Mercedes-AMG has confirmed that the long-awaited production of its 1,000 horsepower-plus Project One hybrid supercar will finally get underway midway through 2022.
Mercedes’ answer to the Aston Martin’s Valkyrie was first unveiled at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in 2017, headlining AMG’s 50th anniversary celebrations in the process. Multiple delays, however, meant the hypercar’s original 2019 launch date was indefinitely pushed back, with rumours abounding that the One might be canned altogether in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
News has now broken though via British motoring publication Autocar that Mercedes has begun notifying buyers, and that production of the most extreme roadcar to ever don the triple-pointed star will begin in mid 2022. Just 275 examples of the Mercedes-AMG Project One were made available for a princely 2.27 million euros (around $3.26 million) apiece.
Among the reasons for the hypercar’s delay was its Formula 1-derived hybrid powerplant. The Project One uses a version of the hybridized 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 that powered Mercedes’ F1 team to six consecutive Formula 1 drivers’ and constructors’ championships from 2014 to 2020. Said V6, a ‘bespoke unit’ that marries elements of the W06, W07 and W08 F1 engines raced in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively, sends over 500 kW (670 hp) to the rear wheels via all-new eight-speed, single clutch transmission. Each front wheel, meanwhile, get individual 120kW (161 hp) electric motors that can also recuperate up to 80 per cent of the braking energy produced under normal driving conditions.
While Mercedes-AMG has still yet to confirm the 0-to-100 km/h time, 0-to-200 km/h is done and dusted in less than six seconds, and the top speed is expected to be in excess of 350 km/h.
Ironically, putting 1,000 hp-plus in a road-legal hypercar gave Mercedes technicians countless headaches regarding emissions tests. On top of that, the F1 engine’s traditional idling speed is around 5,000 rpm, almost five times higher that of a roadcar, creating another sizable challenge for Merc’s engineers who already had a 25 km all-electric range benchmark to meet. The roll-out date suggests Mercedes is confident it has now resolved these issues.
Though unconfirmed, an updated teaser video posted in February suggests Mercedes has further refined the One’s active aerodynamics. Key amongst these are the F1-derived intake on the roof, which channels air to the engine bay, the two-piece rear wing, the sections of which act independently of each other to maximize stability and draft, and the louvres above the front wheels, which hinge upwards and contribute to what Mercedes calls “perfect aerobalance.”
Since its conceptual unveiling in 2017, the Project One, so-called in homage to its F1 underpinnings and its “absolute top-of-the-line” market placement, has conducted on-track testing at Mercedes’ developmental facility at Affalterbach and around the North Loop of the Nürburgring in Germany.