From the racetrack to the road: the Mercedes-AMG ONE
Mercedes-Benz and AMG have long been involved in motorsport and achieved tremendous success along the way. The greatest of these successes may very well be the display of sporting and engineering excellence provided by the brand’s F1 team in recent years. Having just secured the World Championship titles for a record-tying fifth straight year, there is no question that Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport will go down in history as a legendary F1 team. As the season draws to a close this weekend, it seems appropriate to reflect on the implications of this achievement by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1 team – and how it heralds the launch of the breathtaking Mercedes-AMG ONE supercar.
The pinnacle of motorsport
Setting up a Formula 1 team is no mean feat and represents a sizeable investment in time, manpower and finances – even for a global brand like Mercedes. For the German manufacturer, involvement in Formula 1 was about much more than brand exposure. Crucially, there was a concerted effort to capitalize on the pinnacle of motorsport as a research and development laboratory.
Effectively, involvement in F1 provides the ideal theatre to collect a vast quantity of data as to the performance and reliability of new components. And, of course, racing for the win ensures that technologies and materials of the future are tested in the most extreme conditions.
Formula 1 is not just about entertainment and high-tech sport. First and foremost, it’s a research hub for innovative automobile construction.
Efficiency translates into performance
Vitally, the rules and regulations governing Formula 1 today ensure that the technologies developed by the manufacturers are incredibly relevant and transferable to road cars. Since 2014, Formula 1 cars have relied on turbocharging and hybrid power, as well as being regulated to a maximum fuel flow limit from which teams must extract maximum performance. In order to be successful on the racetrack, the engineering team from Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport have had to push the boundaries to produce a title-winning car year after year. The result has been incredible gains in the realms of efficiency, energy recovery and power deployment.
For instance, the engine used on the team’s Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+ car achieves a thermal efficiency of roughly 50 percent – much more than what can be achieved with a current road car, where that number lies around 30 to 35 percent. Moreover, engineers on the F1 team have had to work out the best way to harvest and deploy energy from the hybrid unit, using it to bolster acceleration and overtaking capabilities while harvesting energy from the heat of the turbocharger and through regenerative braking. The Mercedes-AMG ONE supersports car, planned for release in 2019, capitalizes directly on the lessons learned by the F1 team engineers in a way never seen before.
Introducing Project ONE
The Mercedes-AMG ONE will be ground-breaking in terms of how it uses parts and technologies developed by an F1 team. As a testament to this, the supercar’s 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine will be sourced from the team’s Formula 1 racing car. This engine will be able to reach up to 11,000 revolutions per minute – a figure unheard of for a road car. And of course, the vehicle will use a hybrid powertrain. In the case of the ONE, a total of four electric motors will provide power to all four wheels.
All this F1-bred technology and attention to detail will result in breathtaking performance measures. Thanks to a projection of over 1000hp, the Mercedes-AMG ONE should be able to accelerate to 200km/h in under six seconds and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h. And of course, the performance will be just as astounding in the corners. The ONE will be surprisingly light thanks to the use of state-of-the-art composite materials and everything from the handling to the weight balance will be revised to perfection.
Driving the future
275 units of the ultra-exclusive Mercedes-AMG ONE will be produced, with sales beginning in 2019. The ONE will offer a tremendous tribute to Mercedes’ recent success in Motorsport and redefine the world of supercars thanks to its combination of efficiency and performance. Significantly, it will represent a crucial step in the transfer of technology from Formula 1 to road cars, be it in terms of performance-oriented hybrid drive technology, road handling, or onboard electronics. And while you may not manage to get your hands on the ONE, those findings are all set to later benefit series production AMG cars. Stay tuned!