Published on September 12th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair0
Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is a F1 Concept Car for the Road
The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE celebrates its world première at the 2017 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main: for the first time, the two-seater supersports show car brings the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road almost par for par to represent the highlight of AMG’s 50th anniversary. This high-performance hybrid is said to produce over 1.000 hp and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h. The show car combines outstanding race track performance and day-to-day suitable Formula 1 hybrid technology with exemplary efficiency. This is a world first. The overall responsibility for the realisation of Project ONE lies with Mercedes-AMG.
The complex development work was carried out in close cooperation with the Formula 1 experts at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth and with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team in Brackley. Together with the four-door AMG GT Concept, the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE provides another insight into the future performance-hybrid drive strategy of the sports car brand within Mercedes-Benz.
The concept car gives specific indications of what to expect from the upcoming production model.
Powertrain: one turbocharged engine and four electric motors
The high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE comes directly from Formula 1, and was realised in close cooperation with the motorsport experts of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth. It consists of a highly integrated and intelligently networked unit comprising one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine with a total of four electric motors. One has been integrated into the turbocharger, another has been installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase and the two remaining motors drive the front wheels.
The 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. The four overhead camshafts are driven by spur gears. To achieve high engine speeds, the mechanical valve springs have been replaced by pneumatic valve springs. The vehicle is mid-engined (ahead of the rear axle) and it can easily reach speeds of 11,000 rpm, which is currently unique for a roadgoing vehicle. However, for higher longevity and the use of commercially available Super Plus petrol instead of racing fuel, it remains significantly below the F1 engine speed limit.
The electric motors on the front axle are also true rev wonders, with rotor revolutions up to 50,000 rpm – current state of the art is a speed of 20,000 rpm.
The very high-revving engine is additionally boosted by a high-tech turbocharger. The exhaust gas and compressor turbines are separated from one another and located at an optimum position to the exhaust side and to the intake side of the V6 engine, and connected to one another by a shaft. This shaft features an electric motor with approximately 90 kW which, depending on the operating status, electrically drives the compressor turbine with up to 100,000 rpm – for instance when moving off or following load changes. The Formula 1 designation for this unit is MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit Heat).
Completely new, automated 8-speed manual transmission
Power is transferred to the rear wheels by an 8-speed manual transmission that has been entirely developed from scratch for the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. It is activated hydraulically and can be operated in automated mode or manually using the shift paddles.
The basis for the outstanding driving characteristics of the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE is provided by the lightweight, high-strength carbon-fibre monocoque body, the technology of which likewise comes from Formula 1. The same applies to integration of the engine and transmission: both have load-bearing functions and completely support the rear suspension.
Multi-link suspension with innovative pushrod suspension
The suspension developers also gave their utmost. Multi-link designs are used at the front and rear. The adjustable coil-over suspension has several special features: Both push-rod spring struts have been installed across the direction of travel. The innovative arrangement of the spring/damper unit replaces the function and application of conventional tubular cross members. This solution reliably prevents rolling movements even during very rapid directional changes, without being uncomfortable.
The overall setup of the springs and dampers is configured for perfectly balanced, easily controlled and above all sporty handling characteristics. These are also assisted by all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. ABS is standard equipment, with ESP® adjustable in three stages as is usual for AMG. ESP® ON stands for a high level of safety, ESP® SPORT HANDLING MODE allows greater yaw angles before system intervention for a sporty driving style, and ESP® OFF switches the system off for sporty driving on enclosed racetracks.
Interior: Formula 1 for two
The interior design concept of this ultimate driving machine follows function on the racetrack, and this is expressed in the radical design idiom. Formula 1 technology is made authentically tangible on both the race track and the road. Here too every detail has a function, with nothing included merely for visual reasons. In the monocoque interior, the reduced components are emphasised in minimalist style both in design and functional terms.
The ergonomically contoured interior has room for two occupants. The bucket seats with adjustable backrests are integrated into the monocoque. The pedals and steering wheel are adjustable, allowing the driver to adopt the ideal driving position. The centre tunnel visually separates the driver and passenger areas from each other. It blends fully into the seat sculpture and follows the principle of minimalism with its gently rising contour.
The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will not only be an ultimate driving machine that directly brings current Formula 1 hybrid technology onto the road and combines top-class race track performance with full day-to-day suitability. Its purpose is also to obtain extensive findings about performance-oriented plug-in hybrid drive technology, further developments of suspension layouts and extended onboard electronics that will later benefit series production AMG cars. The Project ONE team is working hard on successfully bringing this vision onto the road.