Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance car division has joined the exclusive ranks of high-end hypercar manufacturers with the opening of a spectacular new 992bhp-plus coupe known under the working title of A Project.
The new advanced model has been designed to provide a direct link between the German automaker’s Formula 1 racing activities and road car division. It is powered by a great new version of the turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 gasoline engine and electric motor used by the W08 racing car, as driven by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
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The car was launched at a Mercedes event the night before the Frankfurt motor show, where it was driven on stage by three times Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. Speaking of the electrified car at the event, the president of Mercedes, Dieter Zetsche, said: “This vehicle is going to do all the performance cars from Mercedes and AMG will look small. In 40 years I have never witnessed as much hype to Mercedes as there was with this car. After he showed us the silhouette in Paris we have had calls the next day to buy.
“AMG’s future does not depend on gasoline, but in the hybridization and electrification. Tyour car gives you a perspective for the future of AMG. Our task is not only to reinvent the car, but to redefining mobility.”
Hamilton added: “No-one really done this to make a race car for the road until now.”
The performance figures quoted by Mercedes-AMG to put the carbonfibre body-Project One 0-124mph time in 6.0 seconds and top speed of more than 218mph. However, Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers says final certification has not yet been carried out on the new coupÃ©, because there are still more than 18 months of development before the first customer cars are due to arrive.
“The hypercar is the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken,” Moers told Autocar. “Represents a highlight in the strategic development of Mercedes – AMG. We call it a concept, because, obviously, we do not have any certificate data for things such as emissions and so on [for the moment]. The finished car is going to be fairly similar.”
The new coupe features an electric front axle is offered with four-wheel drive in its most performance-oriented driving modes.
A substantial lithium-ion battery mounted low within its carbonfibre body structure is designed to provide the elegant two-seater with a claimed electric range of up to 16 miles in the front-wheel-drive E-mode. This will allow the hypercar to take short trips to a limited speed with zero emissions through the denial of the need to engage the petrol engine.
The battery recharge is carried out both in the execution by using the kinetic energy created in braking and coasting and via plug-in via a 800V power of the architecture.
The Project was revealed in concept car guise at a media reception on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show. The production version will be built in a limited run of just 275 examples. The first car is scheduled to be delivered during the second quarter of 2019, according to Moers.
Despite the fact that the car’s price of â‚¬2.27 million (Â£2.08 m in current exchange rates) and plans for left hand drive only, the portfolio of orders of the most extreme Mercedes-AMG model but is claimed to be fully subscribed.
Engineering for the hypercar is carried out in a joint program between AMG in Affalterbach, Germany, its High-Performance powertrain of the sister of the company located in Brixworth and in the F1 team in Brackley.
“It raises the standard of what is technically possible to a whole new level with a combination of performance and efficiency that is the absolute reference point,” said Moers.
Having already revealed the car of the transmission line and the chassis at the NÃ¼rburgring 24-hour race in April, AMG has confirmed that the first of a series of prototypes of the Project One has come to the road in testing.
The style of the Project has been strongly influenced by the cooling requirements of your F1 from the transmission line, and aerodynamic needs. It is based on a carbonfibre monocoque and each air outlet and the panel has been designed to maximize the performance of air and the generation of downforce. A large spoiler deploys from the rear of the body in a game of speed to improve downforce.
On the inside, the Project features seating for two in which Moers described as “highly functional” interior that borrows from the various features of the cozy cabin of the W08 racing car. Included is a digital instrument display. There is also a new development of the steering wheel with LED lights signaling the revolutions of the engine, along with the controls of the individual drive modes and suspension settings. A digital screen takes the place of the interior mirror, providing real-time video of the rear view through a so-called MirrorCam function.
In the heart of the Project is a compact, mid/rear-mounted, turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 gasoline engine from Mercedes-AMG W08 F1 car but designed for everyday use. Developed by Mercedes-Benz, High Performance powertrain division in Brixworth, is supported by four electric motors.
A motor is used to drive the turbocharger. A bigger motor is integrated directly into the drive shaft in the rear in a design similar to that of the MGU-K (motor generator unit-kinetic) that are used in the current generation of F1 cars. The rest of the two motors sit on the front axle, providing drive to the front wheels.
The four-valve-per-cylinder combustion engine sets new series-production standards of the key to the court to establish some 2000rpm higher than any existing road car, at 11,000 rpm. The front electric motors are also claimed to spin around 30,000 rpm higher than the rates of any car on the street, at 50,000 rpm.
In an attempt to provide the new AMG model with the mad throttle response typical of a F1 car, the Project of the electrically driven turbocharger adopts a similar operating procedure as the MGU-H (motor generator unit heat) is used within the transmission line of the W08 F1 car. It is said that is to reach 100,000 rpm with the throttle fully open loads.
The MGU-K converts mechanical and heat energy into electrical energy that can be stored for later deployment and the MGU-H takes up the heat of the exhaust gases and uses it to create electrical energy.
The V6 petrol engine is claimed to produce more of 858bhp and the transmission shaft mounted in the electric motor contributes a further 161bhp at the rear wheels. Up front, the two electric motors deliver a combined 322bhp. The purely electric driven front axle has a similar torque vectoring function to the one developed by AMG for the previous SLS Electric Drive.
The gasoline engine and electric motors deliver a combined output of more than 992bhp. The unit is directed to the rear through a new development of hydraulic drive, eight-speed automated gearbox with remote steering wheel shift paddles. It offers the option of automatic or manual mode.
All, the gasoline engine, electric motors, and gearbox are claimed to weigh 520kg. No official kerb weight for the car has been revealed, but Moers said rumors suggesting that hit the scales at close to 1000 kg are premature.
On the basis of the new hypercar is a race-grade chassis with an adjustable multi-link with the push rods, both the front and rear of the last connected directly to the engine block. Is an ally of standard 19in in front and 20 inches in the rear centre – lock alloy wheels shod with 285/35-profile front tires and 335/30s in the back.
As with the current AMG models, the Project of One of them receives a switchable ESP stability control system that offers three different modes: ESP on, ESP Sport Handling Mode and ESP Off. Braking is via standard carbon – ceramic discs supported by what AMG describes as specially developed tweezers. Moers is the confidence of the owners will see how easy it is to enjoy driving in the hypercar, claiming that it does not have to be a superstar of the driver to handle his prodigious reserve or beam acceleration.
“Open the door, press the start button and the unit. Easy,” he said. “We have the most modern technology. The GT-R is very innovative with respect to ESP functionality. The hypercar is going to have the next level. The control of two motors at the front axle: you know how it works. We have initially developed with the SLS Electric Drive. Everything about the pair of vectors: we know what we can do.”
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