The Mercedes-AMG Project One promises F1 tech for the road in a way that no other car can match.
Grand prix champion Lewis Hamilton unveiled the car at the Frankfurt motor show on Tuesday, where Mercedes-AMG revealed some staggering figures surrounding the car.
Three: The number of world titles Mercedes has won with hybrid power
The turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 at the core of Project One is a development of the power plant used to carry Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to F1 world titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016. It’s the closest link we’ve seen between grand prix and road machines in recent years, with the gearbox, battery and electric motors also benefiting greatly from F1 know-how.
Five seconds: The amount of time it needs to hit 200km/h
Heavy-hitters in the supercar world reference the 0-200km/h dash instead of the old 100km/h benchmark, as it’s more than a test of traction.
Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers says the Project One can reach 200km/h in “less than six seconds”, making it the fastest-accelerating production car in the world.
The five-point-something claim makes the new machine significantly quicker than the McLaren P1 (0-200km/h in 6.8s) and Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (6.7s). It’s way ahead of Tesla’s ludicrous P100D (10.7s) and ordinary high-performance models such as BMW’s M4 coupe (10.1s).
Eight: The number coming to Australia
Australia’s position as a nation of car enthusiasts (and our love of all things AMG) helped Mercedes’ local arm punch above its weight to secure eight examples of the Project One. Company insiders reckon they could have sold more than that, but there simply aren’t enough cars to go around.
A wealthy Australian collector was the first customer in the world to commit to the left-hand-drive Project One, which may be driveable on public roads thanks to changes under consideration by state and federal authorities.
$500,000: The deposit needed to secure one
Mercedes thought quite carefully about who was a good fit for the car, choosing enthusiast collectors rather than speculators seeking to turn the car over to make a quick buck.
A hefty deposit served as a key way of gauging how serious they were: Mercedes asked customers to put down $500,000 to secure an example of the car
$1,848,000: The amount of tax NSW owners may have to pay
Priced from €2.27m ($3.38) plus taxes and on-road costs, the Project One is anything but cheap.
Aussie buyers will also have to pay a 5 per cent duty fee ($169,000), 10 per cent GST ($338,000) and luxury car tax of 33 per cent for every dollar over $65,094 ($1.093m), pushing the total price of the car perilously close to $5 million, a number Mercedes-AMG insiders say is on the money. Factor in extras like stamp duty - 3 per cent of the price up to $45,000, then 5 per cent of every dollar over that mark in NSW ($248,000) and the Project One shapes up as a seriously expensive motor car.
1000 horsepower: The minimum amount of grunt
We don’t normally talk about horsepower in Australia, but this is such a nice, round number that it’s harder to ignore. After all, 745kW doesn’t sound particularly sexy... until you realise that the number represents well more than the sum total offered by four VW Golf GTI power plants in a car likely to tip the scales at a similar figure.
25 kilometres: How far it can travel on battery power alone
Remember when petrol heads used to make fun of hybrids?
Those days are truly over, thanks in part to top-line motorsport in F1 and Le Mans, as well as the hybrid “holy trinity” in the Porsche 918, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari that shifted perceptions surrounding petrol-electric power. This new machine is no exception, offering plug-in hybrid performance for the track as well as the street, allowing it to creep in and out of town without making a peep.
80 per cent: How much of its braking is accomplished by electric motors
While the Project One has whopping carbon ceramic brake discs, bespoke calipers and state-of-the-art ABS and ESP systems, you won’t need to use them on the road. Mercedes reckons eight per cent of the braking load in normal driving will be carried out by the car’s electric motors, which helps boost its battery range while minimising wear and tear.
10,000rpm: Where the tacho starts to get interesting
Mercedes-AMG claims that Project One’s V6 engine can “easily reach speeds of 10,000rpm”, which would make it the highest-revving car of the modern era.
Pneumatic valves pinched from the track make this the highest-revving turbocharged car yet, as previous screamers such as Ferrari’s 9000rpm 458 Italia and Honda’s 8000rpm S2000 used boost-free naturally aspirated engines.
2019: When we will see the real car
The car you see today is officially a concept model, albeit one that is said to be extremely close to the final road car. Mercedes hasn’t finalised power outputs or fuel economy figures for the car, and there is plenty of fine-tuning to be done before the first examples reach customers.
The official line is that “The Project One team is working hard on successfully bringing this vision onto the road”, and Mercedes-Benz Australia says our first examples will arrive in time for Christmas in 2019.