I’m still struggling to wrap my head around it. If a Honda Civic Type R - a rather fast hot hatch - sets off at the same time as this new Mercedes-AMG Project One, by the time it hits 62mph, the German hypercar will be doing twice that. And possibly a bit more.
Yep, Mercedes’ very first hypercar, revealed in full ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, will do 0-124mph in under six seconds. Isn’t that just bonkers?
It’s a stat we’re dining out on a little, because Mercedes-AMG does look to be sandbagging a little on the performance details: it looks like there’s still plenty to reveal. However, there are plenty of tasty morsels to keep us going for now, not least the achingly pretty carbonfibre body and its dihedral doors.
As we knew already, a Formula 1-derived 1.6-litre V6 engine sits in the middle. It’s fed by an electronic-assisted turbocharger, capable of spinning at anything up to 100,000rpm. For the sake of longevity and because racing fuel isn’t generally available at your local Shell, the V6 doesn’t quite manage the 15,000rpm limits usually used on contemporary F1 cars, but it will still spin to 11,000rpm. Should do…
There are three further electric motors, each producing 121kW (161bhp). One is linked to the crankshaft, while the other two live on the front axle - one for each wheel.
The two front motors are able to accelerate and brake independently of one another, giving a torque vectoring function on the front axle. They’re also able to recuperate energy and send it back to the lithium-ion battery cells. On the subject of batteries, there is an all-electric mode, good for 15.5 miles.
You’ll find multi-link suspension at the front and the rear, utilising adjustable coilovers. It uses push-spring struts “installed across the direction of travel,” negating the need for tubular cross members and killing off bodyroll while giving something vaguely akin to ride comfort.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres wrap each of the forged wheels, and in particularly monstrous spec, too. We’re looking at 285/35/19 at the front, and 335/30/20 at the rear.
On the inside, there’s…really not much, actually. It’s been kept deliberately minimalistic, with a pair of snug-looking seats integrated into the carbonfibre monocoque. The driver gets a pair of screens, and a rectangular, F1-style steering wheel.
There’s no official power output just yet, with Mercedes still just saying it’s over 1000bhp. The same goes for top speed, which will be somewhere north of 217mph. In terms of cost, you’re looking at £2.4 million a pop.
On the strength of what we’ve seen just far, buyers aren’t likely to feel short-changed…