Once upon a time about roughly five years ago, Mercedes-AMG teased us with the idea of a road-going hypercar, based around the same 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 hybrid engine that propelled Lewis Hamilton to his fourth Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship. Since then, the project – dubbed the Mercedes-AMG One – has gone through a series of delays and setbacks, with Mercedes boss Ola Källenius even once joked about being “drunk” when he approved the project.
Well, drunk or not, the final production version of the Mercedes-AMG One has now finally emerged from the darkest dungeons of AMG’s Affalterbach office – and although it might have “pushed [them] to [their] limits” (of their sanity, we imagine), it’s nothing short of an engineering marvel.
The premise of the One hasn’t changed since its original teaser, although Mercedes-AMG had to make some alterations to the powertrain in order to make it road legal. For one, you don’t need an entire team of engineers to start the car. The 1.6-litre turbocharged engine’s red line has also been lowered down to “just” 11,000 rpm – although we don’t think anyone would be too upset about that.
There’s still the MGU-H and MGU-K systems derived from the actual F1 cars, however, making up two of the four total electric motors on-board. The ‘H’ and ‘K’ in the acronyms stand for heat and kinetic energy, and the systems work to generate extra power that have been recouped from otherwise wasted energy sources, such as the heat from the exhaust gasses.
As for power, the tiny 1,599 cc V6 engine alone already makes 574 hp – that, if you’re counting, is an incredible 359 hp per litre. And when you pair it to the four electric motors on board, the Mercedes-AMG One boasts a total output figure of a meteoric 1063 hp, all in a road-legal car that weighs 1,695 kg.
With all that power, the Mercedes-AMG One rockets from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds, 200 km/h in seven seconds flat, and 300 km/h in 15.6 seconds if you keep your foot buried flat, onward to a top speed of 352 km/h.
The Mercedes-AMG One’s battery pack also inherits the cell arrangement and direct cooling system of the W07 Hybrid F1 car, although its capacity has been expanded significantly to 8.4 kWh – even more than the new GT 63 S E Performance. Despite the bigger battery, however, its EV mode is only limited to just 18.1 km of range.
At least, you still get a rated fuel economy of 8.7 litres per 100 km (in a 1,063 hp hypercar, imagine that). And yes, the One is also a plug-in hybrid, capable of accepting up to 3.7 kW of AC charging power – no charging times were provided, however.
Other F1-inspired goodies include a full carbon fibre monocoque and body panels, massive air intake on the roof, a stripped out interior with F1-style steering wheel, F1-style drag reduction system (DRS) system for the rear wing, and – adorably – a ‘Strat 2’ driving mode in reference to the infamous “party mode” used by the F1 team for qualifying, which turns to everything up to 11.
But the Mercedes-AMG One is more than just an F1 car for the road, because there are many things on here that would immediately make the car illegal in the championship – aside from the obvious ones like air conditioning.
Most notably are the active aerodynamics, which uses the active flaps in the front diffuser, louvres on the front fenders, and the massive two-piece extendable rear wing to not only increase downforce, but also adjust front-to-rear aero balance on the fly, corner to corner.
Mercedes-AMG did not provide a price for the One, because if you had to ask, you probably can’t afford it anyway. Several outlets are reporting a figure of around GBP2.5 million (approx. RM13.7 mil) a pop, although it really doesn’t matter any more since they’re only building 275 units of the One, and all of them have already been spoken for.