It's finally here. Five and a half years after Mercedes-Benz first said they were going to shove a Formula 1 engine into a street-legal car, we finally have the finished product. The AMG One is alive, and it delivers on all the promises Mercedes made. There's an F1 engine at its core. It is road legal. And it packs a combined 1,049 horsepower (782 kilowatts) from its hybrid powertrain.
"With the Mercedes-AMG One, we have more than pushed the boundaries. 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," said Philipp Schiemer, chairman of the management board for Mercedes-AMG. "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."
F1 Engine In A Street Car
The heart of the AMG One is without question its engine. From the first announcement way back in 2017, it's been known that Mercedes was using a legit F1 engine for the One. It's also been a source of some frustration, getting it to actually work in a street application. But work it does – the 1.6-liter V6 internal combustion engine spins to a glorious 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 (422 kW) on its own. And it still meets Euro 6 emission standards.
The amazing engine is only half the powertrain story, figuratively and literally. Four electric motors combine to give the 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 (120 kW) to the crankshaft. The fourth motor is the one tied to the high-tech turbocharger, which Mercedes-AMG says adds another 121 hp (90 kW) to the mix. That motor can also recoup energy from the turbo as exhaust gases spin it up, which can be sent elsewhere.
Electrified For Shocking Performance
In addition to the engine, Mercedes engineers spent considerable time on the One'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.
Gallery: 2023 Mercedes-AMG One
The result is a car with over 1,000 combined hp that maintains battery temperatures of around 45 degrees Celsius. It can go 11.2 miles on electric power alone, and it weighs approximately 3,730 pounds (1,695 kilograms). With all systems brought to bear, the One will accelerate from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.9 seconds, making the most of its AMG 4Matic + all-wheel-drive system and new seven-speed automated manual transmission developed specifically for the hypercar. Perhaps more impressive is its 0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) time of just 7 seconds. Flat out, the AMG One will reach 219 mph.
Suspension And Body
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. The struts are mounted transversely to the direction of travel, effectively replacing the traditional stabilizer bar to reduce body roll. Driving submodes can adjust the suspension for either Comfort, Sport, or Sport +, depending on one of several overall drive modes available on the One. Torque vectoring with the AWD system also comes in various flavors depending on the chosen drive mode.
As you can imagine, the body is a case study in aerodynamics. It generates negative lift at speeds above 31 mph, though Mercedes is shy about disclosing just how much downforce is available. Perhaps that's because it depends on the particular drive mode chosen, as the One is awash with active aero components. 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.
Interior And Features
The Formula 1 experience isn't limited to the engine or suspension. Inside the AMG One you'll find deeply sculptured 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 as almost an afterthought. This isn't entirely an F1 experience, however, as you'll find snazzy climate control vents and speaker grilles blended seamlessly into the carbon fiber/leather surroundings. The butterfly doors contain power windows. Air conditioning keeps driver and passenger cool. And a camera replaces the traditional rear-view mirror.
Outside, the AMG One wears special ten-spoke wheels with nine-spoked forged magnesium wheels as an option, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 M01 tires. They were developed specifically for the hypercar, and with six-piston calipers grabbing 15.6-inch carbon-ceramic disc brakes in front (four-piston calipers with 15-inch discs are at the rear), it's safe to say the One should turn and stop just as good as it accelerates. Possibly even better – rumors have long been whispered about Mercedes seeking a Nurburgring record with its benchmark hypercar. Now that it's official, could such a run be in the making?
For that, we'll have to wait and see. We'll also have to see if Mercedes plans any adjustments to previously reported details on AMG One production. The automaker's latest announcement was absent such information, though we've known for some time that just 275 are planned at a price of $2 million. And each one is already spoken for.
That doesn't mean you'll never see one in public. The AMG One will have its public debut near the end of June, appearing at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed.