The Mercedes-AMG ONE It has been one of the most complex projects that Mercedes has carried out in years, and without a doubt one of the most challenging. There is more to see the years of delay that the project has suffered and the obstacles that have appeared along the way. After all, using a Formula 1 engine in a street-legal car has turned out to be more complicated than it seemed. But the car is a reality, finally, and production has already begun.
Logically, the Mercedes-AMG ONE is not the type of car that will be produced in large series. Its production will be limited to 275 units in total, a production that has already begun and that takes place in Brixworth, England, at the headquarters of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team. Assembly is then completed in Coventry. The first vehicles will begin to be delivered to their lucky owners from this second half of 2022. And if you were wondering, indeed, they are all already sold. Price? No less than 2.7 million euros.
It goes without saying that the best technicians of the brand are involved; in fact, the technicians in charge of manufacturing this hypercar are responsible for the development and production of the power units of Formula 1 cars of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team. In total, during the entire production process, more than 50 specialists work on every Mercedes-AMG ONE.
This is the production of the Mercedes-AMG ONE in detail
The production of the cars is done manually in a total of 16 mounting stations and tests that we will detail later. Some production processes are reminiscent of the manufacture of luxury watches: some systems are first pre-assembled and checked for function, then disassembled again and only then finally installed in the vehicle. This applies, for example, to the carbon fiber monocoque with the attached roof and all removable body parts, which are also made of carbon fiber. The bodywork, the “skin” of the car, is the first thing that is assembled.
All settings are then meticulously checked and, if necessary, adjusted within the required tolerances. In this process, specialists have to take into account the subsequent lacquering of the bodywork, which adds thickness and cannot be neglected. In fact, it is a very meticulous thing: since the thickness of the carbon panels is only 1.2 millimeters in places, this is a very difficult task. Once everything fits together perfectly, all the parts, including the doors and hood, are taken apart again and hand painted.
In the next step, the bodywork and the powertrain are assembled, made up of the 1.6-liter V6 turbo engine, the high-voltage battery, the power electronics and four electric motors with their corresponding inverters, motors that have been previously hot-tested. on the Brixworth test benches, exactly the same process that is done with Mercedes power units in Formula 1. At this point, before the high voltage components are fitted, 75% of the power units have been fitted. vehicle parts.
The 16 main assembly stations are summarized below:
- Stations 1 to 4: assembly of the mechanical parts and all the low voltage components, as well as the installation of the essential components of the kinematic chain, including the vehicle electrical circuit.
- Stations 5 to 6: assembly of the high-voltage battery and high-voltage connections, tests of operation of the combustion engine and electric motors. Vehicle start-up.
- Station 7: assembly of the interior.
- Station 8: start of assembly of the exterior body panels and doors. During this process, prefinished body panels, front and rear bumpers, wings and doors are assembled on the main assembly line.
- Station 9: Exterior assembly continues. Front and rear bumpers.
- Station 10: Final installation of all exterior bodywork.
- Station 11: assembly of the wheels and the flat bottom panels.
- Station 12: adjustment of wheels and headlights.
- Station 13: roller dynamometer to test the vehicle in all driving modes.
- Station 14: NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) test. Adjustments if necessary.
- Station 15: monsoon rain test to test tightness.
- Station 16: light booth with visual inspection of all surfaces and function tests of all components.
After each season, extensive quality checks are carried out and the process is documented. The meticulous manufacturing process is complemented by Industry 4.0 production methods, which Mercedes-AMG also uses at the Affalterbach plant for the production of its AMG engines. To all this we must add an aspect that we have not mentioned so far: the customization of each car according to the tastes of the clientwhich in some cases can mean significant added time.
The final phase of production is a test drive, where each Mercedes-AMG ONE undergoes a final verification test by a factory test driver. If everything works correctly and the driver gives his approval, the vehicle is fitted with transport protections and shipped by truck to the Mercedes-AMG headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany. There, an informative session is given to the clients on the technical aspects of the vehicle and the delivery of the vehicle is carried out.
A hybrid engine taken directly from Formula 1
Often, perhaps too often, this or that car is said to be a “registered race car.” The truth is that many times it is quite far from it. However, the Mercedes-AMG ONE can boast of having a lot in common with a Formula 1 from the team that has won the most titles in the hybrid era of said competition. Although with modifications, the engine shares a lot with the one used in the silver Mercedes of F1.
The hybrid drivetrain of the Mercedes-AMG ONE is made up of a 1.6-litre V6 turbo engine and four electric motors, which in total offer 1,063 horsepower. The heat engine has 670 hp, is supercharged with an electric turbo and is capable of turning at 11,000 rpm, which limits its useful life: only 50,000 kilometers. There is also, of course, a high-voltage battery with a capacity of 8.4 kWh, practically identical to that of the Formula 1 Mercedes. All this horsepower allows it to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds, the 0-200km/h in 7 seconds and get to 300 km / h from a standstill in 15.6 seconds.
Of the four electric motors, two are coupled to the heat engine and act as MGU-Ks to increase torque when required. The other two motors are coupled to the front wheels, which allows for all-wheel drive. The two front motors are the ones that move the car in 100% electric mode, which is how it always starts. The heat engine only comes into action when the catalytic converters have reached their optimum operating temperature. The transmission is a 7-speed robotic manual gearbox.
There are six driving modes: EV, Race Safe, Race, Race Plus, Strat 2 and Individual. On the other hand, it has three aerodynamic configurations: Highway (road), Track (circuit) and Race DRS. In the most aggressive mode, Race DRS, the suspension is lowered 37 millimeters at the front axle and 30 millimeters at the rear and all the aerodynamic appendages are deployed.
Interestingly, this hypercar with a Formula 1 engine homologates a fuel consumption of only 8.7 l/100 km with CO2 emissions of 198 g/km according to the WLTP cycle thanks to the fact that it can travel about 18 kilometers in fully electric mode. This says a few things about the measurement protocols. On the other hand, the combined electrical consumption is 32 kWh/100. Logically it is not designed to consume as little as possible, but to be as fast as possible.
In the words of Mercedes-AMG itself, “the Mercedes-AMG ONE is the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken, from development to production.” Of course, it is not for less.