What's happening with the AMG One hypercar? Read on.
Almost two years ago, the Mercedes-AMG Project One was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Since then, it’s been renamed to simply the Mercedes-AMG One. This hypercar is powered by a Formula 1 engine and, according to Mercedes-AMG, is the closest thing one will ever find to a street-legal race car. Production is limited to only 275 examples at price of $2.7 million each. All have been sold. Previously, the automaker claimed customers will be receiving their hypercars by the end of this year or early next year, give or take a few months.
A new report from Auto Motor und Sport, however, claims that date has now been pushed back by nearly two years. That’s right. Those customers will have to wait until 2021. What’s going on? Is there a problem? Actually, yes, and it has to do with its engine.
The 1.6-liter V6 hybrid gasoline engine is connected to four electric motors with a total combined output somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,200 horsepower. Sound complex? It is, and that’s the problem. The report claims an F1 engine is proving to be more difficult to adapt to street-legal use than initially planned. Big surprise, right? Hardly. AMG engineers, however, were surprised by the difficulties they encountered as they "underestimated the task” of prepping the 1.6-liter V6 for production purposes. Aston Martin and Red Bull competition, who are currently putting the finishing touches on the also F1-derived Valkyrie hypercar, couldn’t help but crack at a joke at their rival’s expense.
"Instead of Project One, they should now perhaps call the car Project Twenty-One,” one anonymous employee is quoted to have said.
In AMG’s defense, engineers are being forced to make sure the vehicle complies with strict emissions standards set forth by the World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). For non-hypercars and supercars, the simple solution is a power reduction, but that is not possible in this case. Buyers were promised a product with a specific horsepower range and AMG promises to deliver. Another issue the report touches upon are the unique needs of an F1 engine. For example, you simply can’t hop into an F1 car and hit the ignition but rather the oil has to be warmed up first.
Also, F1 cars don’t even have starter buttons or conventional ignitions in general. Instead, an external starter is required. Those factors combined with such a small motor spinning ridiculously fast, require further attention. We don’t doubt AMG engineers will figure things out, but long delays are typically never good.