Mercedes-AMG One Hypercar

Mercedes-AMG One Hypercar


Can you get a Formula One powertrain to work in a road car without exploding? Magazine’s Jack Rix walks you around the Aston Martin Valkyrie’s arch nemesis, the Mercedes-AMG Project One. Car Walkarounds: Chris Harris Drives: Series 25: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here. Make sure you’re subscribed to the official YouTube channel:

We've all dreamed about driving
an F1 car on the public road, haven't we? What it would feel like
on your favourite B-road or booting it onto the motorway, but now there's something that
directly transfers the experience of an F1 car to the road and it's just extraordinary. We're not just talking about
any Formula One car either. This is Lewis Hamilton's Formula One car that's been handing it to the competition
in various iterations for the last five years. It's the car formerly known
as the AMG Project One, now just the AMG one, and it's yours if you can find
around 2.5 million pounds down the back of your sofa. Oh! And you gotta convince
one of the 275 buyers to give you their billed slot. Prototypes of this thing
are already running around. But first customers won't get their cars
until mid-2020, Understandably, there's been
a slight delay getting a Formula One powertrain to behave
in a road car, but nobody has had access to this car
quite like this in a studio. This is our chance to pour
over every detail of this mad project, and where else to begin
but with the engine. Under there is
the actual 1.6 litre V6 turbo lifted directly from Lewis's 2015 F1 car, driving the rear wheels. It will spin to an ear-splitting
11,000 rpm, down from the 14,000 RPM it hits in F1, but then this thing has to idle
at 1,200 rpm, not 4,000, and be capable of doing the school run,
not just setting lap times. Think of it like retraining Usain Bolt
to win the 10,000 metres. AMG says throttle response is better
than a naturally aspirated V8 because there's an electric motor to spin
the turbo up instantly, and when it's not doing that, it harvests any extra energy
created by the turbo and feeds it back into the system. Like F1, this car is all about
recuperating and reusing every drop of energy. But the engine is just the beginning. There's also
three Formula One electric motors, spinning up to 50,000 rpm each and producing 160 horsepower apiece. One of them operates on the crankshaft. The other two are on the front axle, spinning a wheel each
for precise torque vectoring, and then the lithium-ion battery pack
sits behind the seat. Total power output:
at least 1,050 horsepower we're told, but this thing can also run
in a pure EV mode, at which point it can do 15 miles
in total silence and front-wheel drive. Needless to say, it will be stupidly fast. 217 miles per hour flat-out, Naught to 62 in around 2.7 seconds and naught to 124 miles an hour
in under six, and it's that second number that has
our attention. That's 1.2 seconds faster
than a Porsche 918 Spyder and half a second quicker than
the Bugatti Chiron. But lap times is where this thing
should annihilate the competition. There will be a Nurburgring time
at some point. It's a brave man that takes that one on, but interestingly the boss of MG,
who I just had a coffee with, says around a shorter track, this versus
a full-blown F1 car would be a lot closer than we think. Clearly, that's a race we demand to see. The One hasn't so much been styled
as shaped by the wind. Where it's not serving an aero purpose,
the body is smooth and slippery. The 10 spoke wheels available in aluminium
or magnesium have carbon inserts to minimise drag. Even the badge will be airbrushed on
to save weight and reduce resistance. The aero is active too, so down here,
you've got these huge intakes on the front end with movable flaps, depending on whether you want minimum drag
or maximum cooling. Up here, we've got these vents,
these flaps in the front wheel arch, which stand to attention
in maximum-attack mode. Just like that and increase downforce
over the front axle. Moving along, we have the engine intake
sitting up here on the roof, but it's no longer flush
with the bodywork. There's actually a channel that runs
underneath it. That means you get the cleanest,
least turbulent air running into there and into your F1 engine back here. Either side of it, two NACA ducts
that funnel air into the oil coolers, and then we get to
the fin, the central spine, not only a defining characteristic
of this car, but it also improves stability
at high speeds and in the corners and cleaves the airm so when it arrives
at this wing, it's nice and clean and the wing
can work efficiently. And what about this wing? Full width,
electrically deployable. It has a wing within a wing.
How cool is that? Here in its maximum downforce mode, and down there,
the mother of all diffusers. Now there is no figure for downforce
on this car yet, only that it will produce more downforce
than a GT3 race car. Any more than that and the pressure
on the tyres would be just too intense. The first thing you notice
when you climb in is the driving position is nowhere near as
extreme as the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Yep, I've sat in that one, too,
with my feet somewhere up around my ears. Here, your feet are in line
with your hip point, which feels entirely natural. The seats are fixed to the carbon tub, so you move the wheel and pedals instead,
just like the Ford GT. I have to say it does feel
suitably special in here and quite comfortable as well. So what have we got? We've got
two 10-inch screens in front of us, some vents here for the aircon
and an F1-shaped steering wheel with pretty much all the controls
you need right in front of you. One of those is a dial down here that selects your driving mode, and that's
what we're going to focus on, because you will have a pure EV mode,
then you will have a range extender mode. That's when the engine is
just switched on to charge the batteries. After that, a duo all-general hybrid mode,
and after that a maximum-attack mode which you can set to maintain
the battery charge you already have or deplete everything
for that one ballsy hot lap. The stability control, it does have
an interim sport setting, if you like,
but it can be entirely switched off. Even so, I'm told this thing isn't set up
for big smokey drifts. I think I know a couple of people
who might disagree with that. Up here, you have your rear view mirror, which is fed from a camera at the base
of the rear fin. Down here, you have somewhere to put
your smartphone, and that's about it to be honest,
but come on, when you've got a thousand horsepower,
what more could you possibly need? I just can't sign off without talking
about the Aston Martin Valkyrie. For every great champion to produce
their best, they need an archrival, and the Valkyrie is just that. Both these cars are born from F1.
This a slightly more literal translation. The Valkyrie a freak from the mind
of an F1 great, but however they've got there,
what we've ended up with is two cars
with over a thousand horsepower. They're aero-obsessed, weight- obsessed, and both are designed to eviscerate
racetracks. So, just like the P1, the 918
and the LaFerrari defined their eras, well this incredible machine
and the Valkyrie are about to do the same again, albeit by taking us
to an even more extreme place. Tell you what,
it's quite a time to be alive.

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