40 Years of AMG

From a two-man start-up to a global business

From its beginnings 40 years ago as a specialist motorsport and tuning firm, Mercedes-AMG GmbH has grown into a supplier of exclusive highperformance cars with some 750 employees, an extensive model range comprising 18 different AMG cars, customers across the world and a brand name which has gained a high level of recognition.

The company was founded on June 1, 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht (A) and his partner Erhard Melcher (M); the third letter in the company name (G) came from Aufrecht’s birthplace, Großaspach.

The two men officially described themselves as “Engineering, construction and testing specialists in the development of racing engines”. The firm was based in an old mill in Burgstall (near Affalterbach).

Breakthrough in 1971 with second place at the 24 Hours of Spa

In the early years of the company, its founders concentrated on building racing cars based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE and competing in European touring car races.

They did not have to wait long for their breakthrough: a Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG finished a surprising second overall at the 24 Hours of Spa in 1971 in Belgium, winning its class at the same time.

The 315-kW/428-hp racing saloon was driven alternately by Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz.

This historic victory was followed by countless successes at all manner of motorsport arenas: AMG took the DTM team title no less than five times.

Bernd Schneider, Gary Paffett and Klaus Ludwig collected a total of eight DTM titles, with Schneider also taking the ITC (International Touring Car Championship) title.

It was Bernd Schneider again, at the wheel of the Affalterbach team’s CLK-GTR, who took the drivers’ title in the inaugural FIA GT Championship in 1997, a success repeated by Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta the following year when they also won the constructors’ title for Team AMG Mercedes – the CLK-GTR won all eleven races of the season. In the current 2007 DTM season, Bernd Schneider – who already has a record-breaking five titles to his name – is committed to doing everything he can to defend his 2006 championship title in the all-new AMG Mercedes C-Class.

Outstanding technological achievements boost business

AMG’s success was to spread far beyond the world of international motorsport. By the 1970s, customers were beginning to acquire a taste for more individuality in their cars, a trend which the Swabian company used to develop its business.

The transfer of technology from motorsport to series-production development was already an integral part of the company’s philosophy.

AMG’s ability to deliver outstanding technological achievements and first-class quality as a result of its involvement in motorsport meant that the company quickly made a name for itself and became highly respected.

As a result of the aims which it had set itself, AMG soon became one of the pioneers in the refinement and tuning of premium vehicles.

The strong demand for refined and tuned Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the 1970s led to a steady increase in the number of orders received by AMG. The company outgrew its base in Burgstall and moved to Affalterbach in 1976.

As the first Mercedes-Benz tuning company, AMG developed into a model for an entire branch of the automotive industry. The company’s impact was evident at the 1981 Frankfurt Motor Show, where a total of 176 exhibitors were involved in tuning and accessories for the Mercedes-Benz brand.

An important event in the history of AMG was the launch of the Mercedes-Benz 190 in 1982. The compact saloon soon became a favourite with German car tuners and helped AMG to tap into a whole new clientele.

AMG opens its second plant and the workforce grows to 100

AMG continued to expand: the company opened its second plant in 1985 and took on its 100th employee. Customers from all over the world began to come to Affalterbach, among them prominent figures from the spheres of motorsport, film, music, sport and business, not to mention royalty.

Time and again, the extremely specialised requirements of these highly discerning customers resulted in exceptional projects, which AMG was always able to bring to fruition thanks to its unerring passion and expertise.

As an industry pioneer and trendsetter, AMG was able to draw on its ever-expanding wealth of experience to great effect. Ignoring short-lived fads, the company was already committed to its vision of securing – and maintaining – the position of world leader in its sector in terms of technology, design, sales and earnings.

Cooperation agreement with Daimler-Benz AG in 1990

One of the key milestones in the history of AMG came in 1990, with the signing of the cooperation agreement with Daimler-Benz AG. Demand and customer acceptance were given a tremendous boost now that AMG products could be sold and maintained through Mercedes-Benz’ worldwide network of company-owned sales and service outlets and dealerships.

Further expansion led to the opening of a third plant in 1990 and an increase in the workforce to 400 employees. In 1993, the company unveiled the Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG, the first jointly developed vehicle to result from the cooperation agreement.

In another development the same year, the Patent Office recognised AMG as a trademark as the name was now so well known.

