It's a battle of technology versus capacity; can you guess which wins?
Unveiled at the 2017 International Motor Show in Germany, the Mercedes-AMG One has had a troubled birth, and we were beginning to question if Affalterbach's engineers had bitten off more than they could chew. The ambitious project promised that a Formula 1-derived 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine would be adapted to meet the homologation requirements of public roads, and if that wasn't enough of a challenge, the car would aim to feel like an F1 racer on the track too. Finally, on the 1st of June 2022, the production version was presented to the world, complete with that special engine, four electric motors, and an 11,000-rpm redline.
But it's also heavy, so has all that engineering been for naught, or can the hybrid hypercar beat the relatively old-school AMG GT Black Series in a drag race? Let's find out.
For reference, the AMG One produces a combined total of 1,049 horsepower, but it also weighs a hefty 3,737 pounds. The GT Black Series, on the other hand, is not laden with a complex hybrid system and weighs 3,616 lbs. Admittedly, that's still a pretty big number, but the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-plane crank V8 is a heavy hitter, too, delivering 720 hp.
Clearly, the AMG One has a power-to-weight advantage, and its slipperier body surely aids in acceleration too, but what's marvelous about the above video is the distance by which the futuristic hybrid hypercar beats the relatively antiquated Black Series.
Why is Mercedes showing us this? It can't be to market the AMG One - all 275 units have already been sold, despite a base price of around $2.7 million. Well, production of the AMG GT Black Series came to an end in February after just over 1,700 examples were built, so Mercedes isn't going to put any potential buyers off by showing that its premier pure-combustion supercar is slower than its hyper-advanced hypercar. In addition, Mercedes wants to show off just how much of an impact all those years of engineering and development have had, and what better way to do that than by pitting your new halo car against the old poster child?
The regular AMG GT is also dead, and although V8s are likely to continue to exist in low-volume Mercs such as the GT, the current generation's successor is not an unlikely candidate to adopt electrification. Look at the ridiculous power that the new C63 produces (671 hp from a hybridized 2.0-liter four-pot), and it's clear that a smaller hybrid can be far more powerful than a big V8.
The drag race above shows that downsizing can have benefits, but we remain hopeful that the characterful V8 will continue to be a beacon of hope for combustion lovers everywhere. Perhaps the 4.0-liter V8 will live on and hybrid technology will feature on the next GT. Combining both could be a recipe for greatness that even the extraordinary AMG One cannot compete with.