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Who And What Is AMG?

By raccars Published

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Those three little letters, added to the Mercedes name, denote high performance versions of the German firm's range, created by its specialist tuning division. Pretty much all of the Mercedes line up gets the AMG treatment these days, including most recently, the C-Class and CLA Shooting Brake models.

AMG was the brainchild of Mercedes engineers, Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, based upon their passion for motorsport. In their spare time, the pair began tuning Mercedes cars to be raced by their owners. By 1967, Aufrecht and Melcher were ready to leave Mercedes and set up on their own, calling their company AMG for their surnames and Grossapach, the town in which their first garage was located. 1971 saw their first big success and much acclaim for the 'Red Pig', a 300 SEL AMG with 428bhp, which beat a number of smaller and more nimble cars to come second, overall, and first in its class at the 24 Hours of Spa race.

AMG's track success saw customers requesting tuning for their road cars, and by 1976, the company had to move to larger premises in Affalterbach to cope with the volume of orders it was receiving, for both road cars and racers. 1986 saw the arrival of 'The Hammer,' a 300E, which became probably AMG's best known road car, thanks to a 5.6 litre V8 producing 380bhp and a top speed of 190mph - incredible for road cars at the time.

The firm's partnership with Mercedes became official in 1991. Mercedes selected various models from its range, including the C-Class saloon, and treated them to the AMG tuning process. The result was spectacular, leading to 1993's C36 AMG with its straight six engine and 272bhp. Six years later, Mercedes acquired the controlling stake in AMG and went on to total ownership in 2005.

In 2006, AMG started developing its own engines, leading with a 6.2 litre V8. The SLK 55 AMG Black Series was released the same year, with 400bhp, for those wanting a bit more excitement than the regular SLK 55 AMG - with a top speed electronically limited to 155mph - could provide. AMG engines are now used by other firms, including Italian supercar manufacturer, Pagani, and Aston Martin.

After engines, AMG went from tuning up existing cars to creating all new models of its own, starting with the SLS in 2010, famous for its gullwing doors and 563bhp producing 6.2 litre V8. It followed this recently with the Mercedes-AMG GT - lighter, tighter, faster and, miraculously, a little bit cheaper. What can the AMG team create to top this?

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