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2016 Paris Motor Show: AMG boss reveals hypercar’s Formula One secrets

By Ryan Lewis, 30 Sep 2016 Events

2016 Paris Motor Show: AMG boss reveals hypercar’s Formula One secrets

Mercedes-AMG R50 hypercar will use engines identical to Formula 1, and it is coming to Oz.

AMG’s Formula One powered Hypercar will be sold in Australia!

Tobias Moers, head of Mercedes-AMG, has disclosed further information at the Paris motor show about the company’s most ambitious ever project, the AMG hypercar.

A five-digit rev-limiter, active aerodynamics and hybrid electric grunt are all in. This is the real deal, and it’s in development right now.

Referred to as R50, the mid-engined two-seater will use exactly the same engine and much of the componentry as found in the Mercedes-AMG W07 Formula One car.

Previous speculation suggested the power unit would be similar, but not identical to F1. Speaking to Australian media today, Moers took the chance to quash any doubt.

“What’s in Formula One? It is [the same]. We are not talking about [F1] ‘inspired.’”

There is one piece of bad news. R50 will be left-hand drive only so you’ll never see one on the street in Oz. However, one well-heeled Australian is already in line to get one.

“We already have an order and a deposit for one. I think it’s the first in the world,” said Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman, David McCarthy. “It will come to Australia.”

Moers specifically acknowledged plans to use Merc’s current 1.6-litre 90-degree V6 engine, running on 98 octane fuel and using the same turbocharger and energy recovery systems (ERS) as Formula One, with an even more potent hybrid setup likely.

Brakes and turbocharger will generate battery-charging electricity. Removing the packaging restraints of an F1 car should allow for larger battery cells to be used, and increase the potential for more electric oomph.

Mercedes -AMG-R50-hypercar -comgenAny alterations to the PU106C power unit will be done in the name of reliability, and in order to make the car road-registrable.

“We have to change some things there. [In F1] we run the engine to maybe 15,000rpm, maybe we reduce that a little bit, but still five digits.

“This is not a problem for the electric motors because we use the ones from Formula One as well.”

What will be different is the delivery of power. R50 will not be rear-drive only like the Formula One car. Moers confirmed an all-wheel drive system will be used, though variable torque split between front and rear axles is expected.

Moers would not be drawn on power targets or the type of gearbox that will be implemented. Information will be drip-fed once the calendar flips to 2017 and AMG’s 50th anniversary celebrations begin.

“AMG is going to be 50 next year. [R50] is not an accident, it’s a strategy. You’ll see something more in Geneva, and something in Frankfurt.”

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s Formula One cars are speculated to race with an engine tune of around 715kW, which can be cranked up to over 745kW in qualifying trim.

The R50 project is likely to result in one of the most expensive production road cars ever built.

This is not only a challenger to the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 and LaFerrari. R50 looks set to stretch the hypercar demographic into another level of performance, and Moers is determined to be the best.

“If AMG steps into a new segment, that’s our target.”

“I don’t know how many times I had discussions about a potential hypercar within our company. Two years ago, I thought brand-wise we were not on the way. I changed my mind. We changed our minds.”

Lewis Hamilton has expressed interest in working on an AMG road car, and Moers confirmed Hamilton and Rosberg as part of the development process.

Perhaps one of them could make a suggestion on the name. The R50 moniker has not been adopted officially at this stage.