Despite less-than-ideal track conditions, the Mercedes-AMG ONE, driven by Maro Engel, surpassed the previous record for road-legal production vehicles by an astounding eight seconds. With a time of 6:35.183 minutes for completing the 20.832-kilometer course, the Mercedes-AMG ONE is the undisputed king of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
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The story of a record
In terms of excitement, the record-breaking drives on October 28, 2022, were hard to top: at precisely 17:14:31, racing driver and AMG brand ambassador Maro Engel took to the track for the final attempt of the day and etched the brand-new, fantastic time into the famous and challenging Eifel asphalt.
Since the track would have been formally closed at 17:15, this wasn’t even a minute early. Maro Engel had already established a new best time, but the DTM driver wasn’t content just yet. The weather was growing better by the minute as his track slot came to a conclusion.
Maro Engel, therefore, made the most of his last chance to set a new record by reducing the lap time to 6:35.183 minutes. The lap time is 6:30.705 minutes based on the track variation known from the sports car Super Test.
“That was really an unforgettable experience. 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. That was a special challenge.
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. In addition, the DRS function had to be used optimally.
But that’s also a real Formula 1 feeling. I would like to thank you for this opportunity and the trust you’ve placed in me. It was definitely something very special to drive this incredible car on the Ring.” said Maro Engel after completing the record lap.
“I’m proud of the whole AMG team – everyone who was involved in this project. The various departments in Affalterbach as well as our colleagues at HPP in Brixworth never gave up and continued to push the dream of this vehicle. This success is the well-deserved reward for their hard work.
Even though the AMG ONE is certainly more at home on a Grand Prix circuit than on the Nordschleife – as is so often the case with this project – we’ve simply gone one step further. We’re the first ever to have taken on the challenges of the Nürburgring with a super sports car.
That’s also what makes this project so unique and I’m very happy about this fantastic lap time,” said Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes‑AMG GmbH.
It didn’t seem to be a new record at first. Although it was a bright day with a gentle breeze, the track was still moist and somewhat muddy in certain places, which is characteristic of the Nürburgring in the fall. The perfect line was still wet in several places, including the quick “Kesselchen” segment.
Overall, those weren’t the best circumstances, particularly for a car with this kind of high performance. The remaining time was reduced to less than an hour by the time the track was suitable for a first fast loop. This could only support a maximum of four quick laps at temperatures of just about 20 degrees Celsius for the air and asphalt.
Mercedes-AMG brought two ONEs to the Ring, allowing for efficient use of the allotted time. Both cars were examined and verified by TÜV Rheinland in accordance with the requirements of Nürburgring 1927 GmbH & Co. KG to verify that they were in serial manufacture. A notary attested to the cars’ appropriate upkeep and the accuracy of the record runs.
Complying with the series production rules
The record-breaking car was equipped with all the technical features that come standard with the Mercedes-AMG ONE since it is the first hybrid-drive hypercar to be used on public roads. The E PERFORMANCE hybrid has one combustion engine and four electric motors, producing a combined 782 kW (1,063 horsepower), with a peak speed of 352 km/h.
The other racing technology includes push-rod chassis, active aerodynamics, carbon monocoque and body, and engine/transmission unit as a stressed part. The two-seat Mercedes-AMG ONE sometimes provides more thanks to its sophisticated electronics than a Formula 1 racing vehicle.
It has an electrically powered front axle and completely variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with a hybrid-driven rear axle.
The maximum camber values that fell within the delivery tolerance were chosen for the record drive. Maro Engel selected the driving program “Race Plus.” This entails complete power from all engines, active, maximum aerodynamics, precise chassis calibration, and vehicle lowering by 37 mm at the front axle and 30 mm at the rear axle.
The driver must depress a button on the steering wheel to engage the Drag Reduction System (DRS). This closes the top aero element of the two-stage rear wing as well as the front louvers on the wings. The aero components stretch again in a flash if the system detects a particular amount of lateral acceleration or deceleration.
Masterful driving for excellent energy efficiency
In addition to good driving talents, the record lap in the hybrid super sports car with Formula 1 technology needed smart driving: Maro Engel employed sophisticated energy management for the lap of the 20.8 km Nordschleife. As a result, he had to control his energy and not be able to sprint to his top speed on every portion of the course.
He accomplished this by using the four-stage Energy Flow Control (EFC) of the AMG ONE and “lifting and coasting,” as it is called in the industry. Maro also used energy recovery throughout the braking stages. The high-performance battery, therefore, provided adequate power for a peak speed of 338 km/h even on the lengthy Döttinger Höhe.
All of these variant possibilities are available to AMG ONE subscribers as well. This also holds true for the standard MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 R MO tires, which were specifically created for the ONE in partnership with development partner Michelin. For the best possible deceleration and stability, the AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system is standard.
The Mercedes-AMG ONE at a glance
ONE’s E PERFORMANCE hybrid drive was developed in close collaboration with the specialists at Mercedes-AMG High-Performance Powertrains in Brixworth and is directly inspired by Formula 1. It is made up of a highly integrated and intelligently networked unit that has four electric motors in total in addition to one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine.
The two surviving motors power the front wheels, while one has been incorporated into the turbocharger and another has been mounted directly on the combustion engine.
The 1.6-liter V6 hybrid petrol engine has single-turbocharging that is electrically assisted, which is the same technology as the current Formula 1 power unit. By use of spur gears, the four overhead camshafts are powered. Pneumatic valve springs have taken the role of mechanical valve springs to enable high engine speeds.
Up to 11,000 rpm are reached by the engine, which is positioned in a mid-engine position in front of the rear axle. However, it purposefully maintains a lower rpm restriction than the F1 standard due to extended longevity and the usage of commercial super plus gasoline.
A cutting-edge turbocharger boosts the high-rpm power unit. The compressor turbine and exhaust gas turbine are separated from one another and linked by a shaft. The turbocharger may be installed at a lower position as a result. There is a 90 kW electric motor mounted on the shaft.
This is electronically regulated and powers the compressor wheel directly up to 100,000 rpm before the exhaust gas flow takes over. This unit’s MGU-H designation in Formula 1 (Motor Generator Unit Heat).
F1-inspired battery technology
As a unique Mercedes-AMG creation, the lithium-ion energy storage technology is also noteworthy. Its technology is also included in the battery of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE and has previously proved itself in the Formula 1 hybrid racing cars of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team under the most demanding circumstances.
The AMG High-Performance Battery boosts overall performance by combining high power that can be called up repeatedly in succession with minimal weight. The quick energy drain and great power density are other factors.
This implies that, for example, during a rapid drive in mountainous terrain, drivers may quickly draw upon their maximum power capacity on uphill sections, while recovery is robust while driving downwards.
The battery cell configuration and cell cooling are identical to those of the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 racing vehicle. However, the Mercedes-AMG ONE has several times more of them for daily usage. 8.4 kWh is enough to cover 18.1 kilometers of electricity alone. Alternating current and the built-in 3.7 kW onboard charger are used for charging.
The battery can also receive new energy from the combustion engine or via recuperation. The space-saving arrangement for the lithium-ion, high-voltage battery, and the DC/DC converter that support and recharge the 12 V onboard electrical system is located on the car’s floor under the front axle.