capable of about 20,000rpm. This will reduce the need for a gear reduction box at the motors and make for a far more compact and lightweight package.
All of these together are shaping up to produce a car that’s going to push acceleration numbers into the six-second and under range to 200km/h (124mph) and look absolutely stunning while doing so. Total system output is going to be 740kW (992hp), with 500kW (671hp) just from the rear wheels alone. Oh, and this will all be achieved with high-octane premium fuel you can buy from the pump – not racing fuel. So, there is going to be some seriously amazing tuning going on to make that power figure happen without detonation.
When will there be a production version of Project ONE? There hasn’t been a set date for when the real, road-worthy car will make it to the pavement, but the rumors are there will be 275 of them priced at $2.5 million (nearly 2.1 million Euros) apiece.
Regardless, it’s going to be a fairly monumental task to make this all work when you’re making that much power out of such a small displacement engine for normal road use. F1 cars make tremendous power for their displacement, of course, but they don’t go all that far even with the limit of one engine for the season (race distances in F1 is 305km or 189.5mi, save for Monaco). Even then, Honda and McLaren have shown this is still hard to do in the modern era.
So what do you guys think? Will Project ONE live up to the hype as “the future of driving performance”?
It's not a pretty car, but these photos are pretty terrible as far a promo shots go.
The front has shades of McLaren F1 but with a mouth several sizes too large.
If they had made it look anything like that Mercedes-Maybach Six cabrio concept from last month it would have been an instant classic.
The seating position looks much more upright then I was expecting. I am sure there is a some hardcore ground effect aero going on there but it seems covered up by the very large grills which leave no space for a number plate. Either way it's fantastic to see something like this being built for the street.
Hardcore ground effect. lol!
Sure the ONE is packed with high tech and serious performance, but when it comes to styling, the CLK GTR looks way more aggressive and elegant IMO.
Something tells me this is new Alpine and Porsche 918 mixed with Mercedes F1 techs inside.
Looks like an average hypercar, typical door wedge shape. Styling they straight up robbed from the McLaren F1, Konegsegg, and Porsche 918. Very little looks original on this.
The only thing original is the shark fin, which is probably one of the top most hated things in F1. Formula One Management has taken special steps to ensure they are not on the cars next year because they are hideous.....and Merc go slap one on a road car. Lol ok.
What this article fails to mention is that the motor supposedly lasts a whopping 30,000km before you have to return the car to Mercedes.
I have yet to find an article that mentions whether or not this car uses the Oil Burn technology goin on in F1 right now. Also curious to see it pass emmisipns lol.
Also, the article says that F1 used to be "about having tech trickle down to road cars." Horse shit. F1 was never about road relevance, it used to be about making the fastest car possible. As a result of that pursuit, many spinoff techs would make their way onto road cars. But it is important to remember that was just a positive side effect. Now, too many muppets have that idea confused, and insist on their purpose built open when open top race cars having "road relevance," which has absolutely fuck all to do with racing.
Tephlone, that non stick shit in a frying pan, was discuovered as a result of the space race. A positive spin off tech. We didn't go into space looking for technology that would trickle down into our kitchens.
If F1 pioneers a tech that has road relevance, great. But this obsession with writing "road relevance" into the rules is killing the sport.
At least get the units right. It's 31000 miles, not kilometers. It uses the 2015 F1 engine, so no oil burning. Meets all emissions requirements.
This reply was beautiful. Echoes the argument made by many of my friends who have been racing for over 40 years. Anyone who thinks F1 has relevance to road cars or that this engine is some kind of "detuned F1 motor" is retarded. Brilliant reply my friend.
It is a 2015 Mercedes W07 engine rev limited to 11000 rpm. Batteries, same, split turbo, same, engine head and camshafts and stressed block, same, electric motors, same, MGU-K and MGU-H, same
Al - A few months ago I had the opportunity to go to a museum in Birmingham Alabama where Lewis Hamilton's F1 car was on display. Mercedes changed the front upper and lower A arms on the car because they didn't want anyone to see the actual pieces they put on the car on race weekend. If you think this is the exact same motor that is in Hamilton's F1 car you are believing the same marketing that "it all trickles down from motorsport." I have raced with former F1 and NASCAR engineers. They will tell you the same thing. Twitch is very correct in his statement.
