Rumors have been circulating for the past several weeks that Mercedes-AMG is working on a hypercar to rival the upcoming AM-RB 001 being developed by Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing. Now we have a few more details of what we might expect.
According to Automobile‘s Georg Kacher, the project known internally as R50 is slated to bridge the gap between a road-going supercar and a Le Mans prototype. It’s curb weight is expected to come in under 2,900 pounds, which would make it significantly lighter than the McLaren P1 (3,285 lbs), LaFerrari (3,500 lbs), or Porsche 918 Spyder (3,600 lbs).
Power could come from one of two sources. Some are expecting a road-converted version of the all-conquering, 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain developed for use in Formula One – albeit with significant modifications for usability and longevity and an onboard starter motor. However others suggest the powertrain could be based on AMG’s high-strung 2.0-liter turbo four. Either way, output is expected to top 1,000 horsepower.
With such little weight to motivate and so much power on tap, the R50 is tipped to hit 60 in about 2 seconds en route to a top speed in excess of 220 miles per hour. Chassis tuning by Lotus ought to help it scythe through a racing circuit with mind-blowing pace.
Other elements of the design are anticipated to include active aerodynamics and suspension and a cockpit in which the driver and passenger are seated in a recumbent position akin to a grand prix racer, with no instrument panel – just an LED tachometer and a head-up display.
Pictured are some of the most radical supercar designs from Mercedes history, including the Vision Gran Turismo, AMG GT R, SLR McLaren Stirling Moss, CLK GTR, the C111 and C112 concepts, and (above) the Silver Arrow from the 2011 LA Design Challenge.
We may not have to wait much longer, however, to see the R50’s design in the metal (or, most likely, carbon). The German automaker is expected to unveil the R50 at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, slated to open its doors in less than a month from now. The Daimler board is said to have signed off on a solitary concept car, but if response is positive enough and AMG boss Tobias Moers gets his way, production could be approved at anywhere from 25 to 250 units.