And no, this is not any marketing speak from Mercedes-Benz. F1 fans such as us here at Go Flat Out have been eagerly waiting for this car when Mercedes-Benz announced that they’ll be revealing Project ONE, which is supposedly a road going version of the W08 EQ Power+. Well, this is not just a marketing exercise, but this is truly the F1 W08 EQ Power+’s road going counterpart, and it’s literally as insane as it gets from there.
As the Project ONE is literally an F1 car for the road, it is powered by the same EQ Power+ powertrain of the F1 W08 EQ Power+. What this means is that it has a 1.6 liter turbocharged V6 engine that revs up to an insane 11,000 rpm, making it the highest revving production engine in the world. In perspective, the version that was in the F1 car revs up to 15,000 rpm. The engine is supplanted by 4 electric motors.
The two electric motors up front are capable of revving up to 50,000 rpm. State of the art stuff, with the highest revving electric motor in production revs up to 20,000 rpm only. The third electric motor is integrated into the turbocharger, while the fourth one is directly integrated into the engine.
In case you are not aware, this hybrid powertrain isn’t purely designed to be an assistant to the engine, just like those in the Porsche 918, McLaren P1, and LaFerrari. Rather, this hybrid powertrain is next generation technology, not designed to assist the engine, but be an integral part of the system, working as one whole powertrain, and not just some electric motor filling in the gaps of the petrol engine’s torque curve. Because of this, response times from when you step on the gas pedal are almost instantaneous, more responsive Mercedes-AMG claims than a naturally aspirated V8 engine, and almost on par with electric vehicles.
This is also also thanks to the electrically-assisted turbocharger which in turn features exhaust gas and compressor turbines that are separate from each other and mounted at an optimum position to the exhaust side and the intake side of the V6 unit, and connected to one another by a shaft powered by the 90kW unit.
What does this mean in terms of acceleration? It means that it takes the Project ONE less than 6 seconds to sprint from 0-200 kph. That’s right, less than six, making it the fastest accelerating production car.
When running in pure electricity alone, the electric motor can do it for 25 kilometers. It also includes stuff such as a drive system that operates with 800 volts instead of the usual 400, a variable all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring and a sizeable lithium-ion battery pack that uses the same cells, arrangement and cell cooling system with, as you would expect, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ Formula 1 car. The company also says that under normal driving conditions, the system recuperates up to 80 percent of the energy needed, which is then fed back to the battery.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed semi-automatic transmission developed specifically for the Project ONE. The gearbox is activated hydraulically via the paddles (of course), and offers both automatic and manual modes. As this is a gearbox that’s mainly developed for motors, we don’t expect this to be refined in city driving, where unfortunately, most of these rich dudes fortunate to buy this hypercar, will be driving this car.
The interior is devoid of any unnecessary detail and storage places. We only see a spot where you can rest your smartphone in. It also sees a pair of 10-inch high definition screens, one as your gauges, and the other for the infotainment system. One neat detail is that the dashboard is not a separate piece. Rather, it is part of the car’s body, and taking away the dashboard affects the car’s rigidity slightly, and speaking of the body, the body is made up of mainly high-strength carbon-fiber, with the integrated engine and transmission also having load-bearing functions, as both completely support the rear suspension.
Don’t expect to see this car anytime soon, as the car still has 18 months left in development. Also, at US$2.7 million a piece, you probably can’t even afford one, and even if you could, all 275 slots have been spoken for, and all are in left hand drive configuration, so your chances of probably seeing this in the Philippines is only when pigs learn to fly.