AMG: 45 years of performance

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Tire smoking beasts such as the SL63 powersliding above exemplify AMG's philosophy of massive but user friendly power. 2012 marks the 45th anniversary of the fabled firm.

AMG turns 45
New A 45 AMG set for 2013

If there was one word that aptly describes the AMG experience it would have to be ‘power.’ The firm has been producing tire smoking beasts for many years. However, the Affalterbach firm must also be recognized for delivering massive power in particularly user friendly packages fully in step with Mercedes-Benz’ ethos of overall product refinement. The last 45 years have seen Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher’s AMG grow from a modest ‘tuner’ into a performance and technology giant.

The company will celebrate this milestone with the introduction of the A 45 AMG based on the A class and targeting 30-45 year old enthusiasts, a group typically shut out of new AMG products either due to disinterest or lack of disposable income.

“The A 45 AMG will celebrate its world premiere in the first quarter of 2013. Further AMG high-performance compact cars with a variety of different characteristic features are already in the pipeline and will follow on the heels of the A 45 AMG. When it came to the development of the compact Mercedes-Benz vehicle architecture for front and all-wheel drive, Mercedes-AMG has been involved from the very beginning. The most dynamic versions of the A-Class, namely the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport – both “engineered by AMG” – currently already feature a front axle developed by AMG as well as a correspondingly tuned suspension, AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels with 235/40 R 18 tyres all round, painted in high-gloss black and with a high-sheen finish, and also red-painted brake calipers. The “Sport” designation is always used to characterise the most dynamic model series versions in the Mercedes-Benz product range.”

The new A class is to be the basis for the next new AMG product - the A 45 AMG. The AMG engineered 2.0 liter turbo four cylinder will produce in excess of 295 ft/lbs torque and be mated to the firm's SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7- speed sports transmission. All wheel drive will be standard and AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels with 235/40 R 18 tires and red-painted brake calipers included in the package. It's an AMG product for the 'masses.'

