Without question, the Mercedes-AMG Project One was the most significant debut at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
There’s a lot of information to digest about this feat of engineering, so here are the five most important things you need to know about the Project One:
1. It’s a Hybrid
Like most hypercars (Porsche 918, McLaren P1, and the LaFerrari, for example), the Mercedes-AMG Project One is a hybrid: it’s powered by one turbocharged internal combustion gas engine and four electric motors. A powerful lithium-ion battery pack is also part of the package, and Mercedes says about 80 percent of the braking energy can be recuperated to charge the battery.
Not that people will really care, but the Mercedes-AMG is capable of traveling 15.5 miles on a single charge. We imagine not too many Project One drivers are going to take advantage of this.
2. It Has More Than 1,000 Horsepower
The specs for this two-seat, all-wheel-drive hypercar car are borderline insane. Its F1-derived engine (Mercedes-AMG prefers to call it a power pack) is a mid-mounted, high-revving 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 with an 11,000 redline that works with four electric motors to output more than 1,000 horsepower via an eight-speed automated manual transmission. Top speed is 217 mph (350 km/h) and Mercedes says the Project One can hit 124 mph (200 km/h) in less than 6 seconds. The electric motors on the front axle can spin at 50,000 rpm.
We think Mercedes is being a bit vague with the final numbers because the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the Project One’s biggest competitor, is still in development and we’re sure the AMG team is keeping a close eye on its British rival’s specs and is ready to one-up it when the time comes.
3. Lewis Hamilton Helped Develop It
Lewis Hamilton actually helped develop the F1 hybrid powertrain the Project One is based on, but he didn’t work on the hypercar directly. The star Mercedes race car driver was on hand at the reveal and seemed genuinely excited about the Project One, which gives us high hopes about how crazy it would be to drive. Mercedes touts this as an F1 car for the road — even the interior looks like an F1 car with its squarish steering wheel, fixed bucket seats, and adjustable pedals.
4. Its Styling is Purposefully Toned Down
Mercedes faced some initial backlash because some thought the hypercar’s design wasn’t hyper enough. Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers said, “We deliberately wanted a calm design with no spectacular details … we wanted to focus on the powertrain.” Although we think the Project One looks quite striking (although not really beautiful in the traditional sense), if you cover up the Mercedes and AMG badges, it might be mistaken for any supercar from a certain era, so some people might have a point when they say it doesn’t look like a Mercedes. But, like Moers said, the most important part of this car is the powertrain and the presumably incredible driving dynamics.
5. It’s Expensive and Extremely Limited
Of course, production has been limited to 275 units and pricing has been set at about $2.7-million in the U.S. We wouldn’t be surprised if most of those Project Ones have already been spoken for, which is quite typical when a rare and exclusive car of this nature is revealed.
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