New 986bhp F1-engined Mercedes-AMG One caught on camera

Mercedes-AMG’s flagship hypercar has been spotted tearing around the Nurburgring, ahead of its expected launch later this year

Our spy photographers have snapped the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar tackling the Nurburgring. The 986bhp rival for the Aston Martin Valkyrie will break cover later this year, sporting an F1-derived powertrain and plenty of aggressive active aero

These latest images show the Mercedes-AMG One’s various active vanes in operation. Scroll through the images and you’ll see the flap on the rear wing change its angle of attack as the driver passes through the corner and onto the straight. The vents above the front wheels are also wide open to allow turbulent air to escape from the wheel arches.

For the past few months, Mercedes-AMG’s engineers have been putting the £2.4 million One hypercar through its paces, making sure its electrical system and complex Formula 1 title-winning hybrid power unit offers the driveability buyers expect from a production car. 

Unlike the F1 power units, whose hybrid systems only provide boost to the combustion element, the AMG-One’s hybrid system can drive the wheels directly, enabling zero emissions running. 

A previous teaser also offered a glimpse at the hypercar’s production-ready interior. It includes a digital rear view mirror, which is a necessity as the rear space normally reserved for a rear window is obscured by a louvred engine cover and an enormous F1-style shark fin.

Certain elements of the car’s design have also been refined from earlier prototypes. This new mule sports larger door mirrors on longer stalks and a triple-exit exhaust system, which mimics that of the German brand’s F1 car.

Mercedes-AMG One: engine and performance

When it arrives, the Mercedes-AMG One will be one of closest things we’ll ever see to a Formula 1 car for the road. It uses a version of the 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 hybrid engine that has powered Mercedes to six consecutive drivers and constructors F1 titles since 2014, and is assembled in the same Mercedes High Performance Powertrains plant in Brixworth.

The V6’s 11,000rpm rev limit is lower than the 15,000rpm cap forced on Formula 1 cars. but the One’s plug-in hybrid system, which features four electric motors in total, compensates by delivering more electrical output.

One of the electric motors is mounted to the turbocharger, to spin the impeller up to speed and reduce turbo lag, while another is attached to the crankcase to top-up the 1.6-litre engine’s output with an extra 161bhp, feeding off excess energy from the turbo system. Two more 161bhp motors drive the front wheels to give the AMG One four-wheel drive.

Mercedes says the AMG One’s combined 986bhp is enough for a top speed in excess of 217mph, while 0–124mph is dealt with in less than six seconds. No 0–62mph figure has been given at this stage, although it’s likely to be less than three seconds.

The electric motors are fed by an array of lithium-ion cells, mounted on the chassis behind the front axle, identical in type and arrangement to those used in the Mercedes F1 car. However, the AMG One’s battery has far more cells, which offer enough power for an all-electric driving range of around 15.5 miles.

With the front axle motors, the Mercedes-AMG One can recuperate up to 80 per cent of the braking energy produced under normal driving conditions to be stored for later use, while independent acceleration and braking on each wheel means they can act as a torque vectoring system. The rear wheels receive drive from a brand new eight-speed gearbox, which can be operated via shift paddles on the steering wheel.

As well as offering an all-electric driving mode, the AMG One will feature a “highly dynamic” mode, which Mercedes says uses comparable settings to those used by its Formula 1 racer during qualifying laps. The driving mode automatically switches between combustion and electric drive for the best performance. In addition, the AMG One’s combustion engine will be able to cover the equivalent of over a quarter of an F1 season before it needs servicing.

Mercedes-AMG One: design, interior and aerodynamics

Mercedes describes the cabin as “Formula 1 for two.” Inside, there’ll be a pair of heavily bolstered bucket seats with adjustable backrests and an F1-inspired square steering wheel. The skinny, uncluttered carbon-fibre dashboard will house two 10-inch displays: one behind the steering wheel and the other mounted in the centre console. A third screen is linked to a camera on the car’s rear bumper and acts as a rear-view mirror.

The AMG One’s front end is dominated by a collection of huge vents on the front apron and beneath the windscreen, while a pair of flat LED headlights are sunk into the bonnet. Naked carbon aerodynamic flaps are pinned to the car’s sculpted sides, while an air intake perched on the roof feeds the combustion engine.

Around the back, an F1-style shark fin sits above the engine compartment and divides the rear end, while a huge rear diffuser and retractable rear spoiler are also present to provide plenty of downforce. Active aero is found at the front too, with an extending front splitter and movable flaps positioned over the front wheels. The body itself is a carbon-fibre monocoque, but Mercedes has not revealed how much the AMG One concept weighs.

The car sits on adjustable coil-over suspension with push-rod spring struts and carbon ceramic brakes, and the traction control also has three stages of adjustability. From start-up, the system is switched on completely, but a ‘Sport Handling Mode’ raises the threshold before computer assistance steps in. For those brave (or talented) enough, the system can also be deactivated completely.

Is the Mercedes-AMG One a bargain Formula 1 car for the road at £2.4 million? Tell us what you think below…

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