Mercedes-AMG One Sounds Like It’s From The Future, But It Is More Complicated Than That

This is the most straightforward answer I can give you: because it has to. See, when Mercedes-AMG decided on building a hypercar such as the One, the engineers had an epiphany. I imagine one asked, why don’t we make a Formula 1-like, street-legal hypercar? Everyone stood in awe and said yes.

That meant a few things, the most important of which being that the AMG One had to have a Formula 1-sourced engine, with a hybrid system. You probably heard an endless criticism about the sound of current Formula 1 cars. Well, the Mercedes-AMG One produces pretty much the same sound. However, there’s more to the Mercedes-AMG One’s exhaust than you can hear in this short Instagram clip. One more thing - to get it out of the way. There is no way in hell that Mercedes-AMG One could ever sound as good as the V-12 powered Aston Martins, or anything else with more than six cylinders under the bonnet.

What Kind Of An Engine Produces A Sound Like The Mercedes-AMG One?

Well, actually, none. The propulsion system in the Mercedes-AMG One consists of four electric motors and one internal combustion unit.

The four electric motors actually make the bulk of the power - 612 horsepower, with the 1.6-liter, V-6 ICE adding the rest for more than 1,000 horsepower in total.

Each electric motor has its well-defined task:

  • two electric motors, with 120 kW of power each, power front wheels making the AMG One basically an AWD car
  • third electric motor, called the MGU-K, is connected directly to the crankshaft
  • fourth electric motor serves as an assistant to the turbocharger - it spins up the turbocharger assisting with throttle response and power delivery
Why Does the AMG One Hypercar Sound Like a Spaceship? High Resolution Drivetrain
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Now, you should really click play on that Instagram video, and listen closely because I am about to tell you what you actually hear. At the very start of the video, you can hear a high-pitch sound picking up in intensity. This means that the Mercedes-AMG One is still accelerating with its turbine probably working at full intensity. This high-pitch sound comes from a few things:

  • the turbine spinning at incredible speeds of 125,000 rpm (that’s a limit for F1 cars, but could be even quicker for the road-going Project One)
  • spinning of the electric motors (while electric motors can be silent, they do produce a bit of sound, and when you have four of them, you can hear them, probably a lot)
  • the small turbocharged V-6 whose gasses travel through a heavily restricted exhaust with perhaps multiple catalysts and particulate filters
Why Does the AMG One Hypercar Sound Like a Spaceship? High Resolution Drivetrain
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This is only what you can hear in the first one or two seconds of the video. We, unfortunately, still don’t have a video that shows up close what the One sounds like while accelerating. We can hear, however, how does it sound while decelerating. It is a sound somewhat similar to what you can pick up from the F1 cars and even from the hybrid LMP1 race cars. While decelerating, a few important things happen:

  • the combustion in the cylinders of the V-6 ICE completely stops
  • the MGU-K system reverts to a recharge mode (basically the electric motor starts to turn in the other direction)
  • the turbocharged rotation speed gets significantly reduced
  • the aerodynamic setup sets itself to create the biggest possible drag to act as an air brake
Why Does the AMG One Hypercar Sound Like a Spaceship? High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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All of these different actions produce different kinds of sounds, which, in the end, make the Mercedes-AMG One sound like it comes from the future. Well, it does not come from the future. It only produces sounds we are still not accustomed to, but these sounds have been among us for decades. Some do say that Mercedes-AMG One sounds like a vacuum cleaner. It may be so, but honestly, the amount of engineering and thought that went into making it outweighs its "vacuum-cleaner quality" really fast.

Why Does Mercedes-AMG Test The Project One On Track?

Why Does the AMG One Hypercar Sound Like a Spaceship? High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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This is, of course, a secret, but I am fairly certain that before Mercedes-AMG start the deliveries of 275 units of the One it plans to produce, it will do everything to be just perfect.

The word on the street is that Mercedes-AMG has some problems with the V-6 engine while idling.

Specifically, it cannot achieve continuous combustion at low rpm.

That is why the Mercedes-AMG One V-6’s idle speed will likely remain at 1,280 rpm.
The other thing is the fact that Mercedes-AMG wants to make the One as efficient and eco-friendly as possible. Remember those exhaust filters I mentioned earlier? Well, the AMG One will have a few. And I’m telling you - all of them do restrict the sound the hypercar produces.

That is not even a surprise. The Mercedes-AMG already had some problems with the loudness of its cars in Europe. Europeans are adamant about restricting the sounds cars produce at any cost. It may well be that the AMG One remains as silent and as strange as you hear it here. Not that you should worry. You probably will never see it live, let alone listen to it.

Performance

Why Does the AMG One Hypercar Sound Like a Spaceship? High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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First of all, let me tell you that all the 275 planned units are spoken for.

Mercedes-AMG priced the thing at 2.7million, so even if you have that kind of money lying around, you are out of luck.

With its F1-sourced hybrid propulsion system, the Mercedes-AMG One will have some stunning performance credentials:

Top-speed: 350 km/h (217 mph)
100 km/h (62 mph): less than 2.5 seconds
0-200 km/h (124 mph): 6.0 seconds
0-300 km/h (186 mph): 11.0 seconds

Further reading

Why Does the AMG One Hypercar Sound Like a Spaceship? High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One.

Everything We Know About the Mercedes-AMG Project One Exterior Spyshots
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Everything We Know About the Mercedes-AMG Project One

Details of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One Have Been Revealed and It'll Even Beat the 2018 Bugatti Chiron
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Details of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One Have Been Revealed and It’ll Even Beat the 2018 Bugatti Chiron

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