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Mercedes-AMG One: A Street Legal Formula 1 Car That You Can Buy, Sort of

After enduring one of the most painfully long gestation periods, the AMG One hypercar is finally ready to hit the roads and it does live up to the lofty targets that Mercedes originally set itself to achieve. We’d wager that Mercedes-AMG did not see this car project having so many teething problems and the reason why it has taken more than half a decade to produce a road-legal version is revolving around emission norms. Making a road-legal hypercar with the same powertrain as that on a Formula 1 car is a recipe for many sleepless nights for the engineers and there’s a reason as to why no one did this before. However, for Mercedes, it had to grit its teeth and solider on in finding a solution to work around its incredibly complex engine.

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Image: Mercedes AMG

In essence, the AMG One is basically having the same engine that some bloke called Lewis Hamilton has in his car albeit with some modifications. The powertrain is a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 Grand Prix engine being paired with four electric motors and the total power output is a colossal 1,049bhp. The top speed is surprisingly capped at 352 km/h so it will not be a Bugatti Chiron rival but AMG is insistent that it is a track car for the road so top speed is less relevant here. The engine, mounted in mid-engine position in front of the rear axle, revs up to 11,000 rpm and that too has been limited so as to not blow itself during a coffee run!

The focus is on grafting motorsport tech on a road car with no filtration plus the AMG One is dripping with the level of detailing that makes any F1 geek gawp in excitement. As expected, the construction of the car is pure carbon fibre and that makes it nearly as light as a racing car.

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Image: Mercedes AMG

Like any hybrid, you start the car in pure electric mode while later the combustion engine joins in for the party. The AMG One has six drive modes including a full EV mode and a couple more for racetrack use. The gearbox is a lightweight 7-speed automated manual transmission while the car is all-wheel drive. However, the beauty of the One lies in its complex array of tuning the suspension along with integrating components in a manner similar to a race car. That said, it isn’t as unforgiving as an F1 car with a larger safety net being built-in alongside a myriad of technology aids.

Time has also not mellowed down the purposeful stance of the AMG One and it looks like a racetrack refugee with a massive wing along with every inch of its carbon fibre body being used to extract performance. The interior is similarly barebones so do not expect S-Class like massaging seats as instead there are two fixed racings seats along with a generous sprinkling of carbon fibre all over. The two high-resolution, free-standing 10-inch displays and the Formula 1 style steering wheel grab your attention the most though.

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Image: Mercedes AMG

The One was due to be on sale three years back but the aforementioned issues regarding meeting emission norms proved to be a nightmare of sorts. However, all have been sold for a price of $2.75 million each but again we doubt Mercedes would be making a ton of money on this car. The AMG One is basically technology showcase and due to the complexities, we might never see another hypercar of this kind ever again.

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Image: Mercedes AMG

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Image: Mercedes AMG

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Image: Mercedes AMG

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Image: Mercedes AMG

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Image: Mercedes AMG

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Image: Mercedes AMG

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Image: Mercedes AMG

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Image: Mercedes AMG


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Somnath Chatterjee
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Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee is an experience car journalist and automotive expert. His supercar reviews, interviews and industry features have appeared in global publications such as Upscale living, Robb Report and Yahoo Lifestyle Asia. Somnath specialises in luxury and lifestyle-oriented features with a focus on automobiles, aviation and luxury. He also holds a Post Graduate in International Business from the University of Dehli.