What is it like on the inside?
Some housekeeping basics. The AMG One is only available with left-hand drive, and access is not graceful. Like the BMW i8 the gullwing doors are framed, so you have to rather fold yourself under them and stoop into the carbon tub. It must be said the materials are all pure Merc: it’s beautifully built and well-trimmed. The view out of the windscreen is narrow and intimidating, but unlike the Aston Valkyrie and GMA T.50 there are physical door mirrors instead of cameras with extra screens inside. Handy for all the parallel parking you won’t be doing.
Once you’re successfully inside, you realise the seat is moulded directly into the tub and you have to adjust the pedals and steering wheel to set your driving position, like a LaFerrari. The pedals release via a red lever between your legs, but the steering column is electrically motorised, just like an S-Class. Odd.
There is a hint of a feet-up driving position, which adds to the motorsport vibe, but it’s spoiled by a bucket seat hewn from the chassis that has very little lateral support. It’s bizarre – nearly as bizarre as fitting a weedy hi-fi to the world’s loudest car. And a Bluetooth phone – really, don’t even bother.
Is it a stripped-out racer?
There’s incongruous equipment inside the One. You get cruise control (named pit limiter on the steering ‘wheel’) and the touchscreen from an A-Class with all manner of infotainment and lap time functions. Meanwhile the steering wheel features a strip of LEDs to warn when to change gear in case you’ve actually gone deaf, and GT3 racecar buttons to operate main beam flash, DRS, EPAS boost and selecting Neutral. On the bottom of the wheel you’ll find the same mode and toggle knobs familiar to every AMG from an A45 upwards.
Between the seats lies a clear-lidded stowage cubby which is handy for keeping the totally standard Mercedes key safe. There’s nowhere else to put anything: no boot, no storage shelf. There’s no back window either, so rear view duties are entrusted to a camera, and parking sensors.