FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW: Mercedes-AMG Project ONE already sold out

FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW: Mercedes-AMG Project ONE already sold out

Eight AMG hypercars secured Down Under with $500,000 deposits ahead of late 2019 delivery

All 275 examples of Mercedes-AMG’s first hypercar are already spoken for – even before the Project ONE concept that previews it made its world debut in Frankfurt overnight.

Of those, eight will be delivered Down Under, to six Australians and two New Zealanders, all of whom have paid a $500,000 deposit well ahead of first local deliveries in late 2019.

This is despite the fact the left-hand drive vehicle won’t be registerable in most Australian states, and a base local price of about $3.5 million — including import duty and GST, but excluding 33 per cent luxury car tax, which could bring the price to about $4.65m.

Presenting the Project ONE concept to VIPs and media on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show after world Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton drove it on stage, Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche said interest in AMG’s first hypercar was overwhelming from the minute it was confirmed at the Paris motor show last September.

“Since then the telephone at Affalterbach has virtually not stopped ringing,” he said.

“With this sort of exclusivity comes the reality that it will be built in limited numbers.

“This means that some customers will be sad but others will be bursting with excitement. But the car industry is full of emotions and this is exactly what makes it so fascinating.”

Fresh from snatching the 2017 F1 drivers’ and constructors’ championship lead from Ferrari with seven grands prix to go, Hamilton appeared genuinely pumped after parking and then struggling to close the door of the gob-smacking concept car, which was finished just in time for show day.

“Nobody has really done this right and I’m so excited to be involved,” he said.

FULL COVERAGE: More news from 2017 Frankfurt motor show

Mercedes-Benz Australia CEO Horst von Sanden said demand also exceeded supply Down Under, which will receive 3 per cent of the as-yet-unnamed hypercar’s global production run.

That’s partly because AMGs account for 20 per cent of Mercedes-Benz sales here, placing Australia second only to Canada in terms of AMG market penetration.

He wouldn’t reveal the identity of the buyers nor how many missed out, but said many were not just Mercedes-Benz owners and that all were genuine AMG enthusiasts who were not simply investing for profit.

“There were immediate expressions of interest,” said von Sanden. “Then we had to try to come up with a fair selection process. There was a directive from Germany … certain loyalty aspects came into it.”

Apart from its name and exact 0-100km/h acceleration figure, there’s little left to know about the production version of the Project ONE, which is expected to mirror the look of the wild concept.

As we’ve reported, it will set a new hypercar benchmark with 740kW (about 1000hp) of total power output from four electric motors and an F1-derived 1.6-litre V6 that spins to 11,000rpm, allowing it crack 200km/h in less than six seconds on its way to a top speed of more than 350km/h.

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