When Aston Martin and Red Bull announced they would be working together to create the ultimate road legal hypercar, it seemed like it would be the new king of the ultra-performance category. However, shortly after that, Mercedes-Benz and AMG announced that they would also be making a hypercar that would give the AM-RB 001 (now known as the Valkyrie) a run for its money. At the time, details were limited and that meant that the speculations were abundant. But now we have some factual information “straight from the horse’s mouth” as the old saying goes.
First thing is the name of the car. Initially, it went under the moniker AMG R50 but that was expected to change, and now it has. It’s called the Project One. But you don’t think we would waste your time with just a nameplate, do you? There are a few other tidbits that were released by Mercedes-AMG Chairman, Tobias Moers, and this is where things get interesting.
When we first learned about the Project One, it was already known that it was going to be a hybrid. Which isn’t shocking at all considering how many ridiculously powerful hybrids are currently available on the market. However, what was shocking is that it was rumored to have a four cylinder engine providing power to the rear wheels. The horsepower specs at the time were claimed to be up over 1,000hp combined, including the help from the electric motors mounted on the front wheels.
I’m happy to report that there will not be a four-banger mid mounted in this multi-million dollar hypercar. Instead, it will feature a V6. But not any old V6, it’s a genuine 1.6L Formula One engine, just slightly altered to make it road legal. Similar to what you see on an F1 car, the V6 in the Project One will have a staggering redline of 11,000rpm. And it gets better. It will also get a hybrid setup that was adapted from the W07 F1 car that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg used to dominate the 2016 F1 season. There will be electric motors up front to provide all-wheel drive, but they will also have the ability to send power to the rear wheels as well.
According to Mercedes, this F1 based hybrid powertrain is indeed expected to develop “a combined system power of more than 1,000hp.” With all-wheel drive and an estimated curb weight of just 2,200lbs, this car is going to be melt-your-face quick. Obviously Mercedes meant it when they said that they were building a car that would rival the mighty Valkyrie (AM-RB 001).
Although it can’t be all sunshine and rainbows. There are a few negative things about using this high-strung F1 powertrain. Most notable would be the longevity of the engine. According to Mores, the average life expectancy will only be about 31,000 miles before it’ll require a significant amount of engine work. That will be shocking to most people when they hear about that. Especially when the car has an estimated price tag of $2.5 million. And you know the cost of those engine repairs won’t be cheap. But you have to remember, the Project One isn’t designed to run around town in. How many hypercar owners put this many miles on their cars? Most owners won’t even come close to reaching that 31,000-mile mark. In fact, Mercedes expects that most Project One’s won’t even reach 3,100 miles on the odometer let alone 31,000.
The worst part however, is that they still haven’t released an actual picture of the Project One. But luckily that’s only temporary so we won’t hold it against them. The official unveiling of the Project One is scheduled later this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show and if you ask me, it can’t come soon enough. I can already see a shootout between the Valkyrie, Project One, and maybe a Koenigsegg One:1, just to mix it up a little bit. That’ll make the holy trinity shootout look like child’s play.