Incorporation into the DaimlerChrysler Group in 1999

Hans Werner Aufrecht transferred a majority stake in the steadily growing company to DaimlerChrysler AG on January 1, 1999. On January 1, 2005 DaimlerChrysler acquired 100 per cent of the shares.

This allowed the newly founded Mercedes-AMG GmbH to benefit to an even greater extent from the Group’s resources and global standing.

Also in 1999, the motorsport department was transferred to company founder Hans Werner Aufrecht’s firm H.W.A. GmbH (now H.W.A. AG).

Located in close proximity to Mercedes-AMG GmbH, some 200 staff now work there together with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport to manage the two companies’ long-standing involvement in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).

Involvement in Formula 1 with the official F1™ safety car

Mercedes-AMG has been an important part of the safety concept in Formula 1 for over ten years. The official F1™ safety car is based on the CLK 63 AMG whilst also providing the technological blueprint for the new CLK 63 AMG Black Series.

The C 55 AMG Estate, meanwhile, provides the basis for the official F1™ medical car. The decades of experience acquired in touring car and GT racing played a key role in the development of these two extra-special AMG vehicles.

Opening of the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO in 2006

The opening of the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO in 2006 marked the start of a new initiative to appeal to customers on a most individual level.

In addition to the AMG high-performance cars available through the global Mercedes-Benz sales organisation, the PERFORMANCE STUDIO develops and produces special series of AMG vehicles in exclusive numbers.

Offered as the Signature Series, Black Series and Editions, these uniquely special models stand out by virtue of their outstanding handling, race-track capability, distinctive technical and visual features or their exclusive equipment details, depending on the particular model in question.

Apart from the new CLK 63 AMG Black Series, the latest product from the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO is the SLK 55 AMG Black Series, a purist’s lightweight version equipped with an AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine delivering 294 kW/400 hp, plus numerous components from the world of motorsport.

As well as focussing on particularly compelling AMG vehicles, the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO also attends to customers’ individual requests – a traditional forte of Mercedes-AMG.

These special requirements can take the form of specific technical modifications, such as AMG sports suspension systems, AMG high-performance brake systems, AMG wheel/tyre combinations, limitedslip differentials and customised interior appointments, as well as bespoke one-off models.

Company and positioning

AMG, the performance brand within the Mercedes Car Group

AMG — around the world, these three evocative letters embody individuality, dynamism and exclusivity. Over the last four decades, Mercedes-AMG GmbH has evolved from a tuning firm specialising in premium cars to a performance brand within its own right under the umbrella of the Mercedes Car Group.

“Performance” is at the essence of the AMG brand. The workforce delivers top performance, AMG models are the quintessential high-performance cars – and performance shines through in every single aspect of customer relations. AMG’s own specific brand values are derived from the brand essence of “performance”:

“Individual” and “Dynamic”, two values which are mirrored in each and every AMG product: “Individual”: the development and production of new AMG models, technologies and components draws on the wealth of experience and the innovations of fine German handcrafting and engineering – as can be witnessed in the AMG engine manufacturing facility, for example. Here, the powerful V8 and V12 engines are hand-built to the highest standards of quality by highly qualified specialists, whilst adhering to the traditional philosophy of “One man, one engine”.

The AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO produces exclusive, small-scale model series such as the CLK 63 AMG Black Series or the CLK DTM AMG Cabriolet, and is capable of accommodating even
the most fanciful customer requests, including custom-built one-off models. The brand value “Individual” thereby denotes an approach that is perfectly tailored to a discerning clientele of elite achievers and their wish for exclusivity and exceptionality.

•  “Dynamic”: every single AMG high-performance vehicle exemplifies outstanding power delivery and braking performance, dynamic handling that thrills, vibrant design, as well as a memorably sonorous acoustic experience. The brand value of “Dynamic” therefore stands for self-assured enjoyment of effortlessly superior sportiness.

AMG’s own interpretation of the Mercedes-Benz brand values of “Authentic”, “Leading”, “Respectful” and “Fascinating” is likewise expressed in its products:

•  “Authentic”: the singular combination of Mercedes genes and the AMG “DNA” ensures genuine everyday practicality and long-distance comfort despite the supremely dynamic performance. As every AMG is, at the same time, a Mercedes-Benz too, ride and acoustic comfort are subject to the very highest standards, as are the vehicle’s endurance and guaranteed long-term
performance. The superior performance potential of all AMG products is the direct result of this.

