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MMercedes-AMG Moers fires up the beast at precisely 10:34 GMT. A metallic symphony strikes up – first the electric motor spins up to speed, then the engine kicks in. The hairs on our arms stand on end – goosebumps! It takes a few seconds for the six-cylinder to wake up – first sputtering then snarling before springing to life. Moers floors the gas and catapults out of the “pit” and onto the track, a Formula 1 roar trailing in his wake. Like a supersonic fighter jet, the prototype disappears onto the straight before the landscape swallows the sound. It’s a moment of pure tension. The entire team stands next to the cones holding its combined breath until the monster comes firing back down the straight with an infernal scream. The technicians run intuitively to the pit. But Moers is a racer. He continues for another lap, and then another, before finally returning to the pit. He reports “vibrations and unevenness in the middle of the rev range”. And a distant noise “that sounds like a pump”. After a brief tech talk, the Formula 1 engine fires up again. Once again, Moers puts the prototype through its paces over several laps and, just like the first time, returns with plenty of feedback for the technicians. That’s a good racer for you – analytical, detailed. While all this is going on, the team of Formula 1 development technicians and software engineers checks the data on the computer – all the parameters, from the temperature, to pressures, to the condition of the batteries and fluids. After one more lap, Moers confers briefly with Wollmann. The Project Leader suggests his boss listen to the sound from outside the car: “You have in your mind what a Mercedes-AMG hypercar should sound like – we’d like your feedback.” Moers crouches down beside the race car among the radiators and listens intently. The two men then confer once more. The prototype is topped up with gasoline hand-pumped from a mobile fuel tank – yes, it’s nothing more than super plus – before Moers sets off again. He provides the technical crew with feedback from the cockpit. When he finally rises from the tight bucket seat for the last time today and leaps to his feet, he’s quickly surrounded by his team. There’s an exchange of high-fives while the boss grins from ear-to-ear. The unspoken appreciation of all the hard work is palpable. At 12:28 GMT, Moers is once again dressed in his leather jacket. He quickly checks his smartphone before setting off again for Affalterbach. Is he satisfied? “Absolutely,” he says, “because Project ONE is clearly making progress.” Tobias Moers will be 51 when the show car rolls onto the stage to mark the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG. Project ONE The Mercedes-AMG hypercar offers sheer Formula 1 technology for the road, making it the first vehicle available on the market with a high- performance Formula 1 hybrid drive. The highly efficient and powerful Formula 1 powertrain, paired with an all-electric, wheel-selective front-wheel drive concept generates a combined system output estimated at more than 1,000 hp (735 kW). The Mercedes-AMG hypercar is a true performance hybrid that marks the pinnacle of current technological feasibility and points the way to “AMG Future Performance”. As a project, it stands as a spectacular milestone on the road to the next 50 years of Mercedes-AMG. 81


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