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Mercedes-AMG GmbH
Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach (AMG)
Typesubsidiary of Daimler AG
FoundedGroßaspach, Germany 1967
Founder(s)Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher
HeadquartersFlag of Germany Affalterbach, Germany
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleVolker Mornhinweg,
Chairman of the management board
IndustryAutomotive industry
ProductsHigh performance engines and cars,
automotive sports accessories
Servicesresearch and development
OwnerDaimler AG
ParentMercedes Benz

Mercedes-AMG GmbH, commonly known as AMG (initially known as Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach (German)), is the high performance division of the Mercedes-Benz car company. Mercedes-Benz acquired majority interest in AMG in 1999.[1]

AMG or Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach was founded as a racing engine forge in 1967, as AMG Motorenbau und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (AMG Engine Production and Development, Ltd.), by former Mercedes engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, in a town called Großaspach, near Stuttgart.

"AMG" is an abbreviation which stands for: Hans Werner Aufrecht (A) and Erhard Melcher (M) who were partners, while Aufrecht’s birthplace of Großaspach (G) supplied the third letter in the company name.


AMG logo on a Mercedes C63 AMG (W204)

AMG started off by designing and testing racing engines[2]. They expanded their business into building bespoke road trucks, based upon standard Mercedes cars.

By the early 1980s, AMG had moved to nearby located in Affalterbach under the sole ownership of Aufrecht. Erhard Melcher stayed at the second location, a former mill in Burgstall, to deliver engine parts.

AMG Penta 5 Spoke 16x8 type 1 wheel, the first light aluminum alloy wheel marketed by AMG. Designed by H.W. Aufrecht in 1979 and manufactured by ATS.[3]

Mainly for the modern Mercedes-Benz W107,[3] Mercedes-Benz W126 and Mercedes-Benz W201 models, AMG was producing a range of unofficial upgrade and accessories packages, although there were no official tie-ups until the mid 1980s, when AMG started to supply the company with aftermarket alloy wheels and automotive styling products. Typical AMG cosmetic and performance enhancements from 1979 to 1985, which could all be custom ordered by the buyer, included 15" or 16" ATS for AMG 5 spoked Penta wheels, Recaro seats, painting of all external chrome parts to the car's body color or to black, an AMG steering wheel with a smaller diameter than the one that came standard with the car, lowered and stiffened suspension, aerodynamic AMG front air dam and spoiler kit, modified cams, a custom exhaust to increase the base horsepower, and in rare cases a 5 speed manual transmission.[3]

The release of the AMG Hammer sedan in 1986, based on the Mercedes-Benz W124, took AMG's performance modifications for a fast compact sedan to a new level. AMG made the world's fastest passenger sedan at the time, nicknamed the Hammer,[4] by tuning a Mercedes 5.6-liter V8 to 360 hp (270 kW), and squeezing that motor into Mercedes' mid-sized 300-series sedan. It was very aggressive for the era with a modified Mercedes-Benz 5.6 liter engine, 32-valve cylinder heads and twin camshafts, good for 360 bhp (270 kW) DIN. It was said to be faster than the Lamborghini Countach from 60 to 120 mph (190 km/h).[5] Later models were even more powerful and introduced the 17" AMG Aero 1 Hammer wheels.

To take advantage of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) race successes, official AMG-Mercedes models were developed in the 1990s. Since the Mercedes-Benz takeover, AMG sales have risen over 500%.

In addition, AMG provides safety cars for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

A recent development, the AMG performance Studio located in Affalterbach, caters for bespoke modifications on all AMG and standard Mercedes-Benz models.

In 1991 Daimler acquired 51% of AMG, Hans Werner Aufrecht sold his remaining shares of the company in 2005.

In 2008 and 2009 AMG published several interviews and news articles stating AMG will start focussing on more enviromentalfriendly vehicles, with downsizing and cleaner engines being among the options to achieve lower emissions. In those articles AMG also stated the horsepower war among german brands was over for AMG. The SL65 AMG Black series was also stated to remain the most powerful AMG.

