In September 2018, Mercedes-AMG claimed it didn't see the point of using the One to set a new record on the Nürburgring. It has obviously changed its mind: The Formula One-derived hypercar just set a new record for street-legal production cars on Germany's grueling track.
DTM pilot Maro Engel lapped the Green Hell in 6.35.183 on October 28, though the record wasn't announced until now. In comparison, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR logged a time of 6:38.835 in June 2021, and the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series took 6:43.616. It sounds like the One could have been even quicker in better weather conditions: AMG explained that the track was damp and slightly dirty.
Mercedes made no modifications to the One to set the record; if it had, it wouldn't be eligible to claim the production car crown. The company notes it dialed in the maximum camber values before letting Engel loose on the track, however. The car's gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain consists of a turbocharged, 1.6-liter V6 engine and four electric motors. The system is closely related to the one that powers AMG's championship-winning Formula One car, and it delivers 1,063 horsepower in this application. While setting a record with this much power might sound easy, Engel stresses it's quite difficult. He notably had to make the most of the brake energy recuperation system.
"We tried to find the optimal deployment strategy during the pre-tests. Like Lewis Hamilton and George Russel 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," he said. He ultimately selected the "Race Plus" driving mode that provides the best possible aerodynamic profile and lowers the ride height.
Records are meant to be broken. While the One's is seriously impressive, we can't help but wonder who will manage to beat it.
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