AMG has been working behind closed curtains on a new creation, a vehicle that is a glimpse into the future. The unveiling of the AMG Project ONE was done at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. This car is a breakthrough in automotive technology and engineering as it brings the hybrid technology that is used in F1 racecars into roadcars. This car has been created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of AMG.
The Project ONE is a hypercar statement, even though hybrid supercars are currently available in the market Mercedes was yet to provide an answer for them, however this car changes things. The car is capable of producing over a 1000 horsepower and can reach a top speed of nearly 217 mph. It is the proof that was needed to show that F1 performance can be achieved in an everyday roadcar. Mercedes wants to become the pioneer in this growing field.
Mercedes is not without experience in this field, the Formula 1 team has won three constructors and drivers championships and is using this knowledge to its advantage into developing unique roadcar technology. The AMG Project ONE raises the bar in what is currently technically possible with hybrid race systems, working to maximize performance with efficiency.
The powertrain for the Project ONE car comes directly from Formula 1, a complex system that consists of a hybrid turbocharged combustion engine with a total of four electric motors. The motors have been distributed so that one motor is integrated with the engine, another has been set up with the turbocharger and the final two drive the front wheels. The engine is a 1.6-liter V6 gasoline hybrid, direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging comes from the Mercedes Benz Petronas AMG F1 car. To achieve high engine speeds, the mechanical valve springs have been replaced by pneumatic valve springs.
The vehicle is mid-engined (ahead of the rear axle) and it can easily reach speeds of 11,000 RPM, which is currently unique for a road going vehicle. For higher longevity and the use of commercially available “Super Plus” gasoline instead of racing fuel, max engine speed remains significantly below the F1 engine speed limit. This engine is mated to a new 8-speed automated manual transmission which has been specifically designed for the Project ONE car.
The electric motors aren’t far behind either, with revolutions reaching up to 50,000 RPM. Turbo lag is completely eliminated thanks to the motor that is responsible for spooling up the turbine and providing instant boost. The turbocharger also utilizes the exhaust gases to increase the spooling rate and improve power delivery to the engine.
The all-wheel drive system used in the AMG Project ONE is a first for Mercedes as well. The front wheels are solely powered by the two electric 120 kW motors via a reduction gear. This means that each wheel can individually accelerate as well as brake allowing for effective torque distribution, particularly useful when high speed cornering is being asked of the car. These axle motors also help regenerate energy through recuperation for charging the Lithium ion batteries.
The battery cells, their arrangement and the cell cooling system are the same as used in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car, however, the quantity of battery cells in the AMG Project ONE show car will make it significantly more practical for everyday use. The driving modes have been mapped for optimum output and efficiency and range from a purely electric driving mode to a more dynamic power fed mode for more enthusiastic driving conditions.
The design of the AMG Project ONE is something reminiscent of a premium class motorsport vehicle. AMG is famous for designing its cars so that every part not only looks nice but has a function too, and this is evident on the Project ONE. Hence the car has very muscular proportions with large wheel arches and the cockpit being pushed forward and an extended rear end. The front has a large fascia with air inlets that carry throughout over the car. On the left and right are large, prominent air inlets which are framed by U-shaped flaps and each subdivided by two black horizontal fins. Flat LED headlamps blend seamlessly into the body contours. The roofline hosts an air intake similar to F1 cars, to help provide fresh air to the power unit, it blends beautifully into the rear shark fin.
The side view also shows a sensuous, clean surface design combined with functional features. The vehicle flanks are tautly recessed, with black carbon- fiber surfaces redirecting the airflow around the vehicle body as in motorsport. The rear of the AMG Project ONE has a sharp vertical spoiler with a two section diffuser and a central tailpipe. There is an extendable rear aerofoil which has been designed to improve aerodynamic efficiency at high speeds.
Interior has been inspired for creating a Formula 1 cockpit for two. The same philosophy of every part having a function is carried on inside, nothing has been added just for visual pleasure. A minimalistic approach has been used to resemble the focus of a race car.
The center tunnel visually separates the driver and passenger areas from each other. It blends fully into the seat sculpture and follows the principle of minimalism with its gently rising contour. A Formula 1 style steering wheel was compulsory as well, with a LED shift display as well.
The AMG Project ONE is a clear indication of where Mercedes sees future supercars heading towards, though other manufacturers have used hybrid system in road cars, Mercedes has trumped that by proving that F1 technology can be enjoyed by average users as well. Well done Mercedes AMG, once again benchmarking the forefront in automotive technology.