We’re only a few months away from the fourth anniversary of the Mercedes-AMG One’s original reveal. And yet, we’ve been able to see and hear the car turn a wheel in anger in the last few weeks, and the first customer cars won’t be handed over until the third quarter of 2021 at the earliest.
The problem is the engine. At the core of the hybrid setup is a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 borrowed from Mercedes-AMG’s F1 programme, and as you’d probably expect, getting such a thing to reliably work in an emissions-compliant road car is easier said than done. Originally, the unit was set to idle at 4000rpm, 1000rpm down from the idle speed of an F1 car, but engineers ended up having to reduce this to 1250rpm. That alone delayed the project by nine months.
The hypercar will surely be worth the wait, though. It looks like an absolute weapon in this Nurburgring testing footage, and surprise, surprise, the One sounds an awful lot like an F1 car. The lowering of the V6’s redline from 15,000 to 11,000rpm hasn’t robbed it of too much drama.
Having associated this noise with Formula 1 for a good few years now, it’s pretty weird to see it emerging from a two-door coupe. What you’re hearing is around 750bhp being extracted from a tiny V6, with supplementation coming from a quartet of electric motors.
Mercedes will no doubt have plenty of issues to iron out before production starts later this year, and indeed, the test mule in the second embedded video can be seen stopping for a little while before being restarted and heading off for a run. Last month, a One prototype looked to have broken down before even reaching the track.