Better late than never, right?

When Mercedes-AMG unveiled the Project One in 2017, the automaker promised that the hypercar would find its way to customer’s by 2019. That initial promise has come and gone, in part, because the costs and time that comes with the development of the Project One proved too much even for Mercedes-AMG. But Mercedes’ performance brand remains undaunted, and it is now confident that deliveries of the One — that’s it’s official name now — will begin sometime in 2021. Mercedes still intends to build 275 units of the One, each priced at €2.275 million. That converts to $2.5 million based on current exchange rates.

Delays are part of the game in the hypercar world

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The hypercar segment is, without question, one of the most expensive segments in the auto industry. I don’t mean that from the perspective of buyers — that’s a given. I mean that from the perspective of automakers who have to make sure that the technologies that are put in place for these hypercars are worth the price they’re going to ask from customers who end up buying them. In the case of the Project One, Mercedes-AMG made it clear that Formula One technology will play a big role in the hypercar’s development.

The One even shares the hybrid V-6 engine that Mercedes-AMG’s Formula One team used in the 2017 championship-winning F1 race car.
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Here’s the thing, though. Adapting a Formula One engine to a road car isn’t as easy as it looks, especially if we’re talking about it in the context of a hypercar like the Mercedes-AMG One. Technical and mechanical details are studied and pored over down to the tiniest of details. We’re not talking about a simple engine swap and software tweaks. Michael Knoller, AMG’s global head of product management and sales, told Road & Track about specific complications like getting the car to idle stably at 1,200 rpm — from 5,000 rpm in the race engine — so it could meet global emissions-test requirements. He also mentioned the challenge of meeting noise regulations since the One (a road car) is using a race engine. The best-laid plans call for these challenges to be addressed efficiently, but there are no best-laid plans in this segment. Delays are as inevitable as shopping madness on Black Friday.

The AMG One’s engine is really complicated

The F1-Powered Hybrid AMG One Hypercar Is Still Happening, But Not Until 2021
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On the surface, the Mercedes-AMG One’s F1-derived engine doesn’t sound too complicated. It’s a 1.6-liter, turbocharged V-6 engine that produces 748 horsepower and four electric motors. There’s also a 161-horsepower Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic (MGU-K) coupled to the crankshaft, a 121-horsepower Motor Generator Unit-Heat (MGU-H) coupled to the turbocharger, and a pair of 161-horsepower electric motors on the front axle. All of this powertrain tech combines to produce in excess of 1,000 horsepower. Both the MGU-K and the MGU-H are sourced from Formula One and serve specific functions. The MGU-K serves to generate electricity during braking, while the MGU-H serves to eliminate turbocharger lag and improve throttle response by keeping the turbine spinning at high speeds. If all of this sounds super technical to you, then welcome to the world of Formula One.

The F1-Powered Hybrid AMG One Hypercar Is Still Happening, But Not Until 2021
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The entire powertrain setup is mated to a single-clutch automated manual transmission that delivers power to the two rear wheels.

All told, Mercedes-AMG estimates that the One hypercar will be capable of sprinting from 0 to 62 mph in less than 2.2 seconds, 0 to 124 mph in less than six seconds, and 0 to 186 mph in less than 11 seconds.

Top speed is set at 217 mph.

Mercedes-AMG Project One Specifications
Engine: Mid-mounted 1.6-litre V-6 with direct injection, four valves per cylinder, four overhead camshafts and electrically boosted single turbocharger, electric motor connected to the crankshaft
Displacement: 1,600 cc
Engine Horsepower: 603 hp
Max Engine Speed: 11,000 rpm
Combined output: over 1,090 horsepower
Drivetrain: 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
0-124 mph: 6 seconds
Top Speed: 217 mph
Curb Weight: 2,755 lbs
Price: $2,653,000

There’s no quit in Mercedes-AMG, it seems

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The good news out of all of this is that Mercedes-AMG is determined to see its hypercar project through. You can say that it’s come too far to shut it down and, while there is some grain of truth in that, you can also chalk it up to Mercedes-AMG wanting to make sure that the product it rolls out lives up to the hype it’s received since Mercedes-AMG announced its plans to enter the hypercar world two years ago. Remember, Mercedes-AMG isn’t the only automaker that has tried to slap a race engine into a road car. Ferrari famously did it with the F50 to less-than-flattering results. Porsche, on the other hand, took a couple of decades to fit one into the Carerra GT, and we all know what that car’s reputation is.

Source: Road and Track

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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