•  “Leading”: in keeping with the innovative flair of Mercedes-Benz, the highperformance cars from AMG are made to excel by meaningful innovations and perceived quality of the highest order. In doing so, AMG endeavours at all times to live up to the expectations of all vehicles bearing the three-pointed star in terms of robustness and value retention.

•  “Respectful”: both the AMG high-performance vehicles themselves and the full range of customer services offered satisfy the needs and expectations of the brand’s highly discerning clientele. The deepest respect for every customer goes without saying – establishing lifelong customer relations is the much sought-after goal.

•  “Fascinating”: AMG inspires an air of enthralment with its pre-eminent sportiness and its workshop-built character. Civilised dynamism combined with aesthetic design radiates vitality and a zest for life. AMG epitomises a matchless, perfect synthesis of emotion and function which serves up a genre of motoring indulgence that satisfies even the most scrupulous tastes. These traits all add up to secure lasting enthusiasm for the Mercedes Car Group’s performance brand.

 

Mercedes-AMG has a far-reaching responsibility

Mercedes-AMG GmbH specialises in unique, high-performance vehicles; its sporty saloons, SUVs, coupés, cabriolets, roadsters and specially built one-off models constitute a product portfolio which meets its customers’ every wish.

The highly specialised subsidiary company has overall responsibility for developing the design, aerodynamics, interior as well as the powertrain, engine, suspension, brakes and electronics – right up to granting final approval for production of the complete AMG vehicle.

Mercedes-AMG GmbH is also in charge of all marketing and sales-related activities for its products, too.

 

Early integration in the strategy and product phases

Since its incorporation into DaimlerChrysler AG on January 1, 1999 – and even more so since it became a fully owned subsidiary on January 1, 2005 – Mercedes-AMG GmbH has been able to ensure that it is integrated in the strategy and product phases at an early stage and make optimum use of the Group’s resources when needed.

New AMG high-performance models are included in the specifications book from the very start of the concept phase and run through all the steps of the development process leading to series-production maturity in parallel to the Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

In addition to its own high-tech test rigs, Mercedes-AMG also has access to all Mercedes Car Group test facilities.

Furthermore, Mercedes-AMG has its own testing centre at the Nürburgring race circuit where particularly demanding AMG-specific development and test programmes can be conducted on the circuit’s legendary “Nordschleife” – the world’s most challenging stretch of racetrack.

The end product of the company’s development process is always an AMG vehicle that is perfectly tuned in every respect. During their development and production, all AMG products must meet the same high quality, safety and environmental standards that apply to every Mercedes vehicle.

And because every AMG sports car is a genuine Mercedes-Benz too, the comprehensive Mercedes service and warranty cover also applies in full to vehicles with the AMG logo.
Some 750 AMG employees work at the company’s Affalterbach headquarters

The strength of Mercedes-AMG lies in its highly motivated employees and the consolidation of all automotive functions in a very compact organisation.

This ensures fast decision-making and the ability to quickly and flexibly implement the steps needed to satisfy all manner of customer requests, as proven by the rapid growth of the company’s model range.

Mercedes-AMG also offers an extensive range of accessories and optional equipment for almost all Mercedes-Benz models.

Some 750 employees currently work at the Mercedes-AMG GmbH headquarters in Affalterbach. All are highly qualified specialists whose commitment to providing the ultimate in high performance and precision is central to their own sense of professional integrity.

They are motivated by performance, meaning that they experience every day the essence of the AMG brand at its very purest.

 

AMG milestones

Successes on the track and outstanding technological achievements on the road

40 Years of AMG – an anniversary which has come about after four decades of numerous motor racing victories and of continuously striving to be the No. 1 for technical innovation.

This look back at eleven milestone models plots the unprecedented history of the firm from Affalterbach.

