Mercedes-AMG ONE production finally starts after years of setbacks

Alexi Falson

It’s been a long, long time coming, but production of the epic Mercedes-AMG One – F1 racer turned road car – has finally begun, after first being revealed to the world back in 2017 and becoming a non-stop headache for the company.

We reported last year that the Mercedes-AMG One looked set to enter production this year, and now we’ve had confirmation that the first of 275 units in total have hit the factory floor, with customer deliveries expected to take place later this year.

At one point during its five years of development, the head of Mercedes even conceded that the board must have been “drunk” to approve such a radical project.

The main problem that Mercedes-AMG has faced over the past few years is tuning the F1-derived 1.6-litre V6 hybrid engine to meet road-legal emissions regulations, with particulate filters that wreaked havoc with its performance.

That, and the fact that the F1 engine prefers to idle at 5000rpm is not, as you can imagine, particularly great for a road car with a sports exhaust.

If you haven’t been paying attention over the past five years of updates, the Mercedes-AMG One is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo V6 hybrid engine that features an electronically-assisted turbocharger running up to 3.5 bar of boost – or 50.7psi with the help of a 90kW e-motor just for the turbo.

Inside, there’s gear-driven camshafts and pneumatic valve springs that allow the V6 to hit its 11,000rpm redline. This is in addition to an electric motor mounted at the crankshaft adding 120kW of boost, with two additional 120kW motors mounted at each of the front wheels.

Combined power figures sit at a massive 782kW, while the torque figure is unknown due to the complexity of the powertrain, although AMG says the One will sprint from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, 0-200km/h in 7.0 seconds and 0-300km/h in 15.6 seconds.

Handling all that power is a specialised seven-speed automated-manual transmission with four shift roads and a four-disc carbon fibre clutch.

Underneath, you’ll find a multi-link suspension setup in a push-rod layout with coil-over springs and adaptive dampers, with six-piston front and four-piston brakes clamping the carbon ceramic discs within the 20-inch forged aluminium wheels.

The complexity doesn’t stop there, either, with Mercedes-AMG giving the One no less than six tailored driving modes that tweak everything from power and traction, to aerodynamics for the active aero bodywork that adds and reduces massive amounts of drag.

No wonder it’s taken the company a long time to get the One into production; it probably would have been easier to design another bespoke F1 car.

Production is now underway for each of the 275 confirmed Mercedes-AMG One units that will be making their way to lucky owners later this year; each of which is very much already accounted for.

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