Billed as the closest thing to a road-going Formula One car, the Mercedes-AMG One, unveiled as a close-to-production concept at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show, is still under development. Mercedes-Benz’s go-fast division released an update on the project that shows the hypercar in action.
Six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton took a break from winning races around the world and trying to save the planet to check in with the team developing the One. Designing a groundbreaking hypercar is an expensive and time-consuming process, and the One stands out from its peers because it uses a street-legal version of the powertrain found in AMG’s championship-winning Formula One car. This explains why development has taken so long. Deliveries are now tentatively scheduled to begin in 2021, about two years later than originally announced, but it sounds — literally — like AMG’s most powerful street-legal model will be worth the wait.
“The sound is pretty much exactly the same as it is in the race car,” Hamilton pointed out. Video footage of the One going around a track hints it will take a turn like a race car, too.
The turbocharged, 1.6-liter V6 is the One’s main source of power, and its main source of delays. Getting it to comply with emissions regulations was easier said than done. It idles at 1,200 rpm, which is high for a road car but low for a Formula One car, which turns at a stratospheric 5,000 rpm when it’s waiting on the starting grid. The electrified part of the powertrain consists of four electric motors, including two that zap the front wheels into motion, and they also need to be fine-tuned for road use. All told, the One will put over 1,000 horsepower under the driver’s right foot. The tradeoff is that the powertrain will require a major overhaul after about 30,000 miles.
Mercedes-AMG will cap One production at 275 units, and pricing starts at $2.7 million. That’s an eye-watering sum, but the hypercar market is stronger than ever, and every build slot was spoken for before the model made its official debut. Don’t expect to bag a used example shortly after deliveries begin; AMG is going to great lengths to ensure reservation holders don’t flip their car for a profit.