• 300 SEL 6.8 AMG: a racing saloon with a unique history A fire red paint finish, imposing tyres and a mighty eight-cylinder engine under the bonnet – it could only be the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG. Even today, motorsport aficionados still rave about the victory at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps 36 years ago.Piloted by Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz, the racing saloon took its place on the start grid of the classic long-distance race in the Ardennes in Belgium alongside established rivals from Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford and Opel. Nobody had thought it possible, but the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG crossed the line in second place on its very first outing, winning its class in the process. As a result, the company from Affalterbach which had been founded in 1967 became famous overnight – and the AMG legend was born out on the race track.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 – at that time the fast German-built car in series production – provided the technical platform for the AMG racing car. With its V8 engine mustering 184 kW/250 hp from a displacement of 6.3 litres and a peak torque of 51 mkg, the Stuttgart-built luxury saloon was deemed to be the scourge of the sports car fraternity. In the racing version, AMG implemented a host of measures including expanding the displacement to 6.8 litres and fitting “sharper” camshafts, larger intake valves, as well as modified rocker arms and pistons to boost output to 315 kW/428 hp and torque to 62 mkg. This enabled a top speed of 265 km/h on the race track, compared to the standard-production saloon’s 221 km/h. However, this spectacular racing car was denied any further success following a change to the regulations which imposed a maximum capacity of 5.0 litres on cars in the European Touring Car Cup from 1972 – too little for the large-displacement, naturally aspirated AMG V8 engine.

• 300 SEL 6.3 AMG: Luxurious sports saloon developing up to 235 kW/320 hp The achievement of the racy “6.8” in Spa-Francorchamps had a definite impact on day-to-day business at AMG. With the German and international press still lavishing praise on the red touring car racer, power-hungry Mercedes customers were already requesting that AMG tune their 300 SEL 6.3. Despite the fact that the saloon had maintained its status as the fastest German car in series production ever since it was unveiled in 1968, squeezing even more power from the standard 184-kW/250-hp eight-cylinder unit was an effortless task for AMG. There was a choice of three power ratings: 206 kW/280 hp, 221 kW/300 hp or 235 kW/320 hp. The engine’s displacement of 6289 cc was left unchanged, instead the untapped potential of the Mercedes engine was harnessed by the traditional means of machining the cylinder head, fitting new camshafts and modifying the intake and exhaust ducting to turn it into a true AMG V8. The 235kW/320-hp version of the 300 SEL 6.3 AMG accelerated from 0 – 100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds and attained a top speed of 235 km/h (standard model: 8.0 s; 221 km/h). This allowed the racy AMG Mercedes to truly hold its own with any sports car. AMG fitted a newly developed sports suspension to handle the heightened performance capabilities.

• 450 SLC AMG: victory in the 1980 European Touring Car Championship In contrast to Daimler-Benz AG, which raced the Mercedes-Benz SLC in the World Rally Championship, AMG built a racing coupé for circuit competition. Hans Werner Aufrecht sought to triumph over Jaguar and Alpina-BMW in the European Touring Car Championship with the SLC. According to the Group 2 regulations, the coupé could slim down to 1225 kilograms – in its original guise, a standard 450 SLC tipped the scales at around 1690 kilograms. AMG succeeded in upping the output of the 4520 cc V8 from the previous 160 kW/217 hp to 276 kW/375 hp; at the same time, the rated engine speed was increased from a modest 5000 to 6550 rpm. The three-speed automatic transmission basically remained unchanged, the five-speed manual transmission that would have been the preferred option had not been homologated. Work on the AMG racing coupé was completed just before the first race of the 1978 season of the European Touring Car Championship in Monza, Italy. Notwithstanding this, the AMG drivers Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz immediately secured a highly respectable fifth place on the grid, despite there still being plenty of room for improvement as far as both the brakes and the power transmission were concerned. During the four-hour race, the AMG team even managed to move up the field to third, a feat which it then repeated in the race on the Salzburgring in Austria.

Finally, in 1980, the 450 SLC AMG came in second in the opening race of the season in Monza again. But it was in the car’s very last European Touring Car Championship race on the Nürburgring circuit that the driver team of Schickentanz/Denzel finally scored the victory that Hans Werner Aufrecht had yearned so long for.

• 300 E 5.6 AMG: first saloon to break the 300-km/h barrier 300 km/h – today, it’s a speed which quite a number of series-production models are capable of attaining. However, many obstacles blocked the path to achieving such speeds. But obstacles are there to be overcome, especially for someone like Hans Werner Aufrecht, the founder of AMG. Over 20 years ago, he succeeded in breaking through the 300-km/h barrier with his Mercedes-Benz 300 E 5.6 AMG, setting a record for a saloon car in the process. Reverent AMG fans in the US dubbed the mighty four-door saloon with its all-powerful eight-cylinder engine “The Hammer”. In 1987, the high-speed saloon took part in a head-to-head test organised by the German motoring magazine “auto motor und sport”. The result: a top speed of 303 km/h, all thanks to the copious 265 kW/360 hp of power stemming from the AMG eight-cylinder engine’s capacity of 5.6 litres. Incidentally, the 300 E from Affalterbach reached its top speed with a four-speed automatic transmission – in the most serene, unperturbed, uneventful manner possible. This was quite unprecedented: for the first time, a fully-fledged saloon with enough room for four people, a large boot, hallmark Mercedes comfort and unerring straight-line
stability was capable of the sorts of speeds which had previously been the preserve of capricious sports cars – whose owners often had to contend with questionable endurance, strenuous handling characteristics and inadequate comfort.