That is one of the ugliest and most bland things I have ever seen in my life. Not surprised from Mercedes. I don't think they can make a proper sports car to save their lives. Hideous and completely unoriginal.
Nice car overall. However, 1.6L? Something you'd expect from a hatchback lol. I'd would've preferred it to been like a v10 or v12, but then again it defeats the point because it's a road going version of an F1 car AND emissions nowadays are so strict.
Reliability will be the key here. However, it can be done. On the other end of the equation, motor trend, and specifically engine masters, have shown that with exceptional fuel quality and safe tuning, you can make big power on weaker parts, at least in a controlled environment. So, theoretically the vaiables could be moved around and still achieve durabilty/reliability and high output with such high rpm and lower quality fuel. Especially when you throw in the better helper motors and a lower rpm limit. That, and you won't be going 10/10s all the time, as you would in a race. So we'll see. The world doesn't need another unreliable supercar.
Looks like a regera
From a styling & presence aspect:
on the last photo (with the doors opened), if you look the rear section where the wheelarch protrudes the silhouette, and generally the side profile, I wouldn't say that it's so unoriginal. It has a very neat profile that might resemble (slightly) the 918 or (very slightly) the Regera, but to me it seems a very cohesive hypercar design.
Where it fades is the front (the face), where lack of originality is substituted for obvious function (aero, cooling, air passing through car etc..), and the headlights are 90% authoritative and only 10% fitting to the car (best "omitted", as the render below points out...).
From technical aspect:
With today's hypercars tending towards a very exclusive asset territory, the number of those owners who will actually drive them that often, so as to even remotely reach the 30,000km (alleged/rumoured powertrain 'life expectancy') will be between 0 and 1 (as is so often with such uber-expensive 'investment machines').
With that in mind (and with the fact that on these cars corporations usually don't make profits)
I really don't see a problem that AMG could use a strong percentage of directly F1-derived powertrain components (tweaked for the road), and a relatively decent percentage of designed-totally-from-scratch components where reliability could be really questionable.
The point is that the F1 rules have ALREADY been diluted so much with the below-mentioned 'road relevance' thinking, that the thinking in lines of "ahh... it cannot be possibly adaptable for road use if it comes off an F1 powertrain..." is somehow 'very 2015' and, as we witnessed today, probably obsolete.
We have to get used to the notion that, nowadays, in 2018/2019 (and with practically unlimited R&D budgets, as is the case here most probably...), adapting a 1,5 / 1,6 or 1,8 liter V6 Turbo-MGU powertrain for road use with a 'mild, collector-minded life expectancy' is not entirely impossible.
MB & AMG are not usually ones to 'gamble' with such a high-level market segment.
On the other hand, if the state-of-the-art is really that SF, we can perhaps hope that FIA's 'road relevance' rules have already paid their dividends to the manufacturers, and we could, perhaps,
revert to pure, unbridled, 'let-your-creativity-win' F1 racing regulations in the coming years
(probably wishful thinking, but still...).
Not an ugly car. But the fact that it's from AMG, expectation is much higher, not sure about performance but the looks doesn't meet that expectation.
Just remove that Mercedes badge and ask people What they think ? I'm Sure , they gonna say it's a new McLaren F1.
Was the designer had wet dream during design of the Project One? I surely looks somehow, some way like the Maclaren F1
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All these comments moaning about the looks - who gives a flying f**k?
99.9% of you will probably never own, sit in or drive one. You should just be pleased that it exists and that Mercedes had the imagination to actually design and make it. They can style it however they damn well want.
All these comments moaning about the looks, who actually gives a damn?
99.9% of you will probably never sit in, drive or let alone own one, you should just be pleased that it exists and Mercedes had the imagination to design and build it. They can make it look how they damn well want.
So happy they didn't try to force the mercedes design language onto this car.
The front is for sure a grower, but the rest is nice and smooth and a bit Regera!