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Manufacturers / Germany / AMG

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AMG vehicles


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

Mainly for the modern Mercedes-Benz W107, 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.

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, by tuning a Mercedes 5.6-liter V8 to 360 hp, and squeezing that motor into Mercedes' midsized 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 DIN. It was said to be faster than the Lamborghini Countach from 60 to 120 mph. 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 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.


When DaimlerChrysler acquired a majority share of AMG in 1999, the motor racing department was divested into HWA GmbH. 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.

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.

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.

AMG also provides engines for the Pagani Zonda supercar. The engines used are variants of the M120 7,291cc 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.

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