The power unit behind the sports-car-like performance was the AMG V8 with newly engineered four-valve technology and a capacity of exactly 5547 cubic centimetres. The car ultimately evolved into the 300 E 6.0 AMG brought out in 1987, boasting a whole six litres of engine capacity, an output of 283 kW/385 hp and 566 Newton metres of peak torque.

The first 300 E 5.0 AMG developing 250 kW/340 hp was launched in 1984 and sparked off the use of V8 engines in the mid-range W 124 model series. It can therefore be said that AMG created the forerunner of the Mercedes-Benz E 500 series-production saloon, which did not arrive on the market until 1990.

• 500 SEC AMG: second attempt at 24-hour races in 1989 Three years after AMG’s debut in the DTM German Touring Car Championship in 1986, AMG tried its hand at long-distance motor racing for a second time. The 500 SEC – the large Mercedes coupé with a five-litre eight-cylinder engine – was chosen as the right car for the job. Originally, there was even talk of entering it in
the DTM – but the 190 E took preference due to the race regulations. The V8 power unit originally developed 180 kW/245 hp but, after undergoing a thorough overhaul, output was raised to 338 kW/460 hp in racing trim. The standard-fit four-speed automatic transmission gave way to a five-speed manual shift. The luxury coupé was made lighter to bring it down from its original 1660 kilograms to its homologation weight of 1340 kilograms. Two vehicles were constructed and entered in the 1989 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps race in Belgium. After excellent results in training and leading for many kilometres, Klaus Ludwig’s 500 SEC AMG with the start number 5 was forced to retire with technical problems a good 12 hours into the race. A second outing on the Nürburgring also ended prematurely, prompting AMG to decide to focus exclusively on its motorsport activities in the DTM with the 190 E.

• AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evo II: first ever DTM victory for a woman 1984 marked the inaugural season of the German Touring Car Championship (DTM). Daimler-Benz only became involved two years later, and even then not officially: in 1986, two private teams entered the DTM Championship driving the new Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 – one of the two cars bore the magical initials AM-G. That very same season, AMG driver Volker Weidler took the runner’s-up title in the Mercedes 190 E. 1988 saw the official return of Daimler-Benz to the race track, 33 years after the manufacturer withdrew from motorsport. It backed five private teams who lined up on the start grid with a total of fourteen 190 E 2.316 touring cars in race trim. At the start of its racing career, the four-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder delivered just short of 300 hp; AMG constructed all of the powerplants for the other works-backed teams. By the end of the 1988 season, the brand behind the three-pointed star had six victories to its name, with AMG driver Johnny Cecotto taking the chequered flag four times. The more advanced 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution I with an increased output of 340 hp lined up for the start of the 1989 season. During the season, drivers Klaus Ludwig, Roland Asch and Kurt Thiim notched up a total of eight wins between them. In 1990, AMG took over responsibility for all development activities from Daimler-Benz; in this same season, the uprated 375-hp 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II made its debut. With Kurt Thiim and Klaus Ludwig driving, AMG celebrated a hattrick of victories, winning the first three races of the season. The next year, in 1991, AMG took the team title and Mercedes-Benz the constructors’ title, but Klaus Ludwig was edged out of the DTM title in the final race of the season at Hockenheim.

In 1992, AMG and Mercedes-Benz dominated the DTM scene, winning 16 of the 24 races. At Hockenheim, Ellen Lohr recorded the first and, as yet, only ever DTM victory by a woman. This time round, the drivers’ title could be added to the team and constructors’ titles: driving an AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, Klaus Ludwig was crowned DTM champion. In its final season of racing for a works team in 1993, and despite having to compete against the Alfa Romeos with their more powerful V6 engines, the 190 E came in first in no less than eight races, with Roland Asch finishing runner-up in the drivers’ championship. The Mercedes-Benz 190 E took top spot in a total of 52 DTM races between 1986 and 1993, holding its own against tough competition from the likes of Alfa 155 V6 TI, Audi V8 Quattro, BMW M3, Ford Sierra Turbo and Opel Omega.

