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Paris show: Mercedes-AMG hypercar locked in

Sketchy detail: Daimler AG board member of group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development Thomas Weber announced the hypercar – sketched behind him – at a pre-show event in Paris overnight.

Mercedes-AMG confirms hybrid hypercar to take on Aston Martin

Mercedes-AMG logo29 Sep 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

MERCEDES-AMG will build a track-focused Formula One-inspired hypercar to rival Aston Martin’s ferocious AM-RB 001 weapon, the company announced overnight ahead of the Paris motor show.

There is little information about the future hypercar, but Mercedes announced that it would use a hybrid powertrain and borrow the technological know-how it has developed after years of success in Formula One racing.

Speaking at a media event the night before the Paris show, Daimler AG board member of group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development Thomas Weber announced the new super sportscar and confirmed that efficiency would be a focus.

“Under the lead of Mercedes-AMG, our performance companies will join forces and create the most efficient and, at the same time, most dynamic and most spectacular AMG of all time – some might even call it a hypercar,” he said. “It will show how we will take our performance brand into the future with extremely efficient and intelligent drivetrain technology.” Dr Weber credited some of the success of Mercedes performance arm to its involvement in Formula One.

“Mercedes-AMG creates some of the most emotional cars on the planet,” he said “The secret of this success lies in the intelligent combination of high Mercedes-Benz standards and outstanding AMG technology combined with its racing experience – clearly a winning formula.” The design is being kept under wraps for now, but Mercedes teased the shape of the new model with a sketch projected on to a screen at the event, revealing a silhouette that is not dissimilar to the Aston-Red Bull teaser sketches that were released before it was uncovered in July.

The short bonnet and long tail indicate that the as-yet unnamed model will house the petrol-powered part of the powertrain behind the cabin.

Some reports have suggested that the car could use a modified version of the 1.6-litre V6 engine that powers the Mercedes Formula One cars.

The key rivals for the AMG hypercar would include ultra-exclusive petrol-electric hybrids including the McLaren P1, Ferrari’s LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder, but the closest in terms of concept is certain to be the Aston Martin Red Bull AM-RB 001.

Aston is yet to announce full powertrain and performance details for its future hypercar, but it has confirmed that it will use a high-revving V12 with a power-to-weight ratio of one brake horsepower for each kilogram of weight.

Production numbers, potential markets and specifications are all unknown for now, but expect Mercedes-AMG to slowly drip-feed information in the lead-up to a reveal, possibly next year.

The other models detailed at the media showcase were the already revealed Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe, as well as the drop-top GT C Roadster and the brutal 430kW GT R coupe.

Speaking on the stand at the event, Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers detailed the go-fast division’s ongoing model expansion plans.

“Starting this year, we will offer the widest model range in the entire performance segment,” he said. “In fact, we will top up our portfolio by at least ten newcomers. With that, we will offer a choice of no less than 48 different AMG performance cars.” Last year, Mercedes-AMG sold close to 70,000 units globally, which the company says is more than double its sales within two years.

It added in a release that the drivers for this growth were performance variants of the popular C-Class sedan, wagon, coupe and cabriolet range, while the GT has also had an impact.

“This is how Mercedes-AMG is making a sustained contribution to the success of Mercedes-Benz”, said Daimler AG board member responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars marketing and sales Ola Kallenius. “Over the first eight months of this year, we sold over 1.3 million Mercedes-Benz vehicles – more than ever before. That’s a plus of around 12 per cent compared with last year.”

Mercedes held off the reveal of its electric SUV that was teased earlier in the week and will instead rip the covers off its green machine on the show stand during the press conference.

Keep an eye on GoAuto.com.au for all of the latest from the show floor.

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