📂︎ Something for the Weekend | 🖳︎ Wayne Gorrett | 🖃︎ August 21, 2020
➤ 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 hybrid | Street-tamed F1 engine | 1,000bhp | 0-124mph in 6.0s.
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Several prototype mules of the Mercedes-AMG Project One featuring the final F1-based power unit are undergoing dynamic testing.
More than three years have passed since Mercedes-AMG revealed its Project One petrol-electric hybrid car at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but the crew at Affalterbach assures us that the final production car is moving ever closer to reality.
This week, Mercedes-AMG released video and new images of Project One pre-production models testing on track at its Immendingen Test Centre. For the first time the mules are running hot laps with the F1-based engines turned up to full power of ‘more than 1,000 brake horsepower’.
It’s our first chance to hear the 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 on full chat around a race track. Mercedes-AMG says the sound we hear in the video is authentic and what owners will hear from behind the wheel of their Projects Ones. The engine is a street-tamed Formula One unit and sounds very similar to the Mercedes F1 race cars piloted by Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas on race weekends. Okay, the sonorous note isn’t exactly the same as we hear on TV, but there’s no mistaking the engine’s origins.
In addition to running the engines at full power, Mercedes says it’s working to validate and develop the active aero components – the louvres, air outlets and rear aerofoil – to ensure their worth on the car outside of a wind tunnel and in real world conditions.
After this bout of testing is complete, the drove of mules will adjourn to the north loop of the Nürburgring for even faster testing laps.
Only 275 lucky owners will get their hands on one of the Mercedes-AMG Project One cars, the launch of which is still scheduled for 2021. The cars are still wearing their prototype livery but are not thought to be overly different from the car first seen in Frankfurt three years ago.
Much has happened in the hyper car world since then and 1,000 horsepower is not that unusual now. Even the Project One’s 11,000rpm rev limit is beaten by Gordon Murray’s recently revealed T50. But the road-legal One remains unique in using an actual F1 drivetrain.
The V6 of just 1.6 litres displacement delivers a whopping 858bhp to the rear wheels, with the hybrid electric side adding more horses to take the total up to 1,000bhp. In the past Merc-AMG has cited performance of 0-124mph in six seconds and 218mph flat out, along with electric-only running of up to 15 miles.
If testing goes to plan, a £2.1 million Project One will unlikely be in a showroom near you next year as all 275 cars are said to be spoken for. Apparently, David Coulthard is near the top of the list…you know, that chap off the telly box who also bought an Aston Martin Valkyrie. Git.