After months of teasing with fuzzy dark images and tantalising talk of F1 tech for the road, Mercedes has finally revealed its new AMG Project One hypercar concept at the Frankfurt motor show.
F1 driver Lewis Hamilton was on hand to bring some celebrity dazzle to the usually dour Mercedes pre-show press conference, officially taking the wraps off the new car and introducing it to the world.
The numbers are impressive – the Project One uses F1-inspired tech to produce over 1,000bhp and reach top speeds over 200mph. It points the way to an upcoming production version that Mercedes promises will be just as impressive.
The 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine that powers the car is the same format as found in Hamilton's racing car, and even uses similar hybrid electrical systems to boost power and improve efficiency.
There are four electric motors to be found on the car – one in the turbocharger, one right on the engine and two 120kW motors driving the front wheels. These motors can either be used to harvest energy that would otherwise be wasted, or they can be used to boost the efforts of the conventional petrol powertrain.
Similar to the F1 setup that people in the sport call MGU-H, the engine cleverly uses exhaust gases to recover energy that would otherwise be lost, powering electrical motors.
The petrol engine itself revs up to an impressive 11,000rpm – less than an F1 car, but tuned so deliberately to ensure reliability over the long distances that road cars are expected to cover.
The Project One can drive for 16 miles on electric power alone, accelerates from 0-124mph in less than six seconds and even features green paint highlights on the outside of the car that were done by the same chap who designed the livery for the company's F1 cars.