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How Lewis Hamilton is helping AMG’s hybrid future

Stephen Ottley

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Thursday 31st December, 2020 - 10:26am

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The Mercedes-AMG Project One is powered by an F1-based V6 turbo

Mercedes-AMG will accelerate its electric future in 2021 by launching a range of high-performance hybrid hero models wearing the E Performance name.

And the German giant will start with the long-awaited Project One, the hypercar based on its F1 title-winning car from the 2015 season. So naturally, 2015 and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton will be central to the launch of the Project One and E Performance.

He recently appeared in a new video for the brand dubbed ‘After Work with Lewis Hamilton’ – which you can watch below – that underlines his role in the development of the Project One.

“I can still hardly believe that there will soon be a hypercar with a Formula 1 engine,” Hamilton said. “We won the world championship with this engine in 2015, and I was involved in its development for a long time. I was able to drive the Project One during the filmwork for the new campaign, and I’m very proud of the extraordinary effort Mercedes-AMG has invested in this project. This car is absolutely unique.”

The Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe is set to get hybrid power in 2021

But the Project One is only the tip of the spear for AMG’s E Performance. The company has confirmed that two electrified models will arrive in 2021, believed to be new hybrid variants of the GT 4-door and S63.

The GT 4-door has long been expected to introduce a new hybrid powertrain that combines the brand’s existing 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine with an electric motor; having first been previewed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in the GT Concept. This new plug-in hybrid system is expected to produce more than 600kW of power (up from 470kW) but also drive for short distances on electric power alone.

The same powertrain is expected to be fitted to the S-Class to create the S63 E Performance, giving customers looking for sports sedans with a green bent more choice.

AMG has more F1-tech trickling down to its production cars too. The next-generation C63 is widely expected to ditch its current twin-turbo V8 for a new four-cylinder engine with an F1-derived turbocharger. Dubbed the eTurbo this new system takes lessons from the company’s F1 dominating 1.6-litre V6 by splitting the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ elements of the turbocharger. It also incorporates a small electric motor to spin up the turbine from standstill to create a new system that provides more performance and less lag by forcing compressed air into the engine as well as more fuel for greater combustion.

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