After five and a half years, Mercedes-Benz has officially put a Formula 1 engine into a street-legal car. Dubbed the AMG One, this hypercar delivers on a number of promises Mercedes made during the car’s development. Namely, the F1 engine, a road legal car, and a hybrid powertrain that packs a combined 1,049 horsepower!
“With the Mercedes-AMG One, we have more than pushed the boundaries,” says Philipp Schiemer, chairman of the management board for Mercedes-AMG. “The immense technical challenges of making a modern Formula 1 powertrain suitable for everyday use on the road have undoubtedly pushed us to our limits. Many may have thought, during the development period, that the project was impossible to implement. However, the teams in Affalterbach and Great Britain never gave up and believed in themselves. I have the greatest respect for all the participants, and I am proud of this teamwork.”
The heart of the AMG One is its engine. The 1.6L V6 internal combustion engine has an insane 11,000-rpm redline, using a single turbocharger with electric assist. The engine utilizes double overhead camshafts, air spring valves, direction injection, and a complex exhaust gas cleaning system to produce 566 hp on its own. It even meets Euro 6 emission standards.
The gas engine is only half the powertrain. Four electric motors combine to give the AMG One its overall 1,049-hp rating and all-wheel-drive capability. Two motors are located in front, one at each wheel generating 322 hp combined. The third motor is installed with the gasoline engine, sending 161 hp to the crankshaft. The fourth motor is the one tied to the high-tech turbocharger, which Mercedes-AMG says adds another 121 hp. That motor can also recoup energy from the turbo as exhaust gases spin it up, which can be sent elsewhere.
In addition to the engine, Mercedes engineers spent considerable time on the car’s lithium-ion batteries. Being a plug-in hybrid, it doesn’t carry the sheer number of batteries as you’d find on a pure EV – the total capacity is just 8.4 kWh. But, keeping them cool was critical for optimum performance, leading Mercedes to utilize a complex liquid cooling system for each battery. This also allowed the automaker to keep battery weight down.
The result is a 1,000+ hp car that maintains battery temperatures of around 113 degrees F. It can go 11.2 miles on electric power alone, and it weighs approximately 3,730 lbs. Utilizing all of its systems, the One will accelerate from 0-62 mph in 2.9 seconds. Even more impressive, its 0-124 mph time of just 7 seconds. Top speed for the AMG One is 219 mph.
The One’s monocoque chassis with push-rod suspension is also designed for ultimate performance. You’ll find prolific use of aluminum underneath the body, with five arms and two adjustable struts at the front and rear. Driving sub-modes can adjust the suspension for either Comfort, Sport, or Sport +, depending on different drive modes.
The body of the hypercar was built for pure aerodynamics. It generates negative lift at speeds above 31 mph. You’ll find active spoilers on the front diffuser, ventilation slots in the front wheel arches, and of course with the rear wing. In Race Plus and Strat2 programs under Track mode, Mercedes says downforce is five times higher than in normal highway mode. A third mode called Race DRS is a low-drag mode for reaching top speed.
The Formula 1 experience isn’t limited to the engine or suspension. Inside the AMG One you’ll find deeply sculpted seats that provide a straight-out orientation for your legs. The driver grips a rectangular F1-style steering wheel, with two 10-inch digital screens standing out from the dash. Unlike F1, you’ll still find climate control vents and speaker grilles blended seamlessly into the carbon fiber/leather surroundings. The butterfly doors contain power windows. Air conditioning keeps the driver and passenger cool, and a camera replaces the traditional rear-view mirror.
The AMG One wears special 10-spoke wheels with nine-spoked forged magnesium wheels as an option, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 M01 tires. Six-piston calipers grab 15.6-inch carbon-ceramic disc brakes in front, while four-piston calipers with 15-inch discs are at the rear.
As for the production of the Mercedes AMG One, the automaker’s latest announcement didn’t say, although it’s been known that just 275 are planned at a price of $2 million. Each one is already spoken for.