Industry

What will the Project One be like to drive?

What will the Project One be like to drive?”

With a system output of over 1,000 hp and a top speed beyond 217 miles per hour (350 km/h) this hypercar handles exactly as it looks: "it takes your breath away", Ola Källenius says, Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. We thought this was nothing more than a form of speech used to create hype but we were wrong.

A 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine is fitted and comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing vehicle. The vehicle is mid-engined (ahead of the rear axle) and it can easily reach speeds of 11,000 rpm, which is now unique for a roadgoing vehicle.

The Mercedes-AMG Project One also has a very similar look to that of the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR to which it is a spiritual successor of. On a road long enough, AMG suggests a V-max beyond 350km/h.

Speaking of which, the engine might be derived from F1 but it has been altered. The transmission can be fully automated or shifted like a traditional manual transmission. Active aero is found at the front too, with an extending front splitter and movable flaps positioned over the front wheels.

AMG's engineers admit they could have made the R faster still.

It seems like Mercedes-AMG is really going full power in the performance vehicle segment.

Mercedes-AMG Project ONE
The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE cabin is set forward and you barely see any car in front. The long tail is essential it its aerodynamics

The interior on the vehicle is very basic and features a squarish steering wheel with a set of screens to feed information to the driver. While sparse, the interior features two high-resolution 10-inch displays as well as a third screen acting as a rear view mirror.

There are two LED monitors, one in the centre stack and one in front of the driver.

Mercedes-AMG also deemed that air-con, power windows and an audio system were essential, along with storage cubbies behind the seats, and a central compartment with transparent lid.

The benchmarks of hypercar performance, including a Nurburgring lap time, appear to be on hold until the Project One has turned a wheel in public but, already, the mega Merc looks set to bring records tumbling.

A mere 275 units of the new flagship will be built, with pricing to come in at around $2 million - or about the price of a two-bedroom apartment in Sydney. We're advised that nine are headed for Australia and one for New Zealand.

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