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14-09-2017 | Race Cars | News | Article

Mercedes-AMG’s Project One Plug-In Supersports Car Celebrates Its Premiere

Patrick Schäfer

Mercedes-AMG revealed its Project One supersports show car with Formula 1 hybrid technology at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. The two-seater show car is designed to produce more than 740 kW and reach speeds of over 350 km/h.

The Mercedes-AMG Project One will celebrate its world premiere at the IAA: the two-seater supersports show car transfers Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road. The performance hybrid is expected to produce more than 740 kW (1,000 hp), with a top speed of over 350 km/h. Together with the four-door AMG GT Concept, the Mercedes-AMG Project One provides another insight into the future performance-hybrid drive strategy of Mercedes-Benz’s sports car brand. This concept car should provide a glimpse of an upcoming production vehicle.

One turbo engine and four electric motors

Mercedes-AMG Project One’s Formula 1-derived plug-in hybrid drive was realised in close collaboration with the motorsport experts at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth, Great Britain. It consists of a unit with one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine and a total of four electric motors: one motor has been integrated into the turbocharger, while another has been installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase; the two remaining motors drive the front wheels.

The 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging stems straight from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. The four overhead camshafts are driven by spur gears. To achieve a high rpm, the mechanical valve springs have been replaced by pneumatic valve springs. The mid-engined (ahead of rear axle) vehicle can rev at up to 11,000 rpm. The electric motors on the front axle can rev at rotor speeds up to 50,000 rpm.

The high-revving engine is given a further boost by a high-tech turbocharger. The separate exhaust gas and compressor turbines are positioned at the exhaust side and the intake side of the V6 engine respectively, and are connected to one another by a shaft. Depending on the operating state, an approx. 90 kW electric motor mounted on this shaft drives the compressor turbine electrically with up to 100,000 rpm when starting or following load changes, for example. The Formula 1 designation for this unit is MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit Heat). The thermal efficiency of the combustion engine with an electric turbocharger (MGU-H) in conjunction with the electric motor on the crankshaft (MGU-K) should be over 40 percent.

All-wheel drive with purely electrically driven front axle

Two further 120 kW electric motors are installed on the front axle. Each is connected to a front wheel via a reduction gear. The fully electrically driven front axle allows individual acceleration and braking of each front wheel, and therefore selective torque distribution (“torque vectoring”). Furthermore, the axle motors should allow up to 80 percent of the braking energy to be recovered even under everyday driving conditions. Each electric motor is controlled by its own power electronics located close to the electric motors in the floor assembly.

Lithium-ion batteries with Formula 1 technology

The battery cells, their arrangement and their cooling system are the same as used in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. For everyday use, the number of cells will be four times as much in the AMG Project One, however. The lithium-ion, high-voltage battery and the DC/DC converter, which supports and charges the 12 V onboard electrical system, are located in the floor assembly behind the front axle. The high-voltage EQ Power+ drive system operates at 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts.

Intelligent operating strategies

Overall, the EQ Power+ plug-in hybrid drive system offers several intelligent operating strategies that are tuned to different application scenarios. The driving modes range from purely electric operation through to a highly dynamic mode, which corresponds to a setting used in Formula 1 qualifying for optimum lap times. The Race Start function enables acceleration from zero to 200 km/h in under six seconds.

Automated eight-speed manual transmission

Power is transferred to the rear wheels via an eight-speed manual transmission that has been entirely developed from scratch for the Mercedes-AMG Project One. The transmission is activated hydraulically and can be operated automatically or manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Multi-link suspension with pushrod suspension

Multi-link designs are used at the front and rear. The adjustable coil-over suspension has several special features in that both pushrod spring struts have been installed across the direction of travel. The arrangement of the spring/damper unit replaces the function and application of conventional tubular cross members. This solution should prevent rolling movements even during very rapid directional changes, without being uncomfortable for the occupant.

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