The Project One hypercar from Mercedes is technically a near-production car and deliveries won't start until 2019, but the German manufacturer is eager to talk about plans at the top of the AMG food chain for well into the next decade.
Company boss Dieter Zetsche announced following the car’s debut in Frankfurt that a follow-up will likely lose the combustion engine altogether to bank on the company's newly gained Formula E expertise.
Mercedes joins the all-electric series in 2019, following a planned withdrawal from DTM at the end of 2018. As for a new fully electric hypercar, it’s unlikely we will see it until 2025 or so, but it will take advantage of the knowledge gained in the Formula E, in much the same way as the Project One uses F1 knowhow in its turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engine and hybrid powertrain.
The fully electric performance model won’t actually be the first model of this type from Mercedes, as the SLS AMG Electric Drive was introduced as a limited edition at the 2012 Paris motor show. It’s an extremely rare sight on the streets, considering fewer than 100 units were ever made of what was the fastest production EV of its time. The combined output of 740bhp is still impressive by today’s standards, but pales in comparison to the Project One and its monstrous four-digit horsepower.
As a final note, Mercedes is not the only high-end brand considering an electric vehicle as its flagship model. McLaren is said to be working on an all-electric P1 successor slated to arrive after 2020. Meanwhile, Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing are preparing the Valkyrie, which like the Project One will utilise F1 expertise and demonstrate that hybrids can be exciting.