Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton Unveil F1-Powered Project One Hypercar At IAA


After months of leaked details, and teaser images that reveal next to nothing about the car’s shape, Mercedes-AMG finally debuted its upcoming hypercar Monday.

Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche and three-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton took the stage at the International Motor Show Germany (IAA) in Frankfurt to unveil the first road car to be driven by an F1 power unit: the Project One.

The Project One will be fitted with a more powerful version of the turbocharged V-6 hybrid power plant used in Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ W08 EQ Power+ that will send more than 1,000 horsepower through all four wheels. What’s more, Zetsche claims the car’s energy recovery system will be able to recover an astonishing 80 percent of the energy that’s normally lost under braking.

In addition to its engine, the Project One’s aerodynamics have been noticeably influenced by the W08, such as through the inclusion of a rear shark fin. What’s more, the roof scoop is reminiscent of the one found on the limited-production CLK GTR from the late 1990s.

The Project One, like a prototype racer, features dihedral doors, which reveal a cabin that’s adorned in carbon fiber. The interior also includes a digital display that shows the driver any pertinent information — and presumably nothing more.

During the Project One presentation, Hamilton said that he takes a lot of pride in the fact that he’s helped develop the car from start to finish. He also noted that he hopes he’s able to buy one of the first examples of the Project One, though Zetsche joked that they’ll talk about that later.

Hamilton probably won’t make a wager with Zetsche that’s contingent on him winning the the 2017 world championship, as he’s already been down that road once. During his time at McLaren, he made a bet with Ron Dennis that he would get the F1 LM XP1, which sits in the McLaren Technology Centre, if he won three world championships with the team.

He likely won’t have to make any such deals this time, however. After all, Daimler pays Hamilton more per year than Zetsche himself, so he probably will get his way.

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