The AMG Project One hypercar has endured a long and challenging road from Formula 1-inspired concept to production, so much so that Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius has questioned the brand’s thinking behind signing off on such an ambitious project.
According to a report from Autocar, speaking to investors in Monaco, Källenius joked that the board of management must have been “drunk” to have given the green light to turning the brand’s F1 powertrain into a road-legal supercar.
“The team at AMG and the [AMG] High Performance Powertrain Formula 1 arm came to us about four years ago and said ‘we’ve got a great idea, let’s put a Formula 1 engine into a road car’. I will have to go back to check the meeting minutes, but I’m sure we were drunk when we said yes,” Källenius said.
The German brand showed off the Project One as a concept car back in 2017 and originally said it would be ready for production by 2019. However, the challenges of turning the F1-designed 1.6-litre V6 turbo and hybrid systems into something that is legal for the road, reliable enough for production and still powerful enough has proven incredibly difficult.
The AMG One, as the production version is officially known, is now due to finally enter production by the end of the year. Despite all the problems and a $3.4 million asking price, all 275 examples of the One that will be built have already been sold.
Mercedes-AMG isn’t alone in having trouble with its F1-inspired hypercar, Aston Martin has endured arguably a more troubled development of its Valkyrie. It was revealed in 2016 and has only just entered production after technical and legal delays.
Mercedes won’t shy away from the problems, and will reportedly release a “very honest” documentary about the development of the Project One.