Historical Austro-Daimler marque is honored with 1,200-horsepower plug-in hybrid
Launched in 1899, Austro-Daimler was a historically significant auto manufacturer through the early 20th century. At one stage in 1910, the marque held the honor of making the world's fastest car – the 85-mph (136.8-km/h) Prinz Heinrich, which also has some legitimate arguments for being the world's first sportscar.
The last great car the company made before it closed its doors in 1934 was the six-cylinder, 4.6-liter Bergmeister. The name more or less disappeared for the better part of the 1900s, appearing on a few fancy bicycles in the 70s and 80s, but otherwise lying fallow. But a group of enthusiasts has paid tribute to the historic brand with its vision of a Bergmeister for the 21st century, and boy is she a beauty.
Project Austro-Daimler is not a company. It doesn't own the Austro-Daimler trademarks, it's had no contact with Daimler AG, and its members are keen to point out they're not even contractually bound to each other. But they do share project leader Roland Stagl's vision of building a truly spectacular modern hybrid supercar.
A somewhat awkward combination of a GT car and Shooting Brake, the Bergmeister ADR 630 is classed as a "Shooting Grand," and its stonking powertrain has to go down as the most extravagant plug-in hybrid we've ever seen, easily eclipsing Ferrari's new SF90 Stradale ... although that gorgeous thing is actually a series production machine.
According to CNET, the Bergmeister takes its petrol engine, windshield and suspension from the AMG GT, which rolls with a 4-liter biturbo V8 setup making 476 horsepower and 630 Nm (465 lb-ft) of torque. An apparently detuned version of this engine is augmented with a monstrous 600 kilowatts (805 hp) worth of electric thrust to produce a neck-snapping 1182 horsepower and 1,600 Nm (1180 lb-ft) of torque. So yes, it'll pull a trailer. It'll damn near pull a semi-trailer.
But ludicrously fast hybrids are nothing new – it's the way these guys have achieved it that makes the "Seripa" performance hybrid powertrain interesting. It's electric-heavy, with about two thirds of its power coming from the battery, and that battery is absolutely enormous for a plugin performance hybrid. Where something like the new Ferrari offers around 15 miles (24 km) of all-electric range, you can drive this Bergmeister around for a stunning 155 miles (250 km) without running that AMG V8.
A healthy-sized tank of petrol and a full battery, says the Project Austro-Daimler team, will take you no less than 1,000 km (620 miles) on the tough WLTP test cycle. That's impressive, as is the fact that there are "over 30 different driving modes" available to let you choose exactly how you want to make the power.
A custom chassis and lightweight materials allowed the team to keep the total weight down to 1,650 kg (3,637 lb), an impressive figure indeed given how much battery it must be carrying alongside its dual powertrains.
The project group has already sold the car featured, which was shown at this year's Concours d'Eleganza Villa d'Este for a price that Stagl described as "really expensive." The team would love to build more, and diversify into a few other models, but nothing is confirmed as yet.
Source: Project Austro-Daimler