The Mercedes Project ONE two-seater supersports show car that recently world premiered at the IAA Frankfurt features full-fledged F1 technology and more. The Project ONE Concept high-performance hybrid is said to produce over 1.000 hp and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h.
The concept car gives specific indications of what to expect from the upcoming production model. On the exterior, 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.
Inside, the concept follows function on the racetrack, and this is expressed in the radical design idiom. The ergonomically contoured interior has room for two occupants, while the bucket seats with adjustable backrests are integrated into the monocoque. Meanwhile, the pedals and steering wheel are adjustable.
The center 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. Some of the other highlights inside include two high-resolution, free-standing 10-inch displays, double-nozzle ventilation unit, an F1-style steering, stowage compartments behind seats and colors & materials, derived from the race car.
The high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE comes directly from Formula 1. It consists of a highly integrated and intelligently networked unit comprising one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine with a total of four electric motors. One has been integrated into the turbocharger, another has been installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase and the two remaining motors drive the front wheels.
The 1.6-liter V6 hybrid petrol engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG F1 racing car. The four overhead camshafts are driven by spur gears. To achieve high engine speeds, the mechanical valve springs have been replaced by pneumatic valve springs. The supersports is mid-engined (ahead of the rear axle) and it can easily reach speeds of 11,000 rpm, which is currently unique for a roadgoing vehicle. However, for higher longevity and the use of commercially available Super Plus petrol instead of racing fuel, it remains significantly below the F1 engine speed limit.
In addition, the electric motors on the front axle are also true rev wonders, with rotor revolutions up to 50,000 rpm, current state of the art is a speed of 20,000 rpm.
The very high-revving engine is additionally boosted by a high-tech turbocharger. The exhaust gas and compressor turbines are separated from one another and located at an optimum position to the exhaust side and to the intake side of the V6 engine, and connected to one another by a shaft. This shaft features an electric motor with approximately 90 kW which, depending on the operating status, electrically drives the compressor turbine with up to 100,000 rpm, for instance when moving off or following load changes. The F1 designation for this unit is MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit Heat).