53 years ago, three letters came together to become synonymous with the ultimate in Driving Performance: AMG. The company began as an independent tuner which improved the performance of Mercedes-Benz cars. Its successful business attracted the attention of DaimlerChrysler AG, which took a controlling interest in 1998. The association proved to be very useful for Mercedes-Benz and by 2005, it became the owner of AMG, establishing Mercedes-AMG GmbH as a high-performance subsidiary.
The history of AMG has many interesting stories, some lesS well-known innovations and superlative, exclusive sportscars. Here are 10 things about the company which you may not have known:
‘AMG’ stands for Aufrecht, Melcher, Grossaspach, the last names of its founders Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, along with Aufrecht’s birthplace of Grosspach. The AMG story started in the 1960s when the two engineers were working on the 300 SE 4-door sedan’s racing engine in the Development Department at Daimler- Benz. When the company discontinued all motorsports activities, Aufecht and Melcher continued to work on it. In 1965, the engine won 10 races in the German Touring Car Championship and with further successes came the eventual formal partnership with Mercedes- Benz.
The first model associated with AMG and perhaps its most noteworthy, started its life as a subdued 4-door sedan – the 300 SEL 6.3. Extensively modified, the engine displacement was increased to 6.8 litres and it produced 428 ps/607 Nm. The car was extensively lightened but was still likely the heaviest car on the starting grid at its racing debut in the 1971 24 hours of Spa. It secured a class win and second place overall result, immediately connecting the letters AMG with motorsports success.
The first jointly developed high-performance car from AMG and Mercedes-Benz was the C 36 AMG. By 1998, the partnership between AMG and Mercedes-Benz solidified further when Daimler acquired a majority stake of AMG, setting the stage for a variety of high-performance Mercedes-Benz AMG vehicles.
Since 2007, Mercedes-AMG has shared its passion for performance with the Cigarette Racing Team, resulting in a unique partnership that has produced 12 special edition, high-performance, ultra-exclusive boats. The striking design of the Tirranna AMG Edition as well as the Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition is the result of close collaboration between the team, the Mercedes-AMG design team and Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG.
Few models can match the exclusivity and track-optimized performance of the rare AMG Black Series models. One can think of the Black Series as AMG’s most extroverted, most track-focused and most exclusive, limited production models. Thus far, only 5 special models have carried the distinctive AMG Black Series badge. The exclusive series will grow soon with the addition of the forthcoming GT Black Series, set to make its debut later this year.
The striking SLS AMG was the first-ever car designed and developed from the ground up fully by Mercedes-AMG, followed by the AMG GT 2-door sports car in 2015, and most recently the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe in 2019. The iconic SLS AMG featured vertically opening ‘gullwing’ doors, inspired by the iconic original Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘gullwing’ (produced from 1954 – 1957). The doors had an unusual safety feature – two explosive capsules, capable of blowing the doors off for quick exit, in the unlikely event that the vehicle flips on its roof.
All AMG models are built according to the ‘One man, one engine’ philosophy, in which one master craftsman assembles each AMG engine from start to finish. Each engine has a special plaque with the signature and name of the individual who assembled it.
Mercedes-AMG has a history of technology and performance related innovations, many of which are evident in the latest models. For example, the AMG Dynamic Select toggle as well as the AMG Drive Unit steering wheel controls extend the performance potential and individualization possibilities. Functions such as the level of traction control as well as the AMG Performance Exhaust setting are also easily accessible via these advanced steering wheel-mounted controls.
The Mercedes-AMG ONE hypercar is set to become the most powerful AMG model ever produced. It is capable of producing more than 1,000 ps and reach top speeds beyond 325 km/h. For the first time, this 2-seater hypercar will bring fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology directly from the racetrack to the road.
Mercedes-AMG continues to be headquartered in Affalterbach, Germany, a small town northeast of Stuttgart. It is where AMG handcrafted engines are assembled by craftsmen who are part of the company’s approximately 1,800-strong workforce.
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