Currently reading: New Mercedes-AMG One is 1049bhp Formula 1 car for the road
Hypercar finally ready with arsenal of advanced tech including V6 hybrid powertrain

Mercedes-AMG has at last shown the spectacular, Formula 1-inspired One hypercar in production form, with customer deliveries planned to start later this year.

Announced by the Mercedes-AMG Project One concept at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, the hardcore coupé is the most potent Mercedes-AMG road car yet, combining a modified version of the firm’s turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 grand prix engine with four electric motors for a combined output of 1049bhp.

With a top speed limited to 219mph, it also becomes the brand’s fastest production car, eclipsing the 214mph-capable Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR from 24 years ago.

The two-seat, left-hand-drive hypercar is the result of a close collaboration between Mercedes-AMG’s regular road car operation and the UK-based Mercedes-AMG F1 team and AMG High Performance Powertrains division.

To be produced in a run of no more than 275, all of which are already accounted for at a price of $2.75 million (£2.2m), the One was originally planned for 2019 but encountered a troubled gestation, chiefly due to the emission compliance of its high-tech powertrain and its F1-grade active aerodynamics.

“I will have to go back to check the meeting minutes, but I’m sure we were drunk when we said yes,” Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius joked about the project recently.

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The basis of the advanced new rival to the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a carbonfibre monocoque with an integrated steel roll bar. This supports a large rear subframe structure for the petrol-electric powertrain and a rear chassis of carbonfibre and titanium.

The production version of the One largely holds true to the appearance of the original concept. However, every aspect of its exterior design has been updated in a bid to attain the lofty performance targets regularly hinted at by Mercedes-AMG during the five-year development programme.

The body, a combination of carbonfibre and composite plastic, has been developed to generate maximum downforce.

It features active elements within the cooling ducts at the front end, louvres on top of the front wheelhouses and a complex extendable two-piece rear wing.

There are three different aerodynamic modes: Highway, in which the ducts and louvres are closed and the rear wing is retracted; Race Max Downforce, in which the ducts and louvres are opened and the rear wing is extended fully; and Race DRS (for Drag Reduction System), in which the ducts and louvres are closed and the rear-wing flap is retracted.

Cooling also plays a key role in the coupé’s appearance, with large ducts in the nose, an airbox that arcs over the cabin and sizeable extractors at the rear to draw hot air out of the engine bay.

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The centre-locking 19in front wheels and 20in rear wheels, standard in forged aluminium and optionally in forged magnesium, feature carbonfibre elements to smooth airflow and aid heat dissipation from the brakes and wheelhouses. They are shod with bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R M01 tyres.

The longitudinally mounted V6 is a variant of the British-engineered F1 engine that has powered Mercedes to eight consecutive constructors’ titles. It develops peak power of 566bhp at 9000rpm, 2000rpm shy of the redline.

To ensure that it satisfies all existing emission regulations, it receives electrically heatable catalysts and petrol particulate filters. It also uses a titanium rear silencer.

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The four electric motors include those used on more recent Mercedes-AMG grand prix cars. A 121bhp motor is housed on a shaft between the turbocharger and the electric compressor, while a 161bhp motor is positioned on the engine, connected to the driveshaft. The further two motors, making 161bhp, are integrated in the front axle.

Overall power is 1049bhp – 329bhp more than the previous most powerful AMG road car, the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series. By comparison, the Valkyrie develops 1160bhp and the SF90 Stradale 986bhp.

Mercedes-AMG does not quote a torque figure for the One, because “the complex nature of the drivetrain doesn’t allow a representative figure”. It does, however, claim the One can sprint from 0-62mph in 2.9sec, 0-124mph in 7.0sec and 0-186mph in 15.6sec.

Drive is sent through a newly developed seven-speed automated manual gearbox featuring hydraulic operation, a four-disc clutch and steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

There are six driving modes: Race Safe, Race, EV, Individual, Race Plus and Strat 2, the last two reserved for track use.

Race Safe provides ondemand hybrid properties from the powertrain. In Race, the engine is always engaged and is used to charge the battery. EV is a pure-electric mode.

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Race Plus engages an active aerodynamic function that deploys the rear wing at a predetermined angle for added downforce, lowers the suspension and provides what AMG describes as “special performance management” of the powertrain.

Strat 2 (its name derived from the Strategy 2 setting on Mercedes-AMG’s F1 cars) takes everything a step further, bringing even more extreme aerodynamic settings, a firmer suspension tune and full power from all power sources.

On top of all this, there is a Charge button that enables the driver to supplement brake-energy recuperation with charging of the battery via the engine.

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Underpinning the One is a race-grade pushrod suspension system in a five-link design both front and rear, each with transversely mounted dampers, adjustable struts and ceramic ball bearings in the wheels, rather than conventional steel ones, for a reduction in friction.

