Mercedes-AMG has achieved yet another breakthrough in furthering development of the internal combustion engine, this time achieving a 50% thermal efficiency rating for its Formula One engine. The figure was achieved during a dyno test and not on a racetrack.

For the layman, this essentially means the new engine has a better power-to-waste ratio. That’s right, waste. The thermal efficiency of an engine is determined by the amount of energy it can extract from fuel. The average thermal efficiency for a regular internal combustion engine is between 20% to 30%, with Toyota and Hyundai boasting a 40% figure for its engines in the Prius and Ioniq respectively.

This Mercedes F1 engine – which is a 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 – was commissioned for duty in 2014 and has proven itself to be a reliable and competent performer since then. It is now the most efficient engine of them all.

The Mercedes-AMG Project One which recently made its grand debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show also uses a broadly similar 1.6 litre W06 Hybrid unit with a thermal efficiency rating of 43%. The engine makes over 1,000 hp, propelling the car from 0 to 200 km/h in under six seconds and reportedly maxes out over 350 km/h.