The release of the Mercedes-AMG One marks the end of a bit of a saga for the German car manufacturer. The company took on the project back in 2017, but the complexities of bringing an F1 engine into a road car meant it took them much longer than they anticipated in making it a reality. The same is true of the Aston Martin Valkyrie too, a car developed in conjunction with Red Bull Racing and design genius Adrian Newey. Both cars though are now ready to rumble and hit the road.
While they have changed over the course of their development, and the cars might not be as cutting edge as they were when first announced, they almost defy the law of supercar physics. Bringing such levels of Formula 1 technology into a road car is no small feat, and Mercedes and Aston Martin have handled it well and produced perhaps two of the finest supercars of this generation. Hopefully that is how they will be remembered, and not for the long-running saga that was their development and ultimate delivery to their customers.
What The Two Cars Are All About
The Mercedes-AMG One is all about bringing an F1 engine into a road car. Under the hood of this remarkable machine is an engine developed from the 2016 Mercedes F1 power unit, and this engine was also developed at the Brixworth facility that produces the Formula 1 engines. It has a 1.6-liter V6 internal combustion engine that produces 566 hp on its own. Coupled with its four electric motors, and the AMG One produces a staggering 1048 hp. There are cars out there that might produce more, but that is still one big number.
For many, though, the Valkyrie might be the winner when it comes to engines. Because under the hood of the Aston Martin is a 6.5-liter Cosworth developed V12 engine that produces 1,000 hp with an extra 160 hp coming from a KERS style electric motor, co-developed with electric car specialists Rimac. The Valkyrie has a top speed of 250 mph, and the AMG One has a top speed of 219 mph, so the Valkyrie is perhaps the most impressive of the two. But it also goes about bringing Formula 1 technology onto the road in a slightly different way.
How They Defy The Supercar Rules
Aston Martin has defined the conventions of supercar physics with how the Valkyrie gets its performance. Newey has tried to pile as much downforce as possible onto the Valkyrie, to make it as close to an F1 car for the road as possible. There are no V12s in F1, so it is the aerodynamics that tie this car to Formula 1. The car takes advantage of the Venturi effect, ie generating downforce from the floor, similar to that of the new generation 2022 F1 cars. The car has a very low center of gravity as well, while the gullwing doors give the cabin a Le Mans prototype feel.
As we have already touched upon, the AMG One gets its F1 relations from that V6 engine. Mercedes has won every constructors’ championship of the hybrid era in F1 since 2014, although it looks like that is under threat in 2022. However, active aero also plays a big role with the AMG One. The car has movable flaps in the front diffuser, front wheel arch vents and the active rear wing. It will be very interesting to see how the two cars compare in a hot lap shootout, with the Valkyrie probably having the edge.
Is There A Clear Winner?
On paper, yes, there is a clear winner. And that is unquestionably the Valkyrie. The Aston Martin has more power than the Mercedes, more top end speed and, in theory, produces more downforce as well. Plus, the production model arrived in November 2021, a few months earlier than the AMG One. Although it’s arguable that both cars have been outdone by the highly impressive Gordon Murray Automotive T.50! Either way, both cars have very impressive characteristics that make them worth waiting for. But it looks like Aston Martin have produced the better machine.
What The Future Might Hold For These Two Cars
Truth be told, the future is interesting for these two cars. It is unlikely anyone will ever attempt such projects again, given the difficulty of bringing various aspects of Formula 1 into a road car. So these two machines may well stand as the only ones of their kind. It is perhaps more unlikely that an F1 engine will be developed for the road again, versus the downforce approach of the Valkyrie. But both manufacturers pushed supercar technology to the absolute limit, and proved that the usual rules of designing a supercar can indeed be rewritten on a dramatic scale.
Sources: Aston Martin, Mercedes-AMG