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AMG's F1-engined hybrid hypercar will be for road only
Merc-AMG hypercar will be developed at the 'Ring, but there’ll be no FXXK or P1 GTR rival
Tobias Moers, chairman of Mercedes-AMG, has told TopGear.com AMG has no plans to build a track-only version of its upcoming hypercar, which will be powered by the 1.6-litre V6 hybrid turbo powertrain from the Mercedes-AMG F1 team. Breathe easy, P1 GTR and Ferrari FXXK drivers.
“Mercedes is a road car company”, Moers explains. “Right now we are focused on a hypercar which is street-legal but also capable on a racetrack. There is no intention to have a racetrack-only version, or a Spider version, in fact.” A wry reference to the LaFerrari Aperta, revealed just around the corner in Paris, then.
Can AMG realistically make an F1 engine start on a key (or a button, more likely), and cope with idling in traffic or novice drivers? Moers responds: “Well, it’s a 1.6-litre engine. And we will have to life every component, make it pass the durability and emissions tests, but we will keep all the F1 components and use them in our car. It will be the new benchmark, it will raise the bar compared to all the hypercars on the market up until now.”
Does the car exist yet, beyond a sketch? “We’ve driven it in the simulator, and we’ve done the wind tunnel test last Thursday. There’s a link between the sketch we’ve shown you and the shape…”
Despite being the boss, Moers is not at all keen to actually drive one of the F1 racers which will donate its engine to the future road car. He says: “I think it’s ridiculous for me to do that! I have driven ‘downforce cars’ in the past, so I know how it feels, but I think an F1 car would be a step too far for me. And I think 99 per cent of our customers would say the same.”
“Our car won’t be ‘inspired by Formula One’; it will ‘be Formula One [for the street]’”, Moers explains. “It will be used on the street, on a track, at the Nordschleife [where the car will be developed], but the key for us is what makes our hypercar different – that’s the point of a hypercar. Our [difference] is the F1 drivetrain. There is only one company in the world capable of doing this, and that’s us, together with our colleagues in Brixworth and Brackley.”
Moers told TG.com the hypercar project was “really exciting”, but stopped short of calling it his biggest project at AMG. “It’s the pinnacle of what we can do in automotive, but doing the SLS and the GT – the first car we ever created in-house at AMG – was pretty exciting too.”
“The hypercar, so far as engineering challenges go… well, I don’t know of any car out there right now which could challenge it for sophistication.” We ask Moers his opinion of the Aston Martin Red Bull 001, but his response is merely “I have my thoughts…but they are my thoughts only”.
One final question for the AMG boss: will Lewis and Nico get one each? “Yeah, but only if they buy one”, Moers grins. “They can certainly afford it.”