There are many reasons to be enthusiastic about the start of a new Formula 1 season. This lies not only in the thrill and anticipation of each Grand Prix weekend and the chase for the overall championship, but also in the spectacle of the vehicles themselves. Formula 1 has long been lauded for its huge contribution to the research and development of technologies that gradually trickle down to mainstream cars.
However, it isn’t just the cars we drive that have been propelled by racetrack testing. From non-slip boots to central heating filters, concepts taken from Formula 1 racing have positively impacted on our lives in many more discreet ways, too.
The perfect stage.
Grooved tyres, semi-automatic gearboxes and sensor-based technology were all pioneered by Formula 1 cars of the past. Likewise, innovations in suspension, fuel efficiency and lightweight construction that now feature across the Mercedes-Benz range all started as ideas engineered for the racetrack.
The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL is perhaps best known for its iconic gullwing doors.
Direct fuel injection, for example, became widespread after the success of the W196 in 1954 and its subsequent use in the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
Implemented to place varying constraints on technical teams and therefore to inject an element of unpredictability into the sport, the regulations that welcome in each new Formula 1 season naturally shape the design and production of the competing cars.
The last major changes came in 2014 with the introduction of hybrid turbo power units. However, much to the public’s excitement, this year’s rule changes are aimed at increasing speed potential, improving visual impact and facilitating overtaking.
As Toto Wolff comments, “The new rules for 2017 were designed to make the fastest F1 cars ever through a big increase in aerodynamic performance. They should be more physical to drive and hopefully more spectacular for the fans to watch.”
Revealed from the Silverstone garages back in February, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport’s 2017 contender is the impressionable W08 EQ Power+.
The W08 EQ Power+ is 2000mm wide and 5000mm long. It weighs 728kg.
Emotion and Intelligence.
Illustrated by its long history of hybridisation, a huge focus for the Mercedes-AMG team is producing a car that pushes the limits of performance while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Prof Thomas Weber, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, highlights, “Today, the challenges and complexities faced by F1 are quite similar to those faced by us in designing and developing advanced road cars … to translate efficiency into superior performance.”
The answer? Integration with Mercedes-Benz’s new exclusively electric sub-brand, EQ.
The EQ brand is formulated around the Mercedes-Benz brand values of Emotion and Intelligence.
EQ, which stands for Electric Intelligence, has been created to encompass all customer-focused electric mobility needs. This extends beyond the vehicle itself to include the products and services that will support a completely electric ecosystem.
Seen here, the Concept EQ is the halo model of the new brand and was, consequentially, the inspiration behind the W08’s electric blue visualisation.
The launch of the W08 EQ Power+ makes the F1 car the first Mercedes-AMG Hybrid to receive the EQ Power+ designation. An honour that will now be bestowed upon all future Mercedes-AMG performance hybrids.
Performance of the future.
Celebrating 50 years if Mercedes-AMG. Introducing: the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept.
After the W08, this four-door AMG GT Concept is the first road car to identify within the new brand.
Formula 1 driving dynamics and efficiency are promised by the planned AMG Hypercar. It combines the powerful 4.0‑litre V8 biturbo engine with an additional powerful electric machine and thus ensures extremely immediate response and offers an extraordinarily high system performance.
It gives a sneak preview of the ultimate that is currently feasible with hybrid technology.
The power of today.
Not only affecting the cars of the future, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is one Mercedes-Benz model to already have been given a Formula 1 makeover.
The special Motorsport Edition of the A-Class will appeal to racing fans in particular.
Areas of the front and rear bumper trim are painted in petrol green, and the same colour adorns the rim flanges of the AMG light alloy wheels, the exterior mirrors and the AMG rear aerofoil is embellished with petrol green highlights. Eye-catching details in the interior include the petrol green surrounds of the air vents and the contrasting topstitching in petrol green. The sport seats also have petrol green decorative strips, as have the seat belts.
The Motorsport Edition is available for all engine variants from the A 200 or A 200 d upwards – except the Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC.
For more on the A-Class range click here.
At the hands of Formula 1, research and development in the motor industry is progressing at an astounding rate. To put this into perspective, only 17% of components in the W08 EQ Power+ were carried over from its predecessor the W07 Hybrid. That is even despite a winning season for the Mercedes-AMG team in 2016.
Progress doesn’t wane now the cars have taken to the track, either, as there is scope for major developments to take place throughout the season.
There are no prizes for guessing which team we are backing here at Mercedes-Benz South West. But regardless of the results, we are proud simply to be involved in a sport that propels and celebrates automotive development and long may it continue!