This is the really very final production version of the 1,000bhp+ Mercedes-AMG One

By topgear, 01 June 2022

This is the really very final production version of the 1,000bhp+ Mercedes-AMG One

Conceived during the Palaeolithic period, strength tested throughout the Middle Ages and assembled following the fall of Constantinople, Mercedes-AMG has finally revealed the production version of its long-awaited hypercar.

Yes, it's been that long, AMG. After a seemingly interminable wait comes the Mercedes-AMG One: a two-seat Formula One car for the road.

Not a figure of speech, but a fact, because the AMG One famously uses the 1.6-litre turbo hybrid V6 from Lewis Hamilton’s F1 car. Well, when Hamilton’s F1 car was fast.

AMG worked closely with the F1 bods at Brixworth to build a turbocharged combustion engine with four electric motors: one on the turbo, another on the engine and two driving the front wheels, each able to spin up to 50,000rpm. This whipcrack quick V6 is mounted in the middle, said to rev faster than a nat-asp V8 thanks to a raft of F1-derived solutions.

Like an electrified turbo. Spur gears controlling the cams. Pneumatic valve springs in place of mechanical ones. And so on. It revs to 11,000rpm – a little shy of Gordon Murray’s T.50 and the Aston Martin Valkyrie, but still. Eleven thousand. It’s capped there to preserve the life of the unit, because of course it’s a road car.

More F1 tech arrives in the shape of the MGU-K, which harvests surplus exhaust gas energy and stores it in the battery or feeds it straight into the electrified front axle. With everything singing together – MGU-K, MGU-H, front axle motors and engine – the whole thing punches out 1,048bhp. Hilariously, AMG can’t tell us the torque figure because of the “complex drivetrain”. That’s right, the One is too complex for human minds.

Fast enough to melt thine minds, of course. AMG reckons on 0-62mph in 2.9secs, 0-124mph in 7.0secs, 0-186mph in 15.6secs and a top speed of 219mph. On the other end of the scale, it’s capable of just over 11 miles on battery power alone, while combined emissions stand at 198g/km. Weight? 1,695kg.

The F1-derived battery gets special coolant that flows through each individual cell for optimal temperatures at all times, and features numerous lightweight concepts to keep its weight down. To this engine and battery setup comes a seven-speed automatic manual transmission developed specifically for the AMG One. It’s light, and both this and the engine are bolted directly onto the carbon fibre monocoque as load-bearing members. Just like in an F1 car.

Around this monocoque comes an aluminium chassis, with five link suspension and a pair of adjustable struts front and back. Indeed, the coilovers get pushrod spring struts across the direction of travel, in order to prevent roll through “very rapid directional changes”. The dampers are adaptive of course, ranging hilariously from Comfort, Sport and Sport+ settings, the latter available only through the car’s Race Plus and Strat 2 drive modes.

The all-wheel-drive chassis – which can be lowered front and back as part of its active aero – also gets torque vectoring, though ABS and three-stage ESP are concessions to its road-going duties. Probably worth keeping those on until you’re fully acclimatised to 1,048bhp.

Plenty of time to take in those looks, then. More obviously a road car than the Valkyrie, the body is all function over form. ‘Muscular’ is how AMG describes it, and there’s no denying its presence. Low, wide with a ‘wasp’ waist designed for optimum aero efficiency, it’s said to generate downforce from as little as 31mph. Which should make the drive to do your weekly shop… entertaining.

It's kept the proportions of the car we’ve seen since the Middle Ages of course, incorporating that gaping front with huge intakes, bonnet vents, active flaps on the diffuser, that roof-mounted intake, a two-part rear diffuser and an active rear wing. Squint, and it’s very clearly the descendant of the CLK GTR road car from the Nineties, which of course is no bad thing.

Inside, it’s about as pared back as a multi-million pound hunk of unobtanium gets. A pair of racing seats fixed into position (the pedal box and wheel are adjustable), a multifunction F1-style steering wheel, and a pair of 10in digital displays ahead of the driver and in the centre. A screen replaces the rear-view mirror, and there’s lots of exposed carbon fibre for that full ‘box box’ feel.

“The immense technical challenges of making a modern F1 powertrain suitable for everyday road use have undoubtedly pushed us to our limits,” explains AMG boss Philipp Schiemer, who of course took over the project once championed by former AMG CEO Tobias Moers. “Over the duration of the development period, many may have thought that the project would be impossible to implement.

“Nevertheless, the teams in Affalterbach and the UK never gave up and believed in themselves. To put such a hypercar on wheels is certainly unique,” he added.

So then, here it is. AMG’s road-legal F1 car. It’s been a long time coming, but has the wait been worth it?

TEXT Vijay Pattni

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