Watch How Complicated the Mercedes-AMG One’s Drive Modes Are

Having an F1-style powertrain means having F1-style complexity.

byNico DeMattia| PUBLISHED Aug 8, 2022 6:05 PM
Watch How Complicated the Mercedes-AMG One’s Drive Modes Are
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Mercedes' goal for the AMG One was to bring a Formula 1 car to the road. Some supercar makers have said things like that in the past, like when Ferrari bolted the F50's engine directly to its chassis. However, the AMG One's engine is almost identical to the same engine the Mercedes F1 team uses, and, judging by this new video from an owners event, it seems you need to be a Formula 1 driver just to understand how to use the $2.72 million hypercar.

YouTuber Rana65556 recently attended the Mercedes-AMG One during an owner's first drive event in Germany. While there, representatives from AMG showed the owners all of the car's various systems and how to use them. Just from watching the video, the AMG One seems to be one of the most complicated vehicles ever sold. That's to be expected when it's packing a hybrid F1 powertrain with four electric motors and tons of active aerodynamics.

The turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 is essentially the same used in Mercedes' F1 car. The noticeable differences include: emissions equipment and its rev limiter. The AMG One revs to an astonishing 11,000 rpm but that's still not as high as the F1 car's stratospheric 15,000 rpm redline. That high-revving engine in the AMG One is paired with an electric motor, another electric motor to power the turbochargers, two more at each front wheel, which are all shifted through an eight-speed automated manual transmission.

All of the electric motors are powered by a battery pack and the total system power output is 1,049 horsepower. As you might imagine, the AMG One is the fastest production Mercedes product in history, hitting 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds and capable of a 219 mph top speed.

While the powertrain layout itself isn't that unusual—several supercars have hybrid layouts—it's the rest of the car's systems that make it so complex. While watching the video, it can be hard to keep track of it all. Even just getting in the car for the first time is complicated because you have to adjust the pedal box to your driving position. To do that, there's a red lever between your legs, which when pulled allows you to adjust the pedal box with your feet. Ironically, the steering wheel just gets a "normal" power adjustment.

Then, there are six different driving modes: EV, Individual, Race, Race Safe, Race+, and Strat 2. To switch settings, you simply turn a dial on the steering wheel. Entering Race+ mode, though, is like entering the Konami Code: you have to be in Race mode, have your foot on the brake, press the "N" button on the steering wheel, click the settings wheel to the right one more time, and then hold the right paddle shifter until you hear a funny noise. You'll know you've done it properly once you feel the ride height lower, the rear wing raise, and the fender louvers open. That last part is undeniably cool.

Once in Race+, there are four electric flow control modes, which let you choose how much electric power you want to use on the track. In Strat 2 mode, the car will use all of its battery power in a single lap, so you can get the best lap time possible.

There is one very simple but very cool function in the AMG One. There's a red button on the steering wheel labeled "Pass" and it does exactly what it says it does. Push to pass isn't a new feature to fast cars, but we're willing to bet it's less of a "push" and more of a "shove."

It isn't often you get to see the inside of a car as rare (only 275 units made) and as expensive ($2.72 million) as the Mercedes-AMG One. The level of complexity, not just with its powertrain but also with its aerodynamics and software, is impressive, even if it is a bit overwhelming. But I guess that's what you get if you want an F1 powertrain for the road.