This Is Why Making A Road Car With An F1 Engine Is Easier Said Than Done

Mercedes-AMG is currently developing a hybrid hypercar dubbed the One. Big claims have been made about it, but it’s no secret the German company is struggling to bring the car to the street.

When the One was first announced, it set the world buzzing because it is set to receive the 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain of a hybrid-era Mercedes Formula 1 car.

This sounds truly amazing on paper, but it is proving to be exceptionally difficult to make a reality. This video from Drive Tribe helps to explain why that’s the case.

Also Read: New Mercedes-AMG One Build Slot Pops Up, This Time For $4 Million

One of the first things AMG is struggling with is just how to start an F1 engine. Current F1 cars use external starter motors to fire them into life but that’s clearly not practical for the road and the company will need to develop a bespoke starting motor.

Another issue relates to cooling, or the lack thereof. F1 cars are almost always moving and when they’re not, huge fans are placed over the air intakes to feed the engines with air. An F1-powered road car would have to deal with stop-start traffic and use custom fans to ensure it doesn’t overheat at slow speeds.

Other problems AMG is having to deal with relate to cost and torque. Modern Formula 1 engines are loaded with technology and far from cheap. In fact, a current unit is thought to cost about $8 million, so Mercedes needs to somehow make that much cheaper. F1 engines also don’t produce huge amounts of torque at low revs, yet that’s something modern customers demand from their road cars – though we guess that’s the least of Merc’s worries…


  • Six_Tymes

    Cancel the project and give the deposits back. Merc could suck it up to a poorly thought out idea, and start working on an EV or a Hybrid.

    • Nick G

      It IS a hybrid.

  • Bart

    This was bad idea from the beginning, and will stay bad even if they manage to finish it and put on the streets. I mean: once they’ll polish off all the edge cases the end result will not have much in common with the F1 engine – so, what’s the point?
    I mean, for example you could use the relatively small size of the engine to do something fancy with the packaging, but it appears they’ll have to add lots of deadwood to just keep the motor running in the road conditions – so the size advantage is gone.

  • izzey04

    F1 engine is only good for a few kilometres…

  • Jay_Sam

    Mercedes could’ve talken to Ferrari about that idea before starting the project. They’ve been there and done that.

  • Patrick

    F 1 cars don’t use an external starter

    • Vassilis

      They used to though until 2013

  • Nick G

    Merc will figure it out, and it’ll be epic.

  • StrangerGP

    This project was cursed from the start. The first announcement about the limited mileage of the engine was the first PR disaster, even if only 1% of the cars reach the limit it doesn’t look good on paper.

    • willhaven

      What do you mean by limited mileage? Like engine rebuild schedules of 5000 miles or something?

      • DaruniaG


  • exeptor

    It is laughable that there are people who think that a company like Mercedes Benz just euphorically said “hey, let’s build a car with F1 an engine”. This is a company with decades of motor racing, with multiple peaks and downs, one of the leader in the car industry. Yet, they didn’t know what they stepped into!?!? Is it hard – yes, a lot, can they do it – if they can’t, probably no one can. They will do it, customers will drive it mostly on track and be happy and proud to have an actual F1 car for the road (this might be even more valuable for them than the car itself), there will be problems (which Mercedes will fix) and so on.

  • Alexandro Pietro

    Superior Engeneering GERMANY and BRITISH and AMERICAN can solve every problem.

    • DaruniaG

      Only the Germans

      • PK

        true. i mean mercedes benz, audi and bmw! the germans are heart of the automakers after all! germany to cars is like japan to video games!

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