Mercedes-AMG “Project One” Preview

What it is: Internally called Project One, this top-level hypercar (think Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder) is being designed to mark the pinnacle of race-car engineering with extensive technology transfer from Formula 1. Coincidentally, it will also mark AMG’s 50th anniversary. It’s not intended to crack top-speed records like the Bugatti Veyron and Chiron, but it is intended to be supremely capable on the racetrack.

Why it matters: It’s a halo car that radiates over the entire Mercedes-AMG lineup. AMG will build only 300 units, and rumor has it that more than half are spoken for already.

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Platform: AMG’s hypercar might be the closest to a Formula 1 racer to be unleashed on public roads since the 1955 W196-based Uhlenhaut coupe. It is influenced by the F1 W07 Hybrid racer and features a carbon-fiber monocoque with room for the driver and one passenger. AMG could be shooting for a weight target of around 2750 pounds, which would make it far lighter than any other current hypercar.

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Powertrain: A hybrid unit derived from the Formula 1 racer’s PU106C gas-electric warp drive. The turbocharged 24-valve 1.6-liter V-6 revs up to 15,000 rpm in race trim, and the street version will redline well beyond 10,000 rpm. An electric motor with torque-vectoring functionality will drive the front axle, and total system horsepower will exceed 1000. This may be the first streetgoing engine to feature turbulent jet ignition.

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Competition: Bugatti Chiron, anything by Koenigsegg, anything by Pagani, anything on Seventh Avenue with two bathrooms.

What might go wrong: A bumper crop of new supercars usually means that a recession is on the way. Our biggest fear is that we’ll never get our grubby hands on one of these very rare Benzes.

Estimated arrival and price: Details will emerge throughout the year, but the car itself won’t arrive before 2019. The price? About $2 million.

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