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April 27, 2020

8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Mercedes-AMG

Fifty-three years ago, three letters came together to become synonymous with the ultimate in Mercedes-Benz driving performance: AMG. Those letters, and the company it represents today is world-renowned for supreme automotive performance, exclusivity, and highly dynamic driving pleasure.

Although its strong reputation inspires admiration and desire among many, AMG has a storied history full of surprises, lesser-known innovations and superlative, exclusive sports cars.

#1. AMG stands for Aufrecht, Melcher, Großaspach, the last names of its founding fathers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, along with Aufrecht’s birthplace of Großaspach. The names behind these three letters were the starting point for the rapid development of AMG from a two-man home- based operation to an unparalleled global performance brand.

#2. The first vehicle associated with AMG started its life as a subdued four-door sedan. The car that eventually became renowned as the iconic “Red Pig” racing car, which helped build AMG’s credentials as a motorsports powerhouse, started its life as a Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 four-door sedan. After Aufrecht and Melcher extensively modified the car, including increasing the engine’s displacement to 6.8 liters, the finished vehicle produced 428 horsepower and 607 Nm of torque, a huge improvement from the stock output of 247 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque. The duo also lightened the car extensively; although it was still likely the heaviest car on the grid at its racing debut in the 1971 24 hours of Spa, in which it secured a class win and second place overall result, immediately connecting the letters AMG with motorsports success.

#3. The first jointly developed high-performance vehicle 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.

#4. For those that desire the ultimate in AMG performance, few models can match 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. Black Series models further enhance AMG’s already exceptional performance models by modifying their powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics to optimize track performance and dynamic capabilities. Thus far, only five special models have worn the distinctive AMG Black Series badge. These include the CLK 63 Black Series, the C 63 Black Series, the SL 65 Black Series, the SLS Black Series, and the SLK 55 Black Series (which was not sold in the USA). However, the exclusive Black Series family will grow soon with the addition of the forthcoming GT Black Series, set to make its debut later this year.

#5. 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). These unique doors accommodated its lightweight alloy-tube frame, which extended higher than a standard frame, thus leading to these innovative vertically opening doors. In the SLS AMG, these iconic gullwing doors were paired with an unusual safety feature -- two explosive capsules, capable of blowing the doors off for quick egress, in the unlikely event that the vehicle were to be flipped on its roof.

#6. All handcrafted AMG models are built according to the “One man, one engine” philosophy, an ironclad commitment to quality, in which one master craftsman assembles each AMG handcrafted engine from start to finish. This quality construction is honored by each builder via a special plaque, signed by the individual that assembled it and placed on the handcrafted engine upon completion.

#7. Today, Mercedes-AMG is headquartered in Affalterbach, Germany, a small town northeast of Stuttgart in the state of Baden-Wüttemberg. Affalterbach is home to the management, administration, sales, development and design teams of AMG, as well as the building of AMG hand- crafted engines. Mercedes-AMG now employs approximately 1,800 people—quite the contrast from its humble beginnings as a two-man operation at Hans Werner Aufrecht’s house in Großaspach.

#8. The Mercedes-AMG ONE hypercar is set to become the most powerful AMG vehicle ever produced—capable of producing more than 1,000 hp and reaching top speeds beyond 217 mph. For the first time, this two-seater hypercar will bring the very latest and most efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology directly from the racetrack to the road, delivering the ultimate in Driving Performance for years to come.

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