You’ve seen the camouflaged prototypes and read about the Mercedes-AMG One for years, so sit back, relax and enjoy watching the production model in action for the first time. The F1-engined hypercar might be proving polarising, but it’s still something to behold.
After racing away from the Festival of Speed’s famous starting gate in a cloud of tyre smoke, the silver, green and star-liveried AMG One appears to slow down - this isn’t a timed run after all - but there’s a good reason for that. Like the Decepticon of the motoring world, the AMG One comes to a halt in front of the crowds, before deploying its best party trick. It instantly drops into its track-only ride height setting, its active front fender louvres open and the massive rear wing deploys, increasing downforce by up to 500 per cent.
After that the £2.5 million machine picks up the pace and whooshes up Lord March’s driveway. We say ‘whoosh’, because like the hybrid-era F1 cars the engine is based on, this racing car for the road doesn’t howl like Aston Martin’s Valkyrie. There’s no denying its bellowing soundtrack can still make the hairs on the back of your neck twitch, especially when you know the brain power that went into its execution.
The 1.6-litre turbo-hybrid V6 Formula 1 engine has been through a lengthy five-year development process to reach this stage. However, following a series of delays, setbacks, challenges and even a global pandemic in the mix, AMG’s finest engineers, likely tired, frustrated and fed-up with looking at this forsaken machine, have finally got to show off the Mercedes-AMG One in anger. Hallelujah.
The 1.6-litre turbo-hybrid V6 derived from Lewis Hamilton’s F1 engine is the beating heart of the Mercedes-AMG One, albeit with some modifications to make it road legal. To preserve the long term life of this incredible power unit, the team at AMG Engine Works in Brixworth has limited the engine’s revs to 11,000rpm, though we can’t imagine anyone being too upset with that monstrous figure.
The V6 itself still incorporates genuine F1 tech, such as an electrified turbocharger and the MGU-K and MGU-H units, which generate additional power from otherwise wasted energy sources such as exhaust gases. Speaking of power, the V6 alone produces 565bhp at 9,000rpm, which combines with Mercedes-AMG’s Championship-winning hybrid system to produce 1,048bhp in a road racing machine weighing 1,696kg.
As a result of the car’s holy-grail of a power plant, Mercedes-AMG One will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds, 0-186mph in 15.6 seconds and go on to a top speed of 219 mph. If the car’s owner wants to drive the F1-blooded machine in zero-emissions mode, it’ll travel around 11 miles on battery power alone - far enough to get around Monaco with ease. Just 275 units of the £2.5 million road car are being built, and it’ll compete against Gordon Murray’s Cosworth V12-powered T.50 and the glorious-sounding Aston Martin Valkyrie for the title of this decade’s greatest hypercar.
The Mercedes-AMG development team faced a series of setbacks and challenges to get the AMG-One hypercar into a roadworthy, production-ready form. The Formula 1 racing engine typically idles at around 5,000rpm and requires an entire workforce of engineers and skilled pit crew to be driveable in the racing series. Hence, getting this powerplant into a road-going vehicle capable of popping to the local grocery store, stopping at traffic lights, and delivering unmatchable performance on the race track, all the while meeting strict global emissions targets, has been an unbelievable challenge. Kudos to everyone who worked tirelessly to make this dream project a reality - we can’t wait to see it out on the roads.