Mercedes Teases its F1-inspired Project One Hypercar

The first Mercedes-AMG hybrid will be the most extreme car to wear the three-pointed star since the fearsome CLK-GTR coupe of the late 1990s.

Mercedes teased journalists with a fleeting sketch of its upcoming Ferrari LaFerrari rival at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where research and development chief Ola Kallenius said the upcoming model will be proof of the brand’s technical capabilities on the road and track.

“In the same spirit of our Motorsport team we have too set ourselves goals,” Kallenius said.

“[This is] actual Formula One technology on the road through this hyper car that they (AMG) are giving themselves, AMG fans and customers, a 50th anniversary present.”

The sketch shows the rear of an extremely purposeful car, one that may have no room for a rear window or side mirrors.

Like the V12-powered CLK-GTR of old, it will have a midship engine layout. In this case the car is expected to use an F1-derived turbocharged V6 in combination with a powerful hybrid system.

The image hints at a central overhead air intake similar to open-wheel machines and ultra-focused racing prototypes such as Porsche’s 919 Hybrid, as well as large NACA ducts supplying fresh air to its engine bay.

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Active aerodynamics are likely to feature in place of a fixed rear wing, and a pronounced spine over the roof of the car suggests it could employ a vertical stabiliser fin similar to that used by Audi’s now-defunct R18 Le Mans racer.

The machine will be part of a new generation of race-derived hyper cars set to include Aston Martin’s project with Red Bull racing as well as next-gen machinery developed by Ferrari and McLaren.

Mercedes-AMG’s most extreme car could be revealed as early as the Geneva motor show in March.

The brand says it may also leverage its F1 success by going racing in the all-electric Formula E series in 2018 as part of a determined push for emerging technology.

Mercedes-AMG is tipped to reveal its own version of the brand’s Concept EQ electric SUV this year. The brand says its Tesla Model X rival will go on sale in the US in 2019.


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