Turns out it’s tricky to make a Formula 1 engine work on the road. Who would have thought?
The Mercedes-AMG One is an audacious project, aimed at caging Formula 1 power in a road-legal (but track-focused) body. Unsurprisingly, developing such a car hasn’t been simple.
Speaking with Top Gear in the UK, Mercedes-AMG boss, Tobias Moers, admitted to delays caused by adjustments on the car’s powertrain.
“My expectation was that we were going to have a time when we have some major issues and we have to solve them,” Moers said.
“We promised. We are going to deliver… We get additional help from outside as well. So, we’re back on track. I’m confident, but we lost maybe nine months or so,” he later explained, prodded on whether his team could deliver on their bold performance promises.
Making an F1 powertrain work on the road is no mean feat. Where the engine in Lewis Hamilton’s Petronas racer can idle at 5000rpm without any issues, emissions regulations mean the road-going version needs to hold a stable idle at 1200rpm.
Customers have, according to Moers, been informed about the nine-month delay, with the AMG boss telling Top Gear the hold-up is “not a secret”.
When it arrives, the One will make 740kW from the combination of a 1.6-litre six-cylinder petrol engine and a pair of electric motors. If the engine’s 11,000rpm redline sounds insane, bear in mind the electric motor can spool up to 50,000rpm when required.
You’ll be able to do 25km on pure-electric power, although AMG hasn’t revealed how big the lithium-ion battery will be to allow that. Power is put to the road through an AMG Performance all-wheel drive system combining hybrid power at the rear, EV power at the front and complex torque vectoring at all four corners.
Just 275 examples of the AMG One will be produced, with eight units confirmed across the Australian and New Zealand markets.
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