UPDATE - 27.09.18
Mercedes-AMG has confirmed that its upcoming Formula 1-engined hypercar, the one that’s so far been referred to as Project One, will be called the, erm, One. Hashtag anticlimax.
The German firm says One is the perfect name to illustrate the ambition of bringing “Formula 1 hybrid technology to the road”. Fair enough. Feel familiar? McLaren said something similar when it confirmed the name of the P1.
Mercedes has also confirmed that the AMG One, which was recently ‘spied’ testing at Millbrook (see below) by a photographer that may or may not have been hired by the brand, will feature a two-stage extendable rear wing as part of its active aerodynamic armoury.
The car, which uses a road-developed version of the F1 W06’s turbocharged V6 engine, will utilise a hybrid system more powerful than those in F1 to produce an anticipated 1100hp.
Scroll down for more on that…
ORIGINAL STORY - 20.08.18
Mercedes-AMG’s UK development team for the Project One has started testing its new baby out in the wild – well, the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire – with the intention of readying the £2 million hypercar for customer deliveries in 2019. New images show a camouflaged mule being driven at Millbrook, which, although not out in public, feature surfaces and street furniture that simulate real-world conditions.
No doubt a major focus for engineers in these low-speed conditions will be the reliability and usability of the car’s extremely complicated powertrain. You’ll already know this but as a gentle memory rejig this powerplant combines the Mercedes F1 W06 turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engine with a hybrid system offering more torque than the one in Lewis Hamilton’s F1 car. Combined output could total 1100hp, a healthy 150hp more than Lew’s racer.
The Project One will have to manage its highly strung heart in scenarios it was never originally designed for (like stop-start traffic) without the assistance of a team of laptop-wielding engineers. That’s easier said than done given the normal requirement for an F1 powertrain to be maintained on life support throughout a race weekend. That won’t be possible for a Project One being driven to the Abu Dhabi Mall in 40-degree heat.
The tests at Millbrook are part of a second phase of road testing, however, with a mule reportedly having first trodden tarmac earlier this year in Brixworth, Northamptonshire, where the car is being developed by AMG’s F1 boffins at its High Performance Powertrains centre. The F1 links extend further than the powerplant, of course, with the car’s carbon fibre monocoque also benefitting from the firm’s single-seater knowledge.
Beneath that slender bod will be adjustable coil-over suspension with push-rod spring struts, with stopping handled by carbon ceramic brakes. Like the Mercedes-AMG GT R, the Project One will get adjustable traction control with three modes, ranging from ‘maximum nanny’ to ‘you’re on your own, mate’.
Word is that once the car is ready for the road, AMG will set about getting the car ready for a new Nurburgring lap record attempt. Which is something to look forward to...