Mercedes-AMG may need to push back the launch date of their limited-production One hypercar due to complications that have arose due to its highly strung F1-derived hybrid V6 turbo, with deliveries of the astronomically-priced two-seater delayed until some time in 2021.
The news comes as part of a report by German publication Auto Motor Sport who say that in addition to its inherent fragility, especially in full race-spec, the engine requires unusual measures to run optimally. For example, it is common practice for teams to warm up the engine oil to operating temperature before even starting up the 1.6-litre V6. However, this is far less feasible in a road going car.
Additionally, the automaker and F1 world championship team are facing new challenges in having the power unit meet stricter WLTP emissions regulations which may require additional particulate filters be fitted, which in all likelihood would negatively impact the car’s power output and hobble its performance.
Naturally, significant compromises have been foreseen in literally slotting an F1 engine into a road car, but the AMG engineers seem to have encountered plenty more hurdles than they had originally anticipated, according to an insider.
To have the engine be drivable at lower speeds and to increase longevity, the redline has been reduced from 15,000rpm to a more reasonable 11,000. It is further augmented by four electric motors and an energy recovery system to endow it with truly Formula 1-like performance flat out and a 0-100km/h sprint time of around 2.5 seconds.
However, compared to many other high performance engines in fast cars on sale today, the F1-derived hybrid V6 is still under considerably more strain in normal operation despite being somewhat adapted for road use. Thus, the engine will require a full rebuild after covering approximately 50,000km. Bummer.
The Mercedes-AMG Project One was conceived as the ultimate distillation of Formula 1 racing technology for the road, a concept that has been explored a number of times in the past by various automakers and the elite of automotive engineering.
To name some, in the 1990s, the Ferrari F50 and McLaren F1 brought motorsport innovations of their era for use in road cars to create machines of peak capability. Most recently, Aston Martin collaborated closely with Red Bull Racing to birth the Valkyrie, a hybrid hypercar with over 820kW from a hybrid-assist Cosworth V12 that aims to be just as quick around a circuit as the open-wheel racer.
Defending Formula 1 world champion constructors Mercedes-AMG Petronas wouldn’t let a challenging team abscond with the prestige of having, conceivably, the world’s fastest street car. Thus, many thought the Project One would prove the perfect foil. The Valkyrie has already been shown off as a late-stage prototype, lapping the Silverstone circuit prior to the recent British Grand Prix, replete the appropriate Red Bull livery.