Mercedes has released a new teaser video, which shows a camouflaged AMG One prototype screaming around a racetrack in Germany
Mercedes has started testing the new 986bhp AMG One hypercar, as shown in as new video, ahead of its expected launch next year. The £2.4 million, F1-engined, plug-in hybrid hypercar will act as the technological flagship of the Mercedes-AMG, offering competition for the Ferrari LaFerrari and Aston Martin Valkyrie.
Should the production model remain faithful to this prototype, the AMG One will probably be the closest thing we’ll ever see to a Formula 1 car on the road. Like a previously sighted test mule, this isn’t a final production model; items like the exposed bonnet intake and rudimentary quad-exit exhaust setup is expected to change between now and the car’s launch.
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The interior is equally rudimentary and will be trimmed with more user friendly seats, cladding and controls, in place of this prototype’s racing derived steering wheel and bucket seats. However, most of the hypercar’s bodywork – including those scissor doors and enormous rear fin – should be transferred onto the production model untouched.
The last we heard from Mercedes, it was preparing customers for the car with a mobile showroom. The travelling showroom offered up the first chance for Mercedes outsiders to get up close and personal with the vehicle.
Mercedes-AMG One: engine and drivetrain
The Mercedes-AMG ONE uses a version of the 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 hybrid that has propelled the Mercedes team to every Formula 1 drivers and constructors world championship since 2014, and it’s assembled in the same Mercedes High Performance Powertrains plant in Brixworth.
The V6’s 11,000rpm rev limit is lower than the race cars’ (they’re mandated to a 15,000rpm red line, though rarely go beyond 13,000rpm in reality), but the ONE’s plug-in hybrid system – which comprises four electric motors in total – makes up for that by delivering a greater electrical output.
One of the electric motors forms part of an electronic turbocharger in a bid to reduce turbo lag, while the other is linked to the crankcase to augment the 1.6-litre engine’s output with an additional 161bhp, feeding off excess energy from the turbo system. Two more 161bhp motors drive the front wheels to turn the AMG ONE into a four-wheel-drive hybrid hypercar.
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Mercedes says that the AMG ONE’s power unit is good for 986bhp. In terms of outright performance, a top speed in excess of 217mph is promised, and while there’s no 0-62mph time, the Project ONE can dash to 124mph in under six seconds.
The electric motors are fed by an array of lithium-ion battery packs, mounted on the chassis behind the front axle, identical in type and arrangement to those used in the Mercedes F1 car. However, the AMG ONE boasts far more cells to unlock an all-electric driving mode. Mercedes claims its new hypercar will have a maximum electric range of 15.5 miles.
With the front axle motors, the Mercedes-AMG One can recuperate up to 80 percent of the braking energy produced under normal driving conditions and store it for later use, while independent acceleration and braking on each wheel means they can act as a torque vectoring system. The rear wheels receive drive from a brand new eight-speed gearbox, which can be operated via shift paddles on the steering wheel.
As well as offering an all-electric driving mode, the AMG One will feature a “highly dynamic” mode, which Mercedes says uses comparable settings to those used by its Formula 1 racer during qualifying laps. The driving mode automatically switches between combustion and electric drive for the best performance. In addition, the AMG One’s combustion engine will be able to cover the equivalent of over a quarter of an F1 season before it needs servicing.
Mercedes-AMG One: aerodynamics and platform
The AMG-One’s front end is dominated by a collection of huge vents on the front apron and beneath the windscreen, while a pair of flat LED headlights are sunk into the bonnet. Naked carbon aerodynamic flaps are pinned to the car’s sculpted sides, while an air intake perched on the roof feeds the combustion engine.
Around the back, an F1-style shark fin sits above the engine compartment and divides the rear end, while a huge rear diffuser and retractable rear spoiler are also present to provide plenty of downforce. Active aero is found at the front too, with an extending front splitter and movable flaps positioned over the front wheels. The body itself is a carbon-fibre monocoque, but Mercedes has not revealed how much the Project ONE concept weighs.
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The car makes use of adjustable coil-over suspension with push-rod spring struts, carbon ceramic brakes, and the traction control system is three-way adjustable – at start-up the system is switched on completely, but a ‘Sport Handling Mode’ raises the threshold before computer assistance steps it. The traction control system can be switched off entirely, too.
Mercedes describes the cabin as “Formula 1 for two.” Inside, there’s a pair of heavily bolstered bucket seats with adjustable backrests and an F1-inspired square steering wheel. The skinny, uncluttered carbon-fibre dashboard houses two 10-inch displays – one behind the steering wheel and the other mounted in the centre console. A third screen is linked to a camera on the car’s rear bumper and acts as a rear-view mirror.
Is £2.4million a bargain for a Formula 1 car for the road? Let us know your thoughts below…