Skip to main content

Mercedes' new supercar will be like an F1 racer, but not necessarily in a good way

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Formula One-inspired supercars are becoming a trend. Aston Martin is working with Red Bull Racing to develop its Valkyrie, and Mercedes-AMG is leaning on the expertise of its in-house F1 team to develop a car codenamed “Project One.”

AMG boss Tobias Moers shed a little light on the Project One at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and, like most supercars, there are some staggering figures attached to this one. But those figures correspond not to horsepower or top speed, but maintenance requirements. This supercar will have an F1-inspired powertrain all right, and it will apparently be just as finicky as an F1 car.

Moers confirmed that the Project One will use a modified version of the 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 used in the Mercedes W07 F1 car. The engine will be capable of revving to 11,000 rpm, but will also require major servicing after just 31,000 miles, Motor 1 reports. Considering that the average modern car can cover nearly 100,000 miles with little more than oil changes, that’s a bit of a drawback.

Granted, F1 engines are built purely for performance, not longevity. So heavy maintenance requirements are part of the risk one takes when buying a road car equipped with one. Given the Project One’s rumored price tag of $2.5 million to $4.5 million, anyone who can afford it can likely afford regular engine rebuilds too. Buyers may not even rack up mileage fast enough for the 31,000-mile limit to be an inconvenience.

One Percenters may also think it’s worth the trouble to have one of the most dominant engines in recent F1 history under the hood. Since F1 adopted its current hybrid format in 2014, Mercedes has been virtually unchallenged. Last year, it won 19 of the 21 races, securing both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships for the third year in a row.

The Project One is expected to team that winning V6 with electric power. The gasoline engine will drive the rear wheels, while at least one electric will power the fronts, giving the car all-wheel drive. Production may be limited to 300 units. The car isn’t expected to start production until next year at least, so we’ll have to wait to confirm those details.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
F1 driver in fireball crash is certain the car’s halo saved his life
f1 driver in fireball crash is certain the halo saved his life romain grosjean racing

Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean is lucky to be alive after a horrific crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday that saw his vehicle rip in half and burst into flames.

In dramatic footage of the incident, the 34-year-old French driver can be seen scrambling out of the fireball that suddenly engulfed his car after he smashed through a barrier at 140 mph during Sunday's race. He is now recovering in the hospital after suffering burns to his hands and ankles.

Read more
Porsche will use discarded F1 tech for a new hybrid supercar, report claims
porsche hybrid supercar with f1 powertrain report 918 spyder

Since the 918 Spyder went out of production in 2015, Porsche has been without a flagship supercar. But a new report claims Porsche is working on something even more extreme than the 845-horsepower plug-in hybrid. Autocar reports that Porsche wants to use a discarded Formula One hybrid powertrain in a 918 successor.

Porsche hasn't been involved in Formula One for decades, so where did it get an F1 powertrain from? The automaker recently considered an F1 comeback, and engine development got far enough along that the leftovers from the program could be used for a road-going supercar, Autocar claims. Autosport previously reported that Porsche had 40 people working on an F1 powertrain program, with the goal of entering the series in 2021.

Read more
F1 has plans to race the world’s first net zero carbon engine in 2030
formula one to develop net zero carbon hybrid powertrain by 2030 renault f1 team  french gp

Formula One has made significant improvements in fuel efficiency with mandatory hybrid powertrains, but the race series wants to go even further. F1 wants to go carbon neutral by 2030. The series won't go all-electric like Formula E, but plans to further decrease fuel consumption from its hybrid powertrains and undertake other projects to reduce emissions.

"We believe F1 can continue to be a leader for the auto industry and work with the energy and automotive sector to deliver the world's first net zero carbon hybrid internal combustion engine," F1 Chairman Chase Carey said in a statement.

Read more