It is far too early to say whether the Project ONE represents a new level of dynamic achievement for a road car. The only purpose of the mule is to help adapt the powertrain for road use. Mercedes-AMG has simulated plenty, but not even it knows how quick the car will be in the real world. What we know about its power, weight and downforce suggests it should be quicker than the previous generation of Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari hypercars, but remember that by the time it goes on sale, Aston Martin should have its Valkyrie ready and that should be no less powerful, promises to be lighter still and has Adrian Newey doing its surfacing.
But not even the Valkyrie has a bona fide Formula 1 engine to its name, and that is the Project ONE’s unique selling point. Of course it won’t go like Lewis’s Sunday driver because it will likely weigh twice as much, but that’s perhaps not a bad thing. Even as it stands and being conservative with the numbers, its power-to-weight ratio is around the 740bhp per tonne mark. Think on that for a moment and imagine a small shopping car with the same power as the most powerful version of Lamborghini’s Aventador flagship. It is as nuts as it sounds.
One last thing: though Mercedes should take all the credit for having the idea, the vision and courage to see it through I hope it doesn’t sound too jingoistic to take pride in the fact that the vast majority of the car’s core componentry – its engine, gearbox, structure and suspension – come from Britain. For decades the dream of creating a Formula 1-powered road car has remained just that – a dream. And now thanks to Mercedes-Benz, its UK subsidiaries and suppliers, that dream will soon become a reality.