AMG milestones

  • 1967
    Hans Werner Aufrecht (A) and Erhard Melcher (M) establish AMG. Aufrecht’s birthplace, Großaspach (G), supplies the third letter of the company name. The company is housed in the Old Mill in Burgstall, and is officially designated “Engineering Office for the Design and Testing of Racing Engines.”
  • 1971
    The first major sporting triumph for AMG: a Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG driven by Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz surprises everyone by coming in second in the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps.
  • 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
    Clemens Schickentanz and Jörg Denzel win the Touring Car Grand Prix at the Nürburgring with an AMG-Mercedes 450 SLC.
  • 1985
    The comeback into auto racing: AMG partners Daimler-Benz in its motor racing comeback in the German Touring Car Championship with a 190 E 2.3-16.
  • 1987
    Premiere of the Mercedes-Benz 300 E 5.6 AMG. The midrange model is powered by a 265 kW/360 hp V8 engine with all-new four-valve cylinder heads. For the first time ever, a four-door sedan manages to exceed 300 km/h.
  • 1989
    AMG is the most successful team in the German Touring Car Championship: Klaus Ludwig and Johnny Cecotto score seven wins.
  • 1990
    Plant III is opened in Affalterbach. The company now has a staff of 400 and a cooperation agreement with Daimler-Benz that extends beyond the motor racing sphere.
  • 1991
    AMG-Mercedes wins in the team ranking; the most successful driver is Klaus Ludwig. Mercedes-Benz comes out on top in the brand ranking. The DTM has reached the high point in its history, and the races are watched by more than 153 million viewers.
  • 1992
    Klaus Ludwig wins the German Touring Car Championship for AMG in a 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. AMG-Mercedes is once again at the top in the team rankings, and so is Mercedes-Benz in the brand rankings.
  • 1993
    The first vehicle jointly developed on the basis of the cooperation 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
    Klaus Ludwig once again wins the German Touring Car Championship for AMG in an AMG-Mercedes C-Class. The U.S. version of Mercedes C 36 AMG is developed and type-approved.
  • 1995
    An AMG driver takes the German Touring Car Championship title for the third time, as well as winning the first-ever ITC series. In both cases the driver 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 enjoys an unbroken series of new production milestones: 5,000 units of the C 36 AMG and almost 3,000 units of the E 50 AMG. The successor models, the C 43 AMG and E 55 AMG, are launched following the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. Bernd Schneider in the Mercedes CLK-GTR is the champion driver and AMG Mercedes takes the team title.
  • 1998
    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
    On January 1, 1999, Mercedes-AMG GmbH commences operations. Some 5,000 vehicles are sold worldwide.
  • 2000
    Sales reach a record level of 11,500 vehicles, the most popular model being the ML 55 AMG with over 4,500 units sold. The company participates in the newly established German Touring Car Masters (DTM) with the Mercedes-Benz CLK. Bernd Schneider takes the championship. Mercedes-Benz wins in the manufacturers’ rankings.
  • 2001
    18,700 Mercedes-AMG vehicles are sold. The most popular model is the C 32 AMG with around 3,800 vehicles sold. Market launch of the SL 55 AMG. Bernd Schneider defends his title in the DTM; the AMG team is at the top of the constructors’ rankings.
  • 2002
    The number of staff 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. AMG-Mercedes comes in first in the DTM team rankings.
  • 2003
    Market launch of the CLK 55 AMG convertible, E 55 AMG station wagon, S 65 AMG and CL 65 AMG. Mercedes-Benz wins nine out of ten DTM races. Bernd Schneider wins his fourth DTM championship title. Mercedes-Benz also wins in the team and manufacturers’ rankings. AMG sells more than 20,000 vehicles in 2003, setting a new record.
  • 2004
    Mercedes-AMG now has around 650 employees. Market launch of the models C 55 AMG, G 55 AMG KOMPRESSOR, SL 65 AMG and SLK 55 AMG. A limited edition of 100 CLK DTM AMG units is produced. AMG starts in the DTM with the new C-Class touring car racing models. Gary Paffet becomes the runner-up.
  • 2005
    Market launch of the CLS 55 AMG. World premiere of the ML 63 AMG, CLK DTM AMG convertible and Vision R 63 AMG at the 61st IAA in Frankfurt/Main. Two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Häkkinen joins AMG-Mercedes’ DTM team. Gary Paffet wins the championship; AMG-Mercedes takes the top spot in the team rankings. Mercedes-Benz takes the manufacturer’s title.
  • 2006
    Mercedes-AMG model offensive: presentation of the new high-performance AMG vehicles 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. Official opening of the AMG Performance Studio. AMG once again wins three titles in the DTM, Bernd Schneider takes the champion title for the fifth time.
  • 2007
    AMG celebrates its 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the company introduces the CL 65 AMG “40th Anniversary.” Market launch of the CL 65 AMG and the CLK 63 AMG Black Series. Mercedes-AMG has around 750 employees. The new AMG-Mercedes C-Class takes part in the DTM.
  • 2009
    AMG announces the new 571 hp Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the first vehicle entirely developed by AMG.
  • 2013
    A 45 AMG AWD Turbo 4-cylinder subcompact to be introduced.

The AMG lineup for 2012 is mighty impressive. Lurking under one of those covers is the upcoming A 45 AMG super-subcompact due in 2013.

Roy Spencer, editor
Photography from Daimler Media.


Please comment on this article below.

5 Responses to “AMG: 45 years of performance”

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  2. by Henrik Jeberg on July 1st, 2012 8:49 pm

    Hi Roy,

    Surely the A 45 will not be based on the current shape A class shown above, but rather the new A class shown at Geneva earlier this year.

    It’s here:

    Best Regards


  3. by Roy Spencer on July 1st, 2012 9:06 pm

    Thank you for the correction! My initial Daimler Media search only returned data on the old A class. My disappointment in the A 45 AMG has evaporated now that I see the new, more muscular A class.
    We’re not that familiar with these cars in the states although I’m looking forward to considering a B class as a daily driver when they arrive here.
    Roy Spencer

  4. by Henrik Jeberg on July 2nd, 2012 1:13 am

    My pleasure. Love your site and insights.

    I agree on the old A class, sometimes drove one as a loaner, when my “real” Mercedes’ were being serviced – horrible drives, but the new one looks fabulous.

    Keep up the good work


  5. GRRRREAT Stuff Roy, I’m an absolute fan of AMG. The 1971, 6.8 liter Red Hog must surely rank as, even today, one of the greatest AMG cars ever, racing or street cars. Must have been a very intimidating sight in anyones rearview mirror, this big red monster waiting to gobble you up at the slightest slip of concentration. Great pitty the original did’nt survive, although the replica which I saw in South Africa last year was an absolute magnificent beast. The decal on the car also contributes to the overall stunning looks. The next best ever has got to be the 450SLC Mampe car which does not have to stand back a quarter of an inch for the Hog. Your time table gives an great overall picture of AMG’s growth and successes. Keep it up and tnx

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