New Mercedes-AMG project will be F1-engined hypercar
Formula 1 engines are some of the most sophisticated, efficient machines in the world, and in 2016 they’re powered by a complex mixture of software, electricity and good, old-fashioned chemical energy. If you’ve been watching F1 for the past three years, you’ll know Mercedes makes one of the best hybrid engines in the world – and now it’s going to drop one into its very own “road” car.
Mercedes-AMG bosses announced the new car at an event before the Paris Motor Show had even begun, and it comes after months of rumours about the project. Mercedes R&D boss Thomas Weber confirmed the car would use a form of the hybrid powertrain found in Formula 1 cars.
Although the car will use a variation of the hybrid infused, 1.6-litre V6 turbo engine, chances are it will be slightly different. The new hypercar won’t need to conform to the FIA’s strict regulations, so it’s likely Mercedes will increase the engine’s capacity to something more like 3, 4 or even 5 litres.
Tobias Moers, chairman of AMG, told our sister site Auto Express that power would have to be dropped compared to the F1 car, but combined horsepower output would still be into four figures. Moers also confirmed that carbon fibre will be throughout the new car’s body and chassis.
“We have started development on this car and what is going to be absolutely unique about it, which nobody has ever done and very are capable of doing, we are going to take the F1 powertrain and put it in a road car,” said Ola Källenius, Mercedes sales and marketing boss.
As I found out in my interview with Andy Cowell, managing director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, F1 is as much about efficiency as power – and it looks like Mercedes is taking that thinking to the road. “As we said in the past, as soon as AMG steps into a new segment we have a very clear expectation,” said Moers. “Our target is to have the most efficient, not necessarily the most powerful, hypercar on the market with outstanding driving capability.”
The new hypercar is a joint project between AMG in Affalterbach and the Mercedes HPE team in Brixworth, who we visited late last year.