“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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.