The Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar is going through a difficult gestation, as engineers struggle to mould its F1-derived powertrain into a smooth-running and emissions-compliant road car engine.
Breaking news: a Formula 1 engine is neither environmentally friendly nor any good at low revs. Joking aside, even all the automotive brains at Mercedes-AMG are having a job reworking the Project One’s petrol-electric V6 for road use – more so than even they anticipated.
Given this is much more the racetrack refugee than many cars in the past that have claimed to ‘bring F1 to the road’, the challenges in this transition are very real.
It’s mostly to do with revs and holding a steady. low idle. F1 cars idle at 5,000rpm and rev out to 15,000rpm. This road-going supercar needs to idle consistently and cleanly at 1,200rpm – and be able to do so for extended periods of time.
The challenges have set the AMG team back around nine months. It’s worth remembering that it’s highly likely these cars will see more action on Park Lane and Sloane Street than at Spa or Silverstone.
The Project One is currently testing at various power levels, running through 40 percent of potential, 60 percent and 80 percent. What the production car will produce will not be known for some time, while they crack it as a viable road car powerplant.
At present, buyers can expect to start receiving their cars in 2020.