Lewis Hamilton Wants His Own Special Edition AMG ONE
It’s not unprecedented to see Hamilton get involved in the production car sceneby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 05:41
Lewis Hamilton is no stranger to getting what he wants from Mercedes-AMG. Now, the five-time Formula One world champion wants to create a special edition version of the Mercedes-AMG ONE, the all-conquering hypercar formerly known as the Project One. Speaking to Top Gear, Hamilton confirmed his desire to build a custom version of the One hypercar to Mercedes-AMG. Whether he gets his wish remains to be seen, but AMG is apparently considering it. If it happens, Hamilton would be heavily involved in the development of the car that will use his “LH” initials. He’s not just settling for fancy badges and new colors, either. Hamilton wants wholesale changes to the body, engine, and exhaust system of the ONE, thereby making it a true “special edition” in every sense of the phrase.
It’s one thing for Mercedes-AMG to develop a hypercar with Formula One DNA all over it, but it’s another thing entirely if the man who drives those Formula One race cars and wins championships with them gets involved in the development of the said car. This is next-level development, folks. That’s the possibility that’s staring all of us in the face if Lewis Hamilton gets his wish to build a custom Mercedes-AMG ONE.
The mere thought of a special edition AMG ONE with Lewis Hamilton’s involvement in it is exciting enough on its own.
But as the five-time world champion told Top Gear, he’s not just looking to throw in a few cosmetic details on the hypercar. He wants to make significant changes.
“I’d probably change the exhaust system, make it a bit louder,” Hamilton told Top Gear. “I’d naturally want to push Andy Cowell (head of Mercedes-AMG’s F1 powertrains) to give it a bit more power.”
First of all, the Mercedes-AMG ONE already pushes out 1,090 horsepower from its hybrid engine setup. Of that number, 603 horsepower comes from a 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 engine that’s based on Mercedes-AMG’s 2015 F1 engine. The rest of the output comes courtesy of three electric motors, two of which are located in the front and another one located in the back. The total output was achieved even without the overboost mode, which adds another 48 horsepower to the grand total output of the hypercar.
If Hamilton’s talking about coaxing more power out of that powertrain, there’s no telling where that number is going to land. By “more power,” does he mean 1,200 horsepower? 1,500 horsepower?
Remember, Hamilton’s W09 Formula One race cars produce anywhere from 950 to 1,000 horsepower.
If he’s looking to give it a bit “more” power, there’s no telling what kind of output this special edition “LH” One will have.
Then again, it’s not just about throwing in more horses into the equation. As he said, Hamilton also wants to change the exhaust system Make it louder to scare off the neighbors, perhaps? He’s also looking at modifying the hypercar’s body kit and “change a few of the surfaces” as he so eloquently told Top Gear.
Make no mistake, though. Mercedes-AMG developed the ONE hypercar with a priority placed on performance and aerodynamics. The overall shape of the hypercar lends to that fact, as do aero bits like an auto-extending front splitter, active ventilation louvers on the front wheel arches, hood-mounted vents near the windshield, a central intake on the roof, and of course, the unmistakable fin in the back of the hypercar. Needless to say, it’s going to be very interesting to see what kind of latitude Mercedes-AMG will extend to its five-time world champion should it give the green light to Hamilton to develop his own special edition model.
Rest assured, Hamilton says he will be up to the task in the event it happens. “I want to do a special LH Edition,” he said. “I’ve already spoken to them about it, and they’re considering it. It doesn’t make sense not to do it, considering we’ve won the world championship.”
I’m excited to see it happen, and I don’t think I’m the only one, either. If Hamilton gets his wish, it wouldn’t be the first time that he’s had some sort of involvement in this department. Just last year, Pagani rolled out the Huayra L’Ultimo, the final production model of the Italian supercar that was inspired by Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG F1 livery. Ok, so that was a mostly cosmetic influence, but an influence nonetheless. Pagani also built Hamilton his own one-off Zonda back in 2012, called the Zonda 760 LH. The F1 champ’s influence also extends to the world of motorcycles where his relationship with Italian motorcycle company MV Agusta has given rise to a pair of special edition bikes that bear his “LH” initials: the Dragster RR LH and the F4 LH44.
This kind of involvement is old hat for Hamilton, and yet, there’s something different in this situation. We’re not just talking about cosmetic changes or motorcycles that use his initials.
We’re talking about the Mercedes-AMG ONE, without question the most extreme car Mercedes-AMG has ever built.
And Hamilton wants to make performance upgrades on a car that’s being developed specifically for its performance capabilities?
“I don’t know how much room they’d give me to do all of this, but I’d definitely do it,” Hamilton said.
Sign us up for that. Better yet, sign Lewis Hamilton up for that.
2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One Drivetrain Specifications
|Rear-wheel drive||1.6-liter V6 with direct injection, four valves per cylinder, four overhead camshafts and electrically boosted single turbocharger, electric motor connected to the crankshaft|
|Engine capacity||1,600 cc|
|Rear-wheel drive output||> 500 kW|
|Front-wheel drive output||2 x 120 kW|
|System output||> 740 kW (> 1,000 hp)|
|Electric range||25 km|
|Drive system||Variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with hybrid-drive rear axle, electrically driven front axle and torque vectoring|
|Transmission||Automated AMG SPEEDSHIFT 8-speed manual transmission|
|Acceleration 0-200 km/h||< 6 secs.|
|Top speed||> 350 km/h (217 mph)|
Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One.
Source: Top Gear