Cars & Cigars

Mercedes teases hybrid supercar with Formula 1 tech

You’ve seen hybrid supercars before, but likely nothing quite so exotic as this. Mercedes-Benz is teasing the debut of the Mercedes-AMG Project One, a hybrid “supersports showcar,” at the Frankfurt International Motor Show beginning September 14th. While the preview image doesn’t show much besides a GT-style body (complete with an air scoop on the roof), Mercedes makes much ado of the car’s Formula 1 under pinnings both powerplants amount to race car technology adapted to “day-to-day” use.

Based on previous info, the machine will combine an F1-based 1.6-liter turbo V6 with two electric motors: a 134 HP motor linked to the crankshaft, and a 107 HP motor that minimizes turbo lag, even though the engine can rev up to an extreme 11,000 RPM. The hardware promises over 1,000 combined horsepower and a 217 MPH top speed, yet it should offer 15.5 miles of pure electric driving. And yes, all that raw power is as punishing as you’d suspect just like a race car, you’ll need to rebuild the engine every 31,000 miles.

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Needless to say, this will be hard to get. Even if you can swing the expected $2.54 million sticker price for Project One, AMG says it only expects to make 275 units. There’s a good chance that business tycoons will snap up the production run almost immediately. Still, it’s good to see hybrid technology taken to its limits before electric supercars take over.

The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will celebrate its world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt: the two-seater supersports showcar for the first time brings the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology to the road. This high- performance hybrid has an output of over 1000 hp and a top speed exceeding 350 km/h. The showcar combines outstanding racetrack performance with day-to-day suitable Formula 1 hybrid technology and exemplary efficiency.

Competition: Bugatti Chironanything by Koenigsegganything by Pagani, anything on Seventh Avenue with two bathrooms.

What Might Go Wrong: A bumper crop of new supercars usually means that a recession is on the way. Our biggest fear is that we’ll never get our grubby hands on one of these very rare Benzes.

Estimated Arrival and Price: Details will emerge throughout the year, but the car itself won’t arrive before 2019. The price? About $2 million.

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