‘Inspired by F1’ is a phrase that’s bandied about by every would-be supercar maker in the world. There isn’t a high-performance car in the world that doesn’t go on about its racing aerodynamics or KERS-influenced hybrid system. It’s becoming less of a talking point than using carbon fibre. Then of course there’s the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE.
Why is it different? For one, it’s less a supercar that uses F1 technology than a F1 car allowed on the road. Oh, it doesn’t look like a pit-stop spare, but then would anyone actually want to take one of those titchy single-seaters to the shops? Getting in and out would negate any speed you could get. No, the difference here is under the bonnet.
Taking F1 hybrid technology nearly wholesale and putting it into a road-legal car, the Project ONE is expected to produce 1000 horsepower to achieve speeds in excess of 350kmh. That’s just shy of 220mph.
There’s far too much high-tech gabble to go deep into, but the 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging, combined with 50,000 rpm electric motors on the front axle go some way to explaining that level of power.
Given that this is a concept, we don’t have solid stats on its acceleration, but given that there is 0 turbo lag you can expect to be pressed down into your seat hard. Estimates are around 0-200kph in under 6 seconds. You have to love electric motors with specs like that.
The Project ONE is still significantly behind an actual F1 car in terms of performance, but most of that is simply to make it more commercially acceptable, not to mention road legal. After all, this may just be a concept car but it’s also a proof of concept, with Mercedes-AMG already gearing up for production.
F1 technology might be touted as a talking point for every car with a good turn of speed, but in the Project ONE for once it actually is.