• AMG Mercedes C-Class DTM: pure high-tech paved the way to success In 1994, the 100% newly developed AMG Mercedes C-Class superseded the 190 E in the DTM. The Affalterbach team were crowned champions in the car’s debut season. Klaus Ludwig topped the drivers’ classification at the end of the season ahead of Mercedes colleague Jörg van Ommen. A Mercedes driver took the chequered flag in 11 of the 24 races, ensuring the constructors’ title went to Stuttgart too. In 1995, it was Bernd Schneider who won the DTM championship at the wheel of the AMG C-Class, and went on to complete the double by winning the inaugural International Touring Car Championship (ITC) too. One year later, Schneider finished runner-up in the ITC championship.
The touring cars raced in the DTM and ITC were packed with high-tech and had far more in common with a Formula 1 racing car than the series-production versions. The AMG Mercedes C-Class was powered by a 2.5-litre V6 engine which delivered a maximum output of 510 hp at 12,000 rpm. Power transmission was the task of a semi-automated six-speed transmission with mechanical limited-slip differential and electronic traction control. A computer-programmed suspension comprising electronically variable shock absorbers and automatically adjustablestabiliser bars enabled optimum contact with the road. Cooling air ducts in the front end which closed automatically resulted in sleek aerodynamics in fast bends. Thanks to the use of composite carbon/Kevlar materials for the bonnet and other flaps as well as for the add-on aerodynamic components, the C-Class weighed in at a mere 1000 kilograms. A ballast weight served to lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity and was slid forwards or backwards hydraulically during braking for optimum axle load distribution. Such elaborate measures were required because Mercedes-Benz was the only manufacturer to compete against the all-wheel-drive power of Alfa Romeo and Opel with a rear-wheel-drive car. Between 1994 and 1996, AMG and Mercedes-Benz amassed a total of 34 DTM/ITC wins and five championship titles with the lightning-fast C-Class touring car.

• C 36 AMG: the first to car to result from the cooperation agreement 26 years after the company was first founded, AMG and Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first ever model to have been developed and produced jointly: the C 36 AMG. The sports saloon received its premiere at the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show. The C 36 AMG was initially launched on the European market, before making its US debut a year later. The range-topping model in the highly successful first generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was fitted with a 3.6-litre six-cylinder in-line engine with two overhead camshafts and four-valve-per-cylinder technology. Maximum output of 280 hp was attained at 5750 rpm, torque peaked at 385 Newton metres at 4000 rpm. Power was transmitted to the rear wheels by an automatic transmission with at first four, then later five gears. The AMG sports suspension with 17-inch AMG light-alloy wheels ensured optimum contact with the road combined with the high level of touring comfort typical of Mercedes; maximum stopping power was delivered by the generously proportioned AMG high-performance brake system.By 1997, less than four years on from its world premiere, sales of the C 36 AMG had already reached the 5000 mark. Consequently, not only did the first joint product prove to be a tremendously successful business venture, it also marked a milestone in the firm’s history that turned AMG into a household name. The successor to the C 36 AMG was revealed in September 1997, once again at the Frankfurt Motor Show: the C 43 AMG powered by a 306-hp AMG V8 engine.

• E 50 AMG: keeping true to the eight-cylinder philosophy Inspired by the success of the C 36 AMG, the firm presented the E 50 AMG in 1996. The eight-cylinder flagship model held true to the philosophy of the 1980s of offering a saloon with phenomenal engine power that was also suitable for long journeys. Taking the new E-Class from 1995 with the model series designationW 210 as a basis, the AMG engineers gave the top-of-the-line model a displacement of five litres, an output of 260 kW/347 hp and 480 Newton metres of torque. Distinguishing features of the AMG powerplant compared to the Mercedes unit included reengineered cylinder heads, new camshafts, larger intake valves, a twin-pipe exhaust system as well as a new AMG sports exhaust. A five-speed automatic transmission directed the drive power to the rear wheels, with an AMG sports suspension, 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels and a powerfully proportioned AMG brake system also making up part of the standard specification. The Affalterbach-built E 50 AMG was replaced in autumn 1997 by the E 55 AMG with a new 24-valve eight-cylinder engine.

