Mercedes-AMG Project ONE: Formula 1 Technology for the Road


“We are drawing on our experiences and successes… to bring Formula 1 technology to the road for the first time…”Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars
Mercedes-AMG wants to bring Formula 1 technology and performance to the road with the lease of the Project ONE at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. Mercedes-AMG aims to bring the very latest, efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road. This high-performance hybrid is said to produce over 1,000 hp and reach a top speed of more than 350 km/h. The show car combines race track performance and day-to-day suitable Formula 1 hybrid technology, a world first.

The complex development work was carried out with the Formula 1 experts at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains and with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team. The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE provides another insight into the future performance-hybrid drive strategy of the sports car brand within Mercedes-Benz.

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“Motorsport is not an end in itself for us,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Faced with intense competition, we develop technologies from which our production vehicles also subsequently benefit. We are drawing on our experiences and successes from three constructors’ and drivers’ world championships to bring Formula 1 technology to the road for the first time: in Mercedes-AMG Project ONE.”

The Project ONE plug-in hybrid drive system comes directly from Formula and consists of an integrated and networked unit of one hybrid, turbocharged gasoline engine with a total of four electric motors. One has been integrated into the turbocharger, another has been installed directly on the gasoline engine with a link to the crankcase and the two remaining motors drive the front wheels. The 1.6-litre V6 engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 race car.

“The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is the first Formula 1 car with MOT approval,” said Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Our highly efficient hybrid assembly stems from motor racing and the electrically powered front axle generates a fascinating mixture of performance and efficiency. With a system output of over 1,000 hp and a top speed beyond 350 km/h this hypercar handles exactly as it looks: it takes your breath away.”

The engine can rev up to 11,000 rpm which is extremely high for a road going car, and that is significantly below the F1 engine’s rev limit. The electric motors on the front axle are capable to revving up to 50,000 rpm. The current state of the art engines rev at 20,000 rpm. The very high-revving engine is boosted by a very high revving turbocharger which can hit speeds of up to 100,000 rpm.

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“The hypercar is the most ambitious project we have every undertaken,” said Tobias Moers explains as the Head of Management at Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “It marks yet another pinnacle of the successful, strategic development of Mercedes-AMG towards a performance and sports car brand. Project ONE raises the bar in terms of what is currently technologically feasible and thanks to its combination of efficiency and performance it represents an absolute benchmark. At the same time, Project ONE provides an outlook on how AMG will define driving performance in the future.”

The major advantage of all of this hybrid technology is the virtual elimination of the dreaded turbo lag. Mercedes-AMG claim that the response time is quicker than that of a naturally aspirated V8 engine. Another advantage is the use of surplus energy from the exhaust system to generate electricity which can be used or stored.

Power is transferred to the rear wheels by an 8-speed manual transmission that has been entirely developed from scratch for the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. It is activated hydraulically and can be operated in automated mode or manually using the shift paddles.

cover with an aerodynamically sophisticated shape: this improves the car’s aerodynamics and Cd figure by optimising the airflow around the wheels. At the front the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE runs on 10.0 J x 19 dimension wheels and 285/35 ZR 19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres which were exclusively developed for the hypercar and at the rear the vehicle features 12.0 J x 20 wheels running on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 335/30 ZR 20 tyres.

The car is equipped with an advanced, weight-optimised ceramic high-performance compound braking system. Its low weight reduces the unsprung masses, thus improving driving dynamics and agility. Furthermore, the ceramic brakes are distinguished by a longer service life, higher corrosion resistance and higher thermal stability. The “AMG Carbon Ceramic” lettering and the specially painted brake callipers visually distinguish this unique braking system.

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“The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is the hottest and coolest car we have ever designed,” said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. “It combines our design philosophy of Sensual Purity with the performance of our Formula 1 racing cars and is the perfect embodiment of Performance Luxury. This hypercar’s extreme design marks a milestone in design there are no lines, and the interior is stripped down to the essentials.”

The front view is characterised by the large front apron, the various air inlets of which extend across the entire vehicle width. The trapezoidal centre section bears a large, white AMG logo. Above it, on the vehicle body, is the Mercedes star. The hallmark AMG A-wing below the centre section creates a silver-coloured highlight, and seamlessly transitions into the front wings.

The roof line is dominated by an air intake derived from Formula 1, via which the engine takes in large volumes of air. The black intake transitions into the black, vertical shark fin, which improves lateral stability when cornering at high speed. The rear window placed well to the rear is an integral part of the intake/roof-fin unit. It allows a view of the power unit. Two large NACA air inlets ensure optimum guidance of the airflows for the engine and transmission oil coolers located at the rear end.

The ergonomically contoured interior has room for two occupants. The bucket seats with adjustable backrests are integrated into the monocoque. The pedals and steering wheel are adjustable, allowing the driver to adopt the ideal driving position.

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The lightweight construction is also obvious from the slim, wing-like profile of the dashboard. It appears to be light and free-floating. As a functional, structural component it also rigidifies the monocoque of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. The two high-resolution, free-standing 10-inch displays (one slightly raised in front of the driver, the other on the right of the centre console angled towards the driver) are adapted with high-quality and weight-optimised solid metal components.

The steering wheel with flattened upper and lower sections and an integrated airbag offers motorsport functionality, as do the two integrated controllers which can be used to set adjustment functions, such as the driving modes and suspension setup, or the LED shift display in the upper steering wheel area.

The door panels are in functional, high-grade carbon-fibre, and integrate smoothly into the sporty interior. As if to mirror the aero winglets of the exterior, the door panelling is visually interrupted to create space for technical implements and a generously concave door centre panel. An aluminium cassette combines the air vents and power window switches, which are integrated as deeply recessed rectangles.

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