Motor racing

Mercedes AMG DTM car (2003)

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, AMG entered the big Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 V8 saloon, affectionately named the "Red Sow", in the 1971 Spa 24 Hours, and the European Touring Car Championship. AMG and Mercedes worked together on Mercedes-Benz W201 cars for the 1988 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM, German Touring Car Championship). AMG was made the official partner.

In order to retain a small dedicated racing team, H.W.A GmbH was founded by H.-W. Aufrecht in 1999. Their first car was the ill-fated Mercedes-Benz CLR. Since 2000, HWA builds and runs the cars for Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), as well as the M271 engine tuned for use in Formula 3.

Six successive lightly modified Mercedes-Benz AMG models (including, most recently, an SL 63 AMG) have acted as the official Safety Cars of the F1 racing series.

Relationship with Pagani

AMG also provides engines for the Pagani Zonda supercar. The engines used are variants of the M120 7,291 cc displacement V12 engine originally used in the SL73 AMG. The M120 is the largest displacement naturally-aspirated engine provided by AMG and is now exclusively used by Pagani.


Through the early 2000s, AMG focused on supercharged engines (with the exception of the V12 used in the Pagani Zonda), but the company officially abandoned this technology in 2006, with the introduction of the M156 V8. On 16 January 2006, Mercedes-AMG Chairman Volker Mornhinweg told AutoWeek that the company would use turbocharging for higher output rather than supercharging.[6]

AMG models are typically the most expensive of each nameplate. However, there are exceptions, notably the V12 S600 which was pricier than the S55 AMG and S63 AMG, the latter two powered by V8 engines.

Current AMG models

All AMG engines are hand built, using a "one man, one engine" philosophy at the current AMG plant in Affalterbach, Germany. To signify this, each AMG engine builder stamps the engines he or she produces with an engraved plaque depicting his or her signature.

As part of the official Mercedes product line, the AMG models are sold side-by-side with regular production models, unlike those offered by other Mercedes tuning firms such as Brabus.


W211 E55 AMG
Mercedes SLK 55 AMG (R171)

The main engine is a 5.4 L V8 engine, designated the M113, that carries the "55" designation. This engine comes in two configurations.

  • The first configuration is a naturally aspirated V8 with 360 PS (355 hp/265 kW) that is used in compact cars, namely the C55 AMG, CLK55 AMG and SLK55 AMG .
  • The other configuration is a similar unit but with a highly efficient Lysholm type supercharger manufactured by IHI, is found in the rest of the AMG 55 models which are typically midsized or larger vehicles. The published output according to Mercedes varies from 476 PS (469 hp/350 kW) to 517 PS (510 hp/380 kW), depending on various methods of power measurements and different ECU programming for national legislations.

AMG will phase out both the naturally aspirated and supercharged 5.4 L engines in favour of the new M156 V8 beginning in 2006.

For the Model Year 2009:

Previous 55 AMG Models

Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG


2008 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG

AMG developed its own V8 engine (dubbed M156 in development) for the DTM series. This naturally aspirated V8 will also be used to replace most of the "55" models. The published output according to Mercedes varies from 457 PS (451 hp/336 kW) on the C63AMG, to 525 PS (518 hp/386 kW) on the S/SL/CL 63 AMG.


A rare 2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

These are the only AMG vehicles using a 5-speed automatic transmission, as the newer 7G-Tronic cannot handle the torque from the V12 engines.

DTM Coupe/Cabrio

Black Series

  • CLK63 AMG Black Series
  • SLK55 AMG Black Series
  • SL65 AMG Black Series

Previous AMG models

In addition to the models listed below, there were also predecessors to the current AMG models.

There are also other AMG models no longer in production:

Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG


Competing Mercedes-Benz performance specialists

See also


  1. Newhardt, David. "Behind the Scenes: Mercedez-Benz AMG". Retrieved on 22 March 2008. 
  2. A Look Back At AMG's Illustrious 40 Year History" The Mercedes-Benz weblog, May, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hall, Jim. "Rhapsody in Red: 500SL AMG" Motor Trend Magazine, October, 1983.
  4. "AMG's Hammer" Auto Week, June 23, 1986.
  5. Setright, LJK. "Firebrand: AMG Hammer Sedan" Car Magazine, December, 1986. Pp.149-155
  6. AMG's new chief has big plans for 2006 - AutoWeek Magazine

External links