Mercedes-AMG Says Project ONE Could Beat Porsche 919 Around Nürburgring
Mercedes says its hypercar could beat the Porsche 919's lap record, but also that they won't try.
Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers stated in a recent interview that its upcoming Project One hypercar could beat the lap record-holding Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo's time around the Nürburgring, but that Mercedes has no interest in doing so.
"Of course, I saw the lap record run on video and it was impressive," Moers said to Motoring of the 919's record lap of 5:19.55. "Could we beat the Porsche's 'Ring time? We could, probably. It would be close, but I think we could. I just don't know what we'd do it for."
The Mercedes-AMG Project One is an upcoming road-bound hypercar with a hybridized 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 derived from the company's highly successful Formula 1 engine. It will be capable of revving to 11,000 rpm and producing more than 1,000 horsepower, though electric power alone will be capable of taking the car more than 15 miles. Mercedes will build 275 of the Project One, which makes it almost diametrically opposed to Porsche's one-off 919 Evo.
Porsche's 919 was originally designed to compete in the hybridized LMP1 class of the World Endurance Championship, and since retiring from the series, Porsche has augmented the car to create the faster 919 Evo. With 1,144 horsepower, all-wheel drive, 53 percent increased downforce, and just 1,872 pounds of weight, the 919 Evo destroyed the previous lap record (held by a Porsche 956 driven by Stefan Bellof) by over a minute—reportedly controversial within Porsche, as some wished for Bellof's record to stand forever.
Despite the 919 Evo's adaption from a Le Mans prototype and the Project One's status as a road car, Moers was confident that Mercedes's car would be competitive with the 919 Evo if they were to chase after Porsche's time.
"It's not a production car and ours is," Moers concluded. "Theirs is a racing car that isn't actually fit to race anywhere, in any class, anywhere. It doesn't have any rules. We have to meet full homologation rules. We could do some things to the aero and take out the air-conditioner and fit some slightly different tires and then I'd be confident about it. But we're not going to do that."