The driver can choose between Comfort and Sport settings in Race Safe, Race and EV modes and between Sport and Sport+ settings in Race Plus and Strat 2 modes.

An electronic traction control system, meanwhile, offers no fewer than nine stages of engagement.

The One’s interior is trimmed in a combination of synthetic leather and carbonfibre. The thin, non-adjustable seat squabs are mounted directly to the floor of the monocoque, placing the driver and passenger as low as possible in an inclined position, their hips lower than their feet.

The airbag-equipped F1-style rectangular steering wheel has shift lights and rotary controls for the driving modes, traction control system and rear wing, while the pedal box also offers a good deal of adjustment. Two rectangular digital displays are mounted to the dashboard, one before the driver for the instruments and one in the centre for car data and infotainment functions.

Air conditioning and electric windows are standard, as is a digital rear-view mirror, which operates via a camera in the absence of a rear window. A central storage area houses two USB-C ports.

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There’s no provision for carrying luggage, although smaller items can be stored behind the seats and above the centre console.

The fastest Mercedes road cars to date

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

202mph: AMG bade farewell to the GT by turning it into a track monster that could destroy lap records around the globe. With a flat-plane-crank V8 producing 720bhp, the GT Black Series was the most powerful AMG before the One and able to hit 202mph.

1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

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214mph: A homologation special to allow Mercedes to compete in GT1 racing, the CLK GTR featured a 612bhp 6.0-litre V12 that could propel it from 0-60mph in 3.8sec. You will be extremely lucky to ever see one on the road, as just 20 coupés and six roadsters were built.

2009 Mercedes-McLaren SLR Stirling Moss

217mph: Mercedes’ 2000s F1 tie-up with McLaren gave rise to the SLR, one of the most iconic GTs of the modern era. The 641bhp Stirling Moss was the final version and also the fastest: despite the lack of a windscreen, it could reach 217mph.

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sabre 1 June 2022

Mercedes F1 team should double its efforts to run at the top. The current pale performance would do harm to Mercedes-AMG One sales, since it is now Mercedes-AMG Three.

volvocu 1 June 2022

Performance dtats a bit underwhelming? I expected more from Mercedes' race car TBH, I'm sure it handles like a race car though. The top speed is somehow very low too, presumably due to the gear ratios?

Overdrive 1 June 2022
Thinking the same. MacLaren 720S does the 0-124mph in around 7.8 secs and it 'only' has 720hp (although dyno tests show it actually has about 800hp at the crank, but still).

For something well over 1000hp, with the instant thrust of electric motors, that is practically a race car the road I was expecting better performance figures!

Scribbler 1 June 2022

Yes, the headline statistics look pedestrian given the price and the abilities of cheaper high-performance cars currently in production.

It's a lot of money for a V6. The handling and driving dynamics will need to be stellar to justify the price and the hype. Then again, all of the production output has already been allocated.

I am sure that we won't be seeing any on of these cars on UK public roads - but that's also true of many other cars that Autocar covers.

Symanski 31 May 2022

And it looks that you can get in and out of the car without a team of technicians lifting you.   Big difference to the Valkyrie!

 

And I bet this is production ready yet the Valkyrie seems to still be getting development hours spent on it.   Very few real-world displays of the car so far and stories of the Aston Martin F1 team having to send out technicians to get it running.   That was even reported in their quarterly results, apparently.

 

Now what we need is a video of someone from Autocar (or Carfection) driving one.

 

Bob Cat Brian 1 June 2022
Symanski wrote:

And it looks that you can get in and out of the car without a team of technicians lifting you.   Big difference to the Valkyrie!

 

And I bet this is production ready yet the Valkyrie seems to still be getting development hours spent on it.   Very few real-world displays of the car so far and stories of the Aston Martin F1 team having to send out technicians to get it running.   That was even reported in their quarterly results, apparently.

 

Now what we need is a video of someone from Autocar (or Carfection) driving one.

 

 

Wow, you're dull. Did you get fired from Aston Martin or something?

macboy 1 June 2022

But it's true Bob Cat Brian. The Valkyrie isn't designed to have actual normal humans in it (or getting in and out of it) whereas this is at least capable of being driven by people who aren't jockies! And I'd wager it's going to have been endurance tested for more hours than Aston Martin has done with every car it's released in the past five years combined.

Bob Cholmondeley 1 June 2022
macboy wrote:

But it's true Bob Cat Brian. The Valkyrie isn't designed to have actual normal humans in it (or getting in and out of it) whereas this is at least capable of being driven by people who aren't jockies! And I'd wager it's going to have been endurance tested for more hours than Aston Martin has done with every car it's released in the past five years combined.

What either car is like to get in or out of, will be irrelavent to most owners. For most, all that exotic engineering will just sit in airconditioned storage, waiting for the value to rise.

 

What a waste...

scrap 2 June 2022

The Valkyrie looks out of this world though. This AMG is ugly. That matters. No one's going to do the grocery shop in either car after all.