• SL 73 AMG: the ultimate V12 1999 saw AMG take the wraps off its most powerful road-going model to date: the SL 73 AMG developing 386 kW/525 hp. This made the new roadster the undisputed No. 1 in the highly exclusive and refined market segment for open-top super sports cars. The SL 73 AMG completed the sprint to 100 km/h in an electrifying 4.8 seconds; top speed was either 250 or 300 km/h in accordance with customer specifications. The technical data of the AMG 7.3-litre V12 engine still make impressive reading today: a stroke of 80.2 millimetres and a bore of 92.4 millimetres produced a formidable total capacity of 7291 cubic centimetres. Torque delivery was just as exhilarating, reaching no less than 750 Newton metres at 4000 rpm. In excess of 600 Newton metres was on tap over the entire rev range. The AMG engine in the SL 73 AMG was a close relation of the twelve-cylinder power unit in the CLK-GTR, which had a displacement of 6.9 litres and a power output 612 hp. The 394-hp V12 base engine fitted in the SL 600 underwent fundamental modification to produce the high-performance AMG unit. The entire powertrain including the five-speed automatic transmission was likewise adapted to make allowance for the increased power on offer. Faultless handling dynamics resulted from an AMG sports suspension that featured the Adaptive Damping System (ADS) and 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels. The AMG 7.3-litre V12 engine continues to be built today at AMG’s engine manufacturing facility in Affalterbach and now delivers its scintillating performance in an Italian super sports car, the Pagani Zonda.

• SL 55 AMG: a class apart In 2001, the brand new Mercedes-Benz SL-Class was brought out, bringing production of its predecessor to an end after a run of twelve years. Shortly afterwards, Mercedes-AMG unveiled the SL 55 AMG at the Frankfurt Motor Show. With a newly developed AMG 5.5-litre supercharged V8 engine, AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control, the vario-roof and a feast of other innovations besides, the high-performance sports car redefined standards in its segment. The V8 unit was made available in two power ratings – 350 kW/476 hp and 368 kW/500 hp – and summoned up a peak torque of 700 Newton metres. The result was truly top-notch performance: the SL 55 AMG raced to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds, with the top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h. The “dream machine” from AMG came out on top in numerous head-to-head comparisons conducted by motoring magazines – and it made an extremely favourable impression on customers too, with demand for the racy AMG roadster soon outstripping production capacity at DaimlerChrysler’s Bremen plant. The latest generation of the SL-Class was premiered in 2006; the reworked AMG 5.5-litre supercharged V8 engine now delivers 380 kW/517 hp and a peak torque of 720 Newton metres. Thanks to an advanced version of the AMG sports suspension based on second-generation Active Body Control, more direct steering and a new AMG high-performance brake system, the performance of the SL 55
AMG is now more dynamic than ever.

1967 Hans Werner Aufrecht (A) and Erhard Melcher (M) establish AMG. the third letter in the company name (G) comes from Aufrecht’s birthplace, Großaspach. The company is housed in an old mill in Burgstall, and the two men officially designate themselves as “Engineering, construction and testing specialists in the development of racing engines”.

1971 The first major sporting triumph for AMG: the AMG Mercedes 300 SEL 6.9 driven by Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz records a surprise win in its class at the Spa 24 Hours and finishes second overall.

1976 The Old Mill in Burgstall has become too small for the company, which now boasts customers all over the world. AMG and its 40 employees move to Affalterbach.

1980 Victory for Clemens Schickentanz and Jörg Denzel at the Touring Car Championship race on the Nürburgring in an AMG Mercedes 450 SLC.

1986 The motor racing comeback: AMG supplies engines for the 190 E 2.3-16 in the German Touring Car Championship. Premiere for the Mercedes-Benz 300 E 5.6 AMG. The mid-range model is propelled by a 265-kW/360-hp V8 engine with newly developed four-valve cylinder heads. A four-door saloon succeeds in breaking the 300-km/h barrier for the first time ever.

1988 Mercedes-Benz joins forces with AMG to back the works teams in the German Touring Car Championship.

1989 AMG is the most successful team in the German Touring Car Championship: Klaus Ludwig and Johnny Cecotto score a total of seven wins.

1990 Plant III is opened in Affalterbach. The company now has a staff of 400 and a co-operation agreement with Daimler-Benz which extends beyond the motor racing sphere.

1991 AMG Mercedes wins the team title; Klaus Ludwig is the best-placed driver. Mercedes-Benz comes out on top in the constructors’ championship. DTM is in its prime: the TV audience for the races tops 153 million.

