AMG — 50 years and countless stories: Part 6

Welcome to the sixth and last part of our survey of AMG’s history, which is part of our celebration of the brand’s 50th birthday. In this part, we take a look at the superlative sports cars created by AMG between 2010 and today.

When the new decade began, AMG had already set the tone for the 2010s with the SLS AMG, an iconic model that was applauded worldwide. It made its debut at the IAA in 2009 and was the first vehicle that had been completely developed by the AMG on its own. The SLS AMG coupe, which was created in only 36 months, received accolades all over the world — and was topped only by the roadster presented in 2011 and the SLS AMG Electric Drive from 2013.

When we talk about electrification in the automotive industry today, the latter model is still recognized as a pioneer. What’s more, the SLS Electric Drive was the first series-produced electric car to speed around the legendary Nordschleife of the Nürburgring race track in less than eight minutes.

Highlights of the engine production plant in Affalterbach

But the Nürburgring was not the only place where records were broken. The engine plant in Affalterbach also reached new heights. In August 2011 it manufactured its thousandth M285 and its ten-thousandth M275. These achievements served as a good warm-up for the company’s 45th anniversary celebration in 2012 under the motto “Asphalt. Adrenaline. Affalterbach.”

At this point I’d like to mention our 470-page history book, which we published to mark this occasion. The book, which provides the first complete documentation of AMG’s success story, is titled “45 – The Stories, The Cars.”

“International Engine of the Year”

But let’s get back to the engine plant and its other anniversaries. After the end of the compressor era — the last M113 compressor rolled off the assembly line in January 2012 — the plant manufactured its ten-thousandth M157 on March 2, 2012 and its ten-thousandth M159 on November 30, 2012.

AMG M157

Nonetheless, the decade was dominated by the legendary M157. The plant produced its fifty-thousandth unit in March 2014 and its one-hundred-thousandth unit in April 2016. The highlight for our colleagues at the engine plant was the presentation of the “International Engine of the Year” award to the M133 E 45 R4 in 2014 and in 2015.

But what about AMG’s performance on the race track? In numerous races, AMG’s competitors only saw the rear lights of AMG cars zooming into the distance. For example, Paul di Resta won the DTM championship in 2010, followed by the young driver Pascal Wehrlein in 2015.

As the last SLS AMG was leaving the production plant in January 2014, some older examples of this model were already fetching prices that topped the new price at the time. It was obvious that this iconic vehicle was destined for a career as a classic car.

Ideally prepared for the future

The Mercedes-AMG GT, which was also presented in 2014, was the second sports car to be independently developed in Affalterbach from start to finish. Since then it has been expanded into an entire model family.

The Mercedes-AMG GT S (combined fuel consumption: 9.6 – 9.4 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 224 – 219 g/km*)

From the icon to an expanded portfolio and the strategic advancement of the brand: The experts in Affalterbach began by entering the compact segment with great success. But they weren’t satisfied with that.

They continued their product initiative. AMG introduced a complete new line in the form of the 43 models, which filled the existing gap between the top models of the series and the previously available range of V8 AMGs.

The Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 (combined fuel consumption: 7.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 178 g/km*)

DThis move attracted entirely new customer groups to the brand. The strategy was a success; the sales figures rose to almost 100,000 in 2016.

This passion for technology is the force that defines AMG’s pathway to the future. The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, which was presented at this year’s IAA, brings state-of-the-art and supremely efficient Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road in a virtually identical form for the first time ever. It was the climax of our celebration of AMG’s 50th anniversary.

The show car combines overwhelming race track performance and practical Formula 1 hybrid technology with exemplary efficiency. This combination is without parallel anywhere else in the world.

All of these activities show that AMG, the high-performance and sports car brand, is ideally prepared for the future. We’re ready for our next 50 years!

 

Michael Clauss knows AMG inside and out. He started working at Mercedes-AMG in the 1970s as an auto mechanic and has been in charge of the media archive since 2008.