Mercedes-AMG One hyper-hybrid deletes 8 seconds off Nürburgring record
Two years ago, Mercedes-AMG knocked Lamborghini off the top of the Nürburgring Nordschleife production car chart with a 6:48.047 time in a GT Black Series. It was very good news for the folks at AMG, especially since they were deep in the works on the even fiercer 1,000-hp One street-legal race car. Mercedes lost the title in 2021, when the Porsche 911 GT2 RS came roaring back to the front of the pack with a 6:43.300. But it's 2022 now and high time for the Mercedes-AMG One F1-to-freeway hypercar to roll out of the garage and show what it's made of. And did it ever, knocking several seconds off Porsche's time to reorder the record sheet.
The Mercedes-AMG One was definitely stuck in the womb longer than most, but it's already doing great things in its infancy. Less than half a year after officially arriving in production guise (five long years later), the One put its Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tires down on the hallowed North Loop asphalt on a late-October afternoon and lapped the 12.944-mile (20.832-km) circuit in a record-setting 6:35.183. Mercedes reports it as a 6:30.705 on the traditional, slightly shorter 12.8-mile (20.5-km) Sport Auto magazine "Super Test" Nordschleife track variant.
The feat is all the more impressive because driver Maro Engel, who also set the 2020 record in the GT Black Series, pulled the record lap just seconds before the track closed down for the day. As Mercedes tells the story, Engel had lapped a best time earlier on that day but knew he and the car had more to offer. Determined to leave it all out there and shave the record further, he took the wheel at exactly 5:14:31 p.m., less than 30 seconds before the track closed to runs. He dropped the accelerator for one last time and came through in the clutch, even while facing less-than-ideal surface conditions.
"That was really an unforgettable experience," Engel said after his record lap. "I didn’t expect that we would be able to set such a lap time with these track conditions. In some crucial areas of the track, it hadn’t dried completely yet and was therefore tricky. We tried to find the optimal deployment strategy during the pre-tests. Like Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on their race weekends, I also had to deploy the electrical energy of the hybrid drive in the best possible way. That’s not easy, especially with this length of track."
Mercedes-AMG brought two individual One cars to the Nürburgring on the day of the record, October 28. Both were inspected by TÜV Rheinland according to the requirements of Nürburgring 1927 GmbH & Co. KG to ensure they were in production specification, the paperwork then confirmed by a notary.
Of course, production specification for the One is extremely far removed from the typical passenger car. The car is based around an F1-derived hybrid drive with mid-mounted 1.6-liter e-turbo V6 and four electric motors wired up to an 8.4-kWh AMG high-performance lithium battery. This layout puts out up to 1,049 hp (782 kW) and pushes the low, sleek hypercar to speeds up to 219 mph (352 km/h). It even steps beyond Formula 1 cars in opening up a fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all‑wheel drive with electric front axle and hybrid rear axle.
At the 'Ring, Maro Engel set the car in "Race Plus" mode, maxing out the active aerodynamics, lowering the car by 37 mm at the front axle and 30 mm at the rear axle, dialing in a taut chassis tune, and pushing all motors to max power. In order to conserve enough battery for the most critical high-speed sections, Engel relied on the four-stage Energy Flow Control (EFC), coasting and braking where optimal to recuperate battery power ahead of punching the multi-motor drive full bore for speeds up to 338 km/h (210 mph).
With all the proper paperwork filled, filed and notarized, and the film rolled and edited, Mercedes-AMG announced its new record this Thursday. You can see the highlights in the short video below.
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In 2019 Tesla did a 7:35.579 officially (then a 7:30.909) when a Mercedes-AMG GT63 S was just 3 seconds faster (7:27.800) .
Both of these electric vehicles are stunningly fast.