The Mercedes-AMG Project One has an impressive amount of baked-in racing pedigree. After all, its 1.6-liter V-6 and hybrid drive system are essentially plucked straight out of a Formula One car. But despite having the necessary hardware to go racing, Mercedes says its Project One won’t compete at Le Mans.
After a series of delays, the Mercedes-AMG Project One is expected to finally enter production in early 2021. That means the Project One should land right around the time the World Endurance Championship is launching its new hypercar class that will include the Project One’s main rival, the Aston Martin Valkyrie. But despite that seemingly perfect timing to mount a racing campaign, Mercedes says it and its Project One will be sitting it out.
”I know there’s engagement around the Valkyrie, I know customers have asked us if we’ll do that with Project One, but I’m curious at how such expensive cars will run in a special series under ‘Balance of Performance’ conditions,” AMG boss Tobias Moers told Top Gear. “I don’t think that is the right way.”
He added: “I have concerns on one hand, while on the other I’m really excited to see those cars racing together. It’s an amazing situation. But investing such an amount of money in BoP-oriented racing? I’m not down with that for now.”
Moers also says he isn’t interested in battling the Bugatti Chiron, which recently shattered the 300-mph barrier, for top speed supremacy, noting that the “experience of driving a Formula 1 powertrain is much more important than top speed.”
As for the production delays? Mercedes was running into issues with getting the Project One’s F1 engine in compliance with emissions and noise regulations. However, those problems have now been sorted, with the Project One marching toward its 2021 launch date.