Emissions compliance are holding up the project
Pretty much everyone except uppity midwestern mothers love the Mercedes-AMG One. Considering AMG promised to put a for-real-like-actual Formula 1 engine in the back, how could you not?
Well, it turns out that Mercedes is having a few issues with getting the engine to comply with emissions regulations, which probably stem from the fact that the engine was never actually designed to leave the confines of the race track.
According to an interview with Top Gear, AMG boss Tobias Moers has revealed that transitioning Lewis Hamilton's turbo V6 hybrid powertrain into something viable for the street is way harder than the AMG team had originally thought, especially when it comes to idle speeds.
"Heat is not the problem," Moers said. "The heat is not high. Getting a stable idle at 1,200 rpm, that's challenging."
You see, normally, AMG's F1 engine idles at 5,000 rpm, and revs all the way to 15,000 rpm, but that won't do.
"You have leakage in the throttles in Formula 1 and nobody cares, because it runs at a 5,000 rpm idle," Moers added. "At a 1,200 rpm idle, you have to meet the emissions regulations. You need a stable, proper idle. If it's unstable, your emissions are unstable."
Dealing with this issue has set the team back by a total of nine months, but Moers says the team is back on track and is currently engrossed in on-road drivetrain development and calibration. It's unclear what the AMG One's final outputs will amount to, as the team has been working to ramp up power as it grapples with driveability and emissions issues. Moers, did, however, confirm the car will redline at an astounding 11,000 rpm.
"We are not on the final power output yet. We used to run it with 40 percent, and we moved up to 60 percent. Now we run it with 80/85 percent. We see room for improvement."
But as AMG ramps up the power, it also has to go back and recalibrate the shift mapping for maximum smoothness. Regardless, the company is aiming to have the AMG One released into customer hands by sometime in 2020, and by the sounds of it, there's still plenty of work to be done by the 200 person team.