Mercedes-AMG ONE: 1,063-hp F1 car for everyday driving
For discriminating drivers who need a 1,063-hp Formula 1-derived, $2.7 million car to run errands, go to the track, and beyond, Mercedes-AMG is set to produce its mid-engine ONE hypercar in a limited edition of 275 units worldwide.
Highlights include a carbon-fiber monocoque and carbon-fiber body, a load-bearing engine/transmission unit, active aerodynamics (even on the front wheel arches), a roof-mounted air intake with companion shark fin, and that ultra-cool engine cover. With its complex technology, the Mercedes-AMG ONE offers even more than a Formula 1 racing car, one could argue. It features the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive with hybrid-driven rear axle and electrically driven front axle with torque vectoring. It can also drive solely on electric power.
The two-seater's hybrid drive tech features a 1.6-L turbocharged gasoline V6 engine and four electric motors: two drive the front wheels, one is integrated into the turbocharger, and one is installed directly on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase. It does a 0-to-60 time of under 2.9 sec and has a capped top speed of 219 mph.
The front axle is driven purely electrically. The two 120-kW electric motors on the front axle reach rotor speeds up to 50,000 rpm and are each connected to the front wheels via a reduction gear. In addition, the two electric motors also allow the braking energy to be optimally used for recuperation -- up to 80% under everyday driving conditions. This energy is stored in the battery and is available for a longer electric range or for more drive performance. Each electric motor is controlled by its own power electronics located in close proximity to the electric motors in the floor assembly.
Power is transmitted to the rear wheels by means of a 7-speed manual transmission, completely newly developed for the Mercedes-AMG ONE. It is specifically designed for the high-torque and speed capacity of the powerful Formula 1 hybrid powertrain. Shift rods and the 4-disc carbon-fiber clutch are hydraulically controlled. The gear ratios are designed to minimize the power difference after upshifting and keep the combustion engine at high revs. The locking differential is integrated into the transmission.
The turbocharger is driven by a 90-kW electric motor, accelerating the compressor wheel up to 100,000 rpm before the exhaust gas flow takes over. The Formula 1 designation for this unit is MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit Heat). The electric exhaust gas turbocharger also uses part of the surplus energy from the exhaust gas flow to generate electrical energy as a generator. This is either stored in the high-voltage lithium-ion battery or fed to the electric front axle or the electric motor on the combustion engine. The MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit Kinetic) has an output of 120 kW and is positioned directly on the combustion engine and is connected to the crankshaft via a spur gear system -- another technology that ensures maximum efficiency and performance in Formula 1.
The four overhead camshafts are driven by spur gears. To achieve high engine speeds, the mechanical valve springs have been replaced by pneumatic valve springs. The engine, mounted in mid-engine position in front of the rear axle, revs up to 11,000 rpm. However, for longer durability and the use of commercial super plus gasoline, it deliberately stays below the F1 rev limit.
The Mercedes-AMG ONE starts silently at first by switching on the electric motors on the front axle. In parallel, the catalytic converters are preheated. The combustion engine will not start until the correct catalytic converter temperature is reached. There are six drive modes available: Race Safe, Race, EV (all electric), Race Plus (race track only), Strat 2 (race track only), and Individual (set your own preferences).
Mercedes-AMG says impressive acceleration values are possible with the RACE START function in the Race, Race Plus, and Strat 2 drive programs: The sprint from a standstill to 124 mph (200 km/h) is completed in just 7 sec.
The arrangement of the battery cells and the cell cooling mirror the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 racing car. For everyday use, however, their number is many times greater in the Mercedes-AMG ONE. The capacity of 8.4 kWh is sufficient for a purely electric range of 11.25 miles. Charging is via alternating current and the integrated 3.7-kW on-board charger. In addition, the battery can be supplied with fresh energy via recuperation or from the combustion engine. The high-performance battery features innovative direct cooling with a high-tech coolant that circulates from top to bottom through the entire battery past each cell with the help of an electric pump, and also flows through a heat exchanger attached directly to the battery.
The chassis is an aluminum construction at the front and rear, each with five links and two adjustable suspension struts. The coil-over suspension has several special features: both push-rod spring struts have been installed across the direction of travel. The innovative arrangement of the spring and damper unit replaces the function and use of a conventional tubular cross stabilizer. This solution reliably prevents rolling movements, even during very rapid directional changes, without being uncomfortable.
A special 10-spoke forged aluminum wheel with center lock is exclusive to the Mercedes-AMG ONE. This has a radial carbon-fiber partial cover with an aerodynamically sophisticated shape. Nine-spoke magnesium forged wheels are also an option. At the front, the Mercedes-AMG ONE runs on 10.0 J x 19 wheels with 285/35 ZR 19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R M01 tires, which were developed exclusively for the hypercar, and at the rear on 12.0 J x 20 wheels, with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R M01 tires in size 335/30 ZR 20.
A special, weight-optimized AMG carbon-fiber ceramic high-performance composite brake system is used for deceleration. The front axle sports 6-piston fixed calipers and also internally ventilated and perforated brake discs. The rear axle is fitted with 4-piston fixed calipers. In addition, it has internally ventilated and perforated brake discs measuring 380 x 34 mm.
The design of the carbon-fiber body is inspired by the top class of motorsport. Designers and aerodynamics experts worked closely together on the design. Even the basic body has been aerodynamically designed for maximum downforce and balance. Notable are the active flaps on the front diffuser, which influence the aerodynamic performance at the front axle and ensure excellent aerodynamic balance, and the active air vents in the front wheel arches, which also increase the downforce on the front axle.
The roof is dominated by the air intake derived from Formula 1, through which the engine draws in fresh air as needed. The black intake transitions elegantly into the black, vertical shark fin, which prevents cross-flow and/or a breakaway of airflow at the rear and thus improves cornering stability. The rear wing is a two-piece retractable blade plus integrated adjustable flap.
The interior design is all about minimalist form for mainly race functions. There's a high-quality race steering wheel, and the firmly fixed racing seat-pan sculpture combines aesthetically with the footwell to form a single unit. It also merges smoothly into the sill area at the side and becomes an integral part of the highly sculptural monocoque design.
The slim wing profile of the instrument panel appears light, as if floating. The two high-res, free-standing 10-in. displays are finished with high-quality metal parts and adapted to the instrument panel. There's a high-quality sound system. The rearview mirror is replaced by a screen. It shows real-time footage from a MirrorCam integrated into the rear. Materials-wise, besides metal, there's a fair amount of exposed carbon fiber, magma grey nappa leather, and black DINAMICA microfiber.
All of it looks very, very cool, but there is some bad news -- at least for interested American parties. The Mercedes-AMG ONE is not street legal in the United States. It is street legal in Europe and other parts of the world. Production is slated to begin at the end of this year.