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The One is being tested on “closed-off test grounds and race tracks”, with images showing it on the handling circuit at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.
Moers has previously said it “makes sense” to build the hypercar in Britain, where the brand’s Formula 1 team is based. The car’s F1-derived powertrain is to be built at the racing squad’s Brixworth base, but it is being adapted for road use by AMG. Moers admitted that the process is extremely challenging during a conversation at the New York motor show. “That powertrain is really complicated,” he said. “It’s good, but not good enough yet.”
While not an immediate priority, Moers revealed that it’s “reasonable to speculate” the One will eventually try to set a new Nürburgring lap record. He wouldn’t be drawn on the car’s simulated Nürburgring lap time, but AMG is known to have studied past lap records in detail, including the outright record of Stefan Bellof, who lapped the circuit in 6min 11sec in a Porsche 956 sports car in qualifying for the 1000km race there in 1983. Bellof also set a race lap record of 6min 25.9sec in the same car.
The production road car record is currently 6min 44.97sec, held by the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. Moers did say, however, that the biggest challenge he faced in extracting the best lap time from the One would be “finding the right driver” to accomplish the feat.
It’s not clear at what speed the Project One’s maximum downforce figure is developed; in the Senna, it comes at 155mph. Like the Senna and Ford GT, the One’s driver will be able to lower the car for track driving, increasing the amount of downforce. This is just one of many facts about the hypercar that have emerged since its launch at last year’s Frankfurt motor show.
Mercedes-AMG Project One hybrid tech due in series production model by 2021
Moers stated very clearly that the 1000bhp output quoted for the car is just what the 1.6-litre V6 hybrid engine is developing on the dynamometer at present and that its actual output will be that figure “plus, plus, plus”. Ultimately, he said he expected it to be below 1100bhp, but it’s not yet known by how much.
Lewis Hamilton reveals the Project One – in pictures
According to Andy Cowell, head of Mercedes’ High Performance Powertrains division, the biggest challenges with the engine are not keeping it reliable or adapting to road car use; it will idle in a Dubai traffic jam in mid-summer without overheating. Instead, he cited emissions and persuading an engine that usually requires a team of engineers to operate “to start at the press of a button, in all weather conditions, regardless of how long it’s been left”.