Remember the Mercedes-AMG Project One? It was first unveiled in concept form back in 2017, and it’s literally a street-legal Formula 1 (F1) car. The challenges of developing such a vehicle that’s legal for the streets are monumental, which is why it took them five years to release its final production version. Finally, in 2022, we now have the Mercedes-AMG One, and it’s everything we’ve been expecting from one of the most successful teams in F1 and more.
The design of the Mercedes-AMG One stays true to the concept. It’s almost unchanged from when the first prototype was released, with only the rear end being slightly redesigned to have a longer lip above the taillights. Other minute changes are found in its rear diffuser housing the triple exhausts, as well as the removable carbon fiber engine covers with NACA air intakes. Of course, in its transition to a road-legal vehicle, the side mirrors are much larger compared to the ones in the concept car.
The Mercedes-AMG One’s comprehensive aerodynamic parts all feature active aero, and they can be configured in three different settings: Highway, Track, and Race DRS.
“Highway” is the standard mode, in which the louvers are closed and the front flaps are extended. The rear wing is also retracted when in this mode. “Track”, on the other hand, adds five times more downforce by folding the front flaps, opening the louvers, fully extending the rear wing, and lowering the suspension by 37 mm at the front and 30 mm at the rear. Lastly, since this is an F1 car for the road, after all, a “Race DRS” low drag mode reduces downforce by 20 percent, but this makes your car more slippery through the air, thus making it easier to overtake opponents.
The wheels have also been redesigned, as it now uses a 10-spoke forged aluminum design with aerodynamic carbon fiber covers. As an option, a set of 9-spoke magnesium forged wheels with a patented bionic design and wheel covers are also available. Those wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R M01 tires measuring 285/35 ZR19 at the front and 335/30 ZR20 at the rear. Inside those wheels are carbon-ceramic composite brakes that measure 398 mm at the front and 380 mm at the rear, both with four-piston calipers.
Inside, the Mercedes-AMG One unapologetically puts function over form. In terms of creature comforts, you only get two USB ports, automatic climate control, a digital rearview mirror since you don’t have a rear windshield, and two 10-inch displays–one as the gauges and the other for the MBUX infotainment system. Those racing bucket seats, which are upholstered in Nappa leather and black Dinamica microfiber, only come with a two-position recline, and these can’t be slid forward and backward. Instead, the pedals and passenger’s footrest are the ones that can be adjusted. At least the F1-style steering is electrically adjustable.
Staying true to its roots from F1, the engine is likewise from their racecar, but it’s not from their latest W13 E Performance racecar. Since development started in 2017, it is using the 1.9-liter 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine from the W07 racecar. This is mated to a set of four electric motors, and its combined output is 1,049 hp. The Mercedes-AMG One is all-wheel drive (AWD) and the front axle that’s powered solely by electric motors offers true torque vectoring for the best possible speed when exiting corners. The front electric motors also are capable of up to 80 percent recuperation when braking and decelerating, which quickly charges the lithium-ion battery that features direct cooling.
Six drives modes are available to choose from. Race Safe prioritizes the electric motors while Race is your typical hybrid mode that preserves the battery’s electric range. EV mode allows for zero-emission travel for up to 18.1 kilometers thanks to the 8.4 kWh battery while Race Plus utilizes the active aero lowers the ride height and firms up the suspension.
Are you still able to keep up? Yeah, because there are more driving modes. Strat 2 offers maximum power and the most aggressive suspension and aerodynamic setup. This mode makes the suspension extremely firm as well, which makes it only recommended for track use. Individual is basically self-explanatory, as this allows you to set your own parameters. Lastly, Race Start allows a 0-200 kph time of an insanely-fast 7 seconds, though they did not disclose its 0-100 kph time. As for its top speed, the Mercedes-AMG One can hit up to 352 kph.
275 units of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG One will be produced, and even if you can afford its $2.72 million price tag, you can’t buy one anymore because all units have been spoken for.
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