1992 AMG driver Klaus Ludwig takes the German Touring Car Championship title in a 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. AMG Mercedes once again wins the team title, the constructors’ title is retained by Mercedes-Benz.

1993 The first vehicle jointly developed on the basis of the co-operation agreement with Daimler-Benz comes onto the market: the Mercedes C 36 AMG. The name AMG is so widely known that the Patent Office registers it as a trademark.

1994 Once again, Klaus Ludwig wins the German Touring Car Championship for AMG in an AMG Mercedes C-Class. The US version of the C 36 AMG is developed and homologated by AMG.

1995 An AMG driver takes the German Touring Car Championship title for the third time and wins the International Touring Car Championship in its inaugural year. In both cases, the driver’s name is Bernd Schneider.

1996 AMG is the runner-up in the International Touring Car Championship with Bernd Schneider. At the Geneva Motor Show, AMG unveils the E 50 AMG and makes the transition from a component plant to a component and vehicle plant.

1997 AMG celebrates a whole series of production milestones with 5000 units of the C 36 AMG and almost 3000 units of the E 50 AMG. The successor models, the C 43 AMG and E 55 AMG, are launched following the Frankfurt Motor Show. Bernd Schneider in the Mercedes CLK-GTR takes the drivers’ title and AMG Mercedes the team title in the FIA GT Championship.

1998 For the first time, a road-going version of the CLK-GTR is built in a limited edition of 25 units. AMG Mercedes wins all ten races in the FIA GT Championship. Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta take the championship title.

1999 Mercedes-AMG GmbH commences business on 01.01.99. Some 5000 vehicles are sold worldwide.

2000 Sales figures reach a record 11,500, the most popular model being theML 55 AMG with over 4500 units sold. The Mercedes-Benz CLK is entered in the newly established German Touring Car Masters (DTM). Bernd Schneider is crowned champion and Mercedes-Benz takes the constructors’ title.

2001 18,700 Mercedes-AMG models are sold. The best-selling model is the C 32 AMG with some 3800 vehicles sold. Market launch of the SL 55 AMG. Bernd Schneider successfully defends his DTM title.

2002 The workforces increases to around 580. Market launch of the CLK 55 AMG, E 55 AMG, C 30 CDI AMG, S 55 AMG and CL 55 AMG. Vodafone/AMG Mercedes takes the DTM team title.

2003 Market launch of the CLK 55 AMG Cabriolet, E 55 AMG Estate, S 65 AMG and CL 65 AMG. Mercedes-Benz wins nine out of ten DTM races. Bernd Schneider takes his fourth DTM title, Vodafone/AMG Mercedes retains the team title and Mercedes-Benz wins the constructors’ championship. By the end of 2003, AMG sales figures reach a record-breaking total of over 20,000 units.

2004 Mercedes-AMG now has around 650 employees. Market launch of the C 55 AMG, G 55 AMG KOMPRESSOR, SL 65 AMG and SLK 55 AMG models. A limited edition of 100 CLK DTM AMG models is produced. AMG enters the new C-Class touring cars in the DTM; Gary Paffett finishes the season as runner-up. Mercedes-Benz and Vodafone/DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes both come second in the race for the constructors’ and team titles respectively.

2005 Market launch of the CLS 55 AMG. World premiere of the ML 63 AMG, CLK DTM AMG Cabriolet and Vision R 63 AMG at the 61st Frankfurt Motor Show. Two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Häkkinen joins AMG Mercedes’ DTM team. Gary Paffett wins the drivers’ title. Mercedes-Benz secures the constructors’ title, with DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes taking the team
title.

2006 Mercedes-AMG launches a model initiative: presentation of the new CL 63 AMG, S 63 AMG, E 63 AMG, CLS 63 AMG, CLK 63 AMG, S 65 AMG, SL 55 AMG, SL 65 AMG, R 63 AMG and SLK 55 AMG Black Series high-performance models. Official opening of the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO. The previous season’s DTM title triple is repeated, Bernd Schneider is crowned champion for the fifth time.

2007 AMG turns 40; to mark the occasion, the CL 65 AMG “40th Anniversary” is brought out. Market launch of the CL 65 AMG and CLK 63 AMG Black Series. Mercedes-AMG now has around 750 employees. The new AMG Mercedes C-Class lines up for the start of the new DTM season.

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