<
>

Mercedes launches a road-legal hypercar with an F1 engine

play
Mercedes unveil 'Project One' hypercar (1:15)

Lewis Hamilton helped to unveil Mercedes' F1 influenced hypercar in Frankfurt. (1:15)

Mercedes has launched its Project One hypercar at the Frankfurt motorshow, billing the 1,000bhp road car as a "Formula One car with MOT approval".

Project One is powered by a modified version of the 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid engine that also drives Mercedes' current W08 Formula One car. It boasts an acceleration figure of 0-200km/h in under six seconds and will continue towards a top speed in excess of 350km/h.

Lewis Hamilton drove the car onto the stage in Frankfurt where he was joined by Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche.

"Motorsport is not an end in itself for us," Zetsche said. "Faced with intense competition, we develop technologies from which our production vehicles also subsequently benefit. We are drawing on our experiences and successes from three constructors' and drivers' world championships to bring Formula One technology to the road for the first time: in Mercedes-AMG Project One."

Daimler R&D boss Ola Källenius added: "The Mercedes-AMG Project One is the first Formula One car with MOT approval. Our highly efficient hybrid assembly stems from motor racing and the electrically powered front axle generates a fascinating mixture of performance and efficiency. With a system output of over 1000bhp and a top speed beyond 350 km/h this hypercar handles exactly as it looks: it takes your breath away."

The road-legal version of the F1 engine will be capped at 11,000rpm, but still features the same single-turbocharged, 90-degree V6 engine architecture as the W08 F1 car. An F1-style MGU-K will offer an additional 120KW of power to the rear axle under acceleration while the MGU-H is rated at 80KW and can be used to combat turbo lag as well as charge the power unit's energy store (which has four times the capacity of the one on the F1 car). On top of that, Project One will feature two 120KW electric motors on the front axle, giving it all-wheel drive capability that the Formula One car does not have.

Born from F1's current engine regulations, the car is also incredibly efficient, with Mercedes boasting a thermal efficiency figure of over 40 percent -- an unprecedented number for any internal combustion engine on the road. The car will be able to run with over 320bhp purely from the electric motors on the front axle, with the V6 turbo only kicking in when the driver pushes the accelerator harder.

On the inside the car features an F1-style steering wheel with various engine modes available, not to mention an airbag. While sparse, the interior features two high-resolution 10-inch displays as well as a third screen acting as a rear view mirror.

Project One is expected to go into production two years from now at an estimated price of £2.4 million.