MERCEDES-AMG PROJECT ONE
Frankfurt/Affalterbach. The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will celebrate its world première at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main: for the first time, the two-seater supersports show car brings the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road almost par for par to represent the highlight of AMG's 50th anniversary. This high-performance hybrid is said to produce over 1.000 hp and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h. The show car combines outstanding race track performance and day-to-day suitable Formula 1 hybrid technology with exemplary efficiency. This is a world first. The overall responsibility for the realisation of Project ONE lies with Mercedes-AMG. The complex development work was carried out in close cooperation with the Formula 1 experts at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth and with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team in Brackley. Together with the four-door AMG GT Concept, the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE provides another insight into the future performance-hybrid drive strategy of the sports car brand within Mercedes-Benz.
Ever since the early days of motorsport, engineers have dreamed of bringing motor racing technology to the road. Mercedes-AMG is now making this dream a reality at the very highest level. "Motorsport is not an end in itself for us. 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", says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
"The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is the first Formula 1 car with MOT approval. 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", Ola Källenius says, Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
The concept car gives specific indications of what to expect from the upcoming production model. "The hypercar is the most ambitious project we have every undertaken. 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", Tobias Moers explains as the Head of Management at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Exterior design: Beauty and the beast
The design of the show car is very obviously inspired by the premium class in motorsport. But above all, it embodies the Mercedes-AMG principle that fascination is always linked with function. Every part has a specific purpose. The result is a mid-engine concept, extremely muscular proportions with the cockpit well forward, large wheel arches, a wasp waist and an extended rear end.
"The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is the hottest and coolest car we have ever designed. 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," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. "This hypercar's extreme design marks a milestone in design ‑ there are no lines, and the interior is stripped down to the essentials."
Front view: Powerful and functional
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.
On the left and right are large, prominent air inlets which are framed by U‑shaped flaps and each subdivided by two black horizontal fins. Flat LED headlamps blend seamlessly into the body contours.
The black air outlets in the bonnet guide the hot airflow around the sides of the driver compartment. This allows the flow of fresh air to pass unhindered across the driver compartment and into the intake tract on the roof. The downforce at the front axle is positively influenced by the automatically extending front splitter and the active ventilation louvres in the front wheel arches, contributing to the perfect aerobalance of the car.
Taut flanks, large wings
The low, dynamic greenhouse has an unmistakable, spherical architecture with a distinctive window pattern. The large, dark area stands for important technical functions. These technical components form a visual contrast to the clean overall lines of the vehicle.
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 elegantly 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 side view also shows a sensuous, clean surface design combined with functional features. The vehicle flanks are tautly recessed, with black carbon-fibre surfaces redirecting the airflow around the vehicle body as in motorsport.
The Petronas green paintbrush design on the flanks is the work of the artist who designed the paintwork for the Formula 1 racing car. All four wheels are spanned by tight-fitting, muscular wings that appear ready to leap into action.
As in motor racing, the doors open both forwards and upwards. The fuel filler flap is at the rear right, the charge socket for the plug-in hybrid battery at the rear left.
Rear end: Fascination and function
The sharp, vertical spoiler lip and the large, two-section diffuser, which is interrupted by the central exhaust tailpipe, as well as the two-stage extendible rear aerofoil, contribute to aerodynamic efficiency and performance at high speeds. The design of the exhaust tailpipe with its large, round outlet and two further small, round apertures was adopted directly from the Formula 1 cars.
The muscular appearance is further enhanced by the rear apron with its large, black mesh and carbon-fibre components. The rear lights each feature three rhomboid lighting elements to echo the graphic design of the AMG brand logo, and therefore also the design of the headlamps.
Interior: Formula 1 for two
The interior design concept follows function on the racetrack, and this is expressed in the radical design idiom. Formula 1 technology is made authentically tangible on both the race track and the road. Here too every detail has a function, with nothing included merely for visual reasons. In the monocoque interior, the reduced components are emphasised in minimalist style both in design and functional terms.
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 centre tunnel visually separates the driver and passenger areas from each other. It blends fully into the seat sculpture and follows the principle of minimalism with its gently rising contour.
Interior with functional structural parts
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 double-nozzle ventilation unit is suspended under the centre screen like a gondola. The screen and nozzles form a single unit, emphasising the lightweight design principle of the whole. The displays' rectangular basic form is echoed by the ventilation nozzles, and by the centre console in which the start/stop button is located.
Also seamlessly integrated as a unit are a high-quality stowage compartment, a reduced switch array and the engine start button. The stowage compartment is fitted with a transparent lid.
Formula 1-style steering wheel
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.
Stowage compartments behind the seats, screen replaces interior mirror.
Neither have the Mercedes-AMG developers forgotten suitability for everyday use and operating convenience: small items can be stowed in two compartments on the left and right behind the seats. An air conditioning system and power windows are standard equipment, while the COMAND infotainment system ensures optimum connectivity.
The user interface is integrated as an autonomous concept. The most important information is displayed on the road in the line of vision above the steering wheel, so that the driver is not distracted. To ensure optimum visibility to the rear, the rear-view mirror is replaced by a screen showing real-time images of the rear from a mirror cam. The aluminium screen housing is fully integrated into the roof, and also holds other controls.
Colours and materials from the racing car
The choice of colours and materials takes its inspiration from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. The sculptured racing seats are in slip-resistant black microfibre, creating an unmistakable association with motor racing. The seat surfaces are interspersed with nappa leather in magma grey and inlays in a sporty textile mesh which optimally assists the air circulation of the seats. There is also yellow contrasting topstitching.
The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE: the future of driving performance
Conclusion: The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will not only bring current Formula 1 hybrid technology onto the road and combines top-class race track performance with full day-to-day suitability. Its purpose is also to obtain extensive findings about performance-oriented plug-in hybrid drive technology, further developments of suspension layouts and extended onboard electronics that will later benefit series production AMG cars. The Project ONE team is working hard on successfully bringing this vision onto the road.