MERCEDES-AMG has confirmed development of a mid-engined hypercar combining Formula One drivetrain technology with a road-going vehicle.
The ground-breaking street racer will go up against Aston Martin and Red Bull's joint project, and challenge the established hypercar elite from McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari.
Thomas Weber, head of car development at Mercedes-Benz, made the announcement to a room of employees and media on the eve of the Paris Motor Show.
"I am very excited to officially confirm our next big thing at AMG is already in the pipeline. We are going to create an AMG performance hybrid featuring our Formula One drivetrain technology."
Weber stopped short of explicitly saying it will use an identical power unit to the PU106C as seen in the current Mercedes-AMG W07 Formula One car. It's clear the hypercar's drivetrain will be derived from the 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid, though specific displacement and ancillary systems may change.
Weber did suggest that a four-figure power figure was the level of performance being targeted by AMG engineers."We are racing with nearly 1000 horsepower every weekend in Formula One, with the world's most energy-efficient racing engine," he said.
"What would you do if you were looking for an AMG that has to redefine efficiency and performance? You would combine the best of both worlds."
A stylised outline of the hypercar's profile was shown on the screen behind Weber, revealing an F1-inspired air box mounted on the roof, and mid-engined body proportions. Wheels has imagined what the finished car will look like in the artist's rendering shown above.
Development of the as-yet-unnamed car is well underway with sources referring to it by codename R50, likely pertaining to AMG's 50th anniversary occurring next year.
It's possible R50 will be one of the 10 new models promised by AMG before the end of 2017. When it does arrive it will be the third standalone Mercedes-AMG model following the SLS and Mercedes-AMG GT.
Any worries about the sound of the car were addressed by Weber. "There will be no compromises in terms of the emotional appeal of this car," he said.
More information about R50's arrival and specification may come from the Paris Motor Show later today. Stay tuned.