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Future models - Mercedes-AMG - Project One

Frankfurt show: Mercedes teases IAA debutantes

EQ-rious: Mercedes-Benz is set to reveal the second member of its EQ electric sub-brand, this time in the form of a small hatch.

Mercedes-Benz Project One hypercar and EQ electric hatch teased ahead of Frankfurt

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Mercedes-AMG logo4 Sep 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

MERCEDES-BENZ has continued its teaser campaign ahead of the Frankfurt motor show next week, revealing darkened images of the Project One hypercar and the second concept vehicle from its EQ electric sub-brand.

The Project One, which uses Formula 1-inspired hybrid drivetrain technology, has a combined output of over 1000hp (745kW) and a top speed of over 350km/h, and will do battle with the likes of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and McLaren BP23 when it is expected to arrive in Australia in 2019.

Mercedes-Benz Asia Pacific senior manager public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy told GoAuto that eight examples of the mega-exclusive Project One are set aside for Australia, out of 300 worldwide.

The single teaser image shows the car’s illuminated headlights, which consist of three LED lights grouped in horizontal fashion.

Shot from front on, the image also shows the low, wide-set stance of the car with a wheel track much wider than the width of the cabin, as well as a Formula 1-style roof-mounted air intake.

While concrete details on the Project One are still thin on the ground, it is believed to be powered by a mid-mounted 1.6-litre V6 engine and hybrid system derived from a Formula 1 racecar, which will send power to all four wheels.

The engine will be built in the same English factory as the brand’s Formula 1 versions, but it is still unknown what changes will be made to the road-going version.

Another vehicle which will be on Mercedes’ stand at Frankfurt will be the second electric vehicle concept from the EQ electric sub-brand, which has also been teased with a single, darkened front-on image.

After the reveal of the Generation EQ mid-size SUV at last year’s Paris motor show, the new concept will come in the form of a small hatch, which will do battle with the likes of the BMW i3.

The image shows a narrow headlight design similar to the Concept A Sedan from the Shanghai motor show in April, as well as an illuminated grille bezel and Mercedes badge, and a swooping lower grille signature.

No details are available on the output and range of the EQ hatch, but will likely utilise a less potent version of the Generation EQ’s driveline, which featured a 300kW/700Nm scalable output battery with 500km of driving range.

Mr McCarthy told GoAuto that Mercedes was keen to launch the EQ sub-brand in Australia, which will happen around 2019 with a production version of the Generation EQ SUV, followed later by the hatch.

When talking of making an electric car more desirable through government incentives, Mr McCarthy floated the idea of abolishing the GST for EV purposes.

“This has an opportunity to, over time, reduce emissions, and unless there is some encouragement – and that doesn’t need to be necessarily in terms of an incentive payment, it could be forgone revenue,” he said.

“We believe the LCT (luxury car tax) will be gone by 2019 because of the EU free trade agreement, the only real avenue to provide some encouragement – because import duty is likely to go then as well – is GST (goods and services tax).

“So rather than the government saying, ‘look, if you buy an electric car we’ll give you X dollars’, if you but an electric car then we’ll forego the GST. To me that seems like a relatively easy way to do it.

“Stamp duty varies between two and four per cent around the nation, if you then added in the GST component, you’re looking at a reasonable incentive.”

He added that a lack of incentives would not stop the roll-out of the EQ brand, but could limit the take-up of EVs.

The two Mercedes models will be revealed in full when the Frankfurt show starts on September 12.

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