After many delays, the incredible Mercedes supercar is close to production.
The ambitious Mercedes-Benz car, in living memory, has not had an easy development trajectory.
Designed to be the fastest and most capable supercar ever built by Mercedes, the AMG Project One has proved to be a significant challenge for its engineers.
The original concept was revealed back in 2017, and immediately triggered huge interested. AMG promised that it would have 740kW and offer terrific performance. But to achieve that has been difficult.
Customers have faced delays and with a price point of R47 million, expectations are high and the tolerance for any further delays are low.
Mercedes-Benz has taken 275 deposits for the Project One and the reason that owners do not have their cars in their garages, has been the complicated engine issue.
Although its trick composite bodywork and packaging has been validated, the Project One’s issue is its engine. The car’s unique selling point is that it will allow owners to drive a road-legal F1 powertrain.
The Project One’s 1.6-litre engine is broadly similar in its architecture and design to the one which has powered Lewis Hamilton to multiple F1 world championships. Sourcing your supercar engine from F1 brings both advantages and challenges, noise and vibration being two of the biggest issues.
AMG’s engineers have had to tame the 1.6-litre engine to ensure that it passes all relevant local noise and pollution regulations. F1 engines are never designed to run at idle or run slowly in traffic, whereas the Project One must be able to do both of those things – repeatedly.
Despite its small 1.6-litre capacity, the presence of turbocharging and battery power allows this engine to boost power way out of relation to its size. Mercedes-Benz benchmarked 740kW as the goal and the Project One’s 1.6-litre hybrid manages to achieve that by using all the very best F1 technology.
Two electric motors drive 240kW worth of power to the front axle, whilst the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine sends 500kW to the rear.
Engineers from AMG are now in the final validation phase for Project One, as Mercedes-Benz has released images of the car undergoing advanced testing. Adding noise insulating material, without ballooning the Project One’s weight, is what engineers are now obsessing about.
Calibration of the engine’s exhaust system, to allow for adequate drama but also sufficient refinement when cruising, is the final part of the engineering puzzle, for AMG’s cleverest staff to solve.