Half a century of Driving Performance
Nürburgring/Affalterbach. AMG – these three letters stand worldwide for supreme automotive performance, exclusivity, efficiency and high driving dynamics. The company founded by Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher in 1967 is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. In the course of this half century, Mercedes-AMG has further consolidated its position as an extremely successful sports car and performance brand with numerous successes in motorsport and the development of unique road-going vehicles. Today, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, the Affalterbach-based company represents the sporting spearhead of the Group. For each of the now around 1600 employees, the focus will be on the brand promise of “Driving Performance”, which unites the core strengths of AMG: cutting-edge technology and a passion for dynamic, emotionally appealing products. The basis for this is the phenomenal engine technology of Mercedes-AMG. And the company from Affalterbach has lastingly underpinned its high development capabilities with the two in-house designed sports cars, the SLS AMG and the AMG GT. AMG started into the anniversary year with record figures under its belt, delivering almost 100,000 vehicles in 2016 and thus growing by more than 40 percent while being in the middle of the biggest strategic model initiative in the company’s history.
The strong first quarter of 2017 suggests that the barrier of 100,000 units will fall in the anniversary year. This dynamic growth was made possible by continuous further development of the performance models, which are in greater demand than ever. However, the strategic broadening of the portfolio in past years has also resulted in the successful development of new groups of customers. Today, sports car enthusiasts can choose from a large selection of the AMG GT family. Another factor is the worldwide success of the popular eight-cylinder models in the 63 series, and the 45 series models in the compact segment. Because the 43 series models launched on a broad front captivate very many customers and put the modern product range of Mercedes-AMG on a broad, sound basis. The biggest sales markets were again the USA, Germany and China.
“Our strategic expansion of the product range has put us on course for success around the world. With more than 400 Performance Centres, we have also continued our expansion at the point of sales. The 63 series models still constitute our core model series, and delight car enthusiasts around the world. In addition, our sports car series, which was developed entirely in-house, is now available as a broad-based family, to which we will add a four-door variant next year, once more demonstrating our competence as a sports car brand. We will further expand our broad product range with a new product line in the compact segment. In this way we have set the course for continued sustainable growth. It is up to us to not only celebrate the success story of Mercedes-AMG now, but to help shape the performance of the future during one of the most exciting periods of automotive history,” says Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Development of new categories of customers through portfolio expansion
2016 saw the biggest strategic model initiative in the history of Mercedes-AMG: with over ten new models being added to the product portfolio, from January 2017 performance-minded customers are able to choose from over 50 models. In each category, Mercedes-AMG boasts a comprehensive and impressive selection: from the most powerful production four-cylinder engine in the compact segment to sporty elegant models with a superior twelve-cylinder engine, from saloons and estates in a wide variety of output classes to a broad range of SUVs and coupés, to cabriolets and different types of roadsters. The available technology is among the best on offer in the respective vehicle categories, ranging from optimised rear-wheel drive to state-of-the-art all-wheel drive, as well as from a dual-clutch transmission to a sporty nine-gear automatic transmission.
At the same time, the sports car and performance brand has won entirely new groups of customers with its recently launched 43 series models. The 43 series models come with a powerful and efficient six-cylinder engine. Other hallmarks of the 43 series derivatives include a special transmission configuration with shorter shift times as well as discrete axle designs and suspensions, powerful brake components and other visual interior/exterior distinguishing features, confirming the models as typical AMG vehicles that fully deliver on the brand claim of “Driving Performance” while authentically representing the brand in the respective segments.
New target groups, younger buyers: the AMG compact cars
The entry of Mercedes-AMG into the compact class – and therefore a completely new market segment – in 2013 was another important milestone: the compact 45 series models immediately impressed with their sporty driving experience and the emotionally appealing design. Accordingly they also attracted new customers to the performance and sports car brand. Featuring the world’s most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine and the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the compact sports models clearly stand for hallmark AMG Driving Performance. Due to the strong demand, it is only logical to offer the customers in future an even broader selection in this segment as well.
The four-cylinder models not only lead their market segment in terms of performance and driving fun, they have reach the youngest ever AMG clientèle: the most represented age group here is 35 to 45 years. Many buyers purchase their first Mercedes-AMG in the form of one of the compact models.
Sports car family is growing gradually
In less than three years, the second sports car series developed completely in-house has become a family of seven which includes coupés and roadsters. With the Mercedes-AMG GT model series, the Affalterbach-based company is once again underlining its positioning as a sports car brand. The front mid-engine concept with transaxle and the intelligent aluminium lightweight construction form the basis for a highly dynamic driving experience. With the AMG GT R and the two open-top variants, the AMG GT Roadster and the AMG GT C Roadster, the sports car family has been enhanced with fascinating models. The decision in favour of further expansion has already been made: the AMG GT Concept, which celebrated its première in Geneva, gives an initial look ahead.
Competence centre for V8 development
For some time now, Mercedes-AMG has been responsible not only for the development of the AMG V8 engines, but also for the new eight-cylinder family of the Mercedes-Benz brand. The first production vehicle to be fitted with a V8 engine developed in Affalterbach was the G 500, which celebrated its market launch in September 2015. The V8 engine for the upcoming new S-Class was also developed in Affalterbach, underlining the engine-building expertise of the three-lettered brand.
Mercedes-AMG and the Nürburgring: a strong partnership
Nowhere else in the world can a car be more effectively tested than on the demanding Nordschleife circuit of the Nürburgring racetrack. The stress profile of the 20.8-kilometre track reflects every possible driving state – and under extreme conditions. The development engineers of Mercedes-AMG spend about 17 weeks each year in the Eifel. And that is bound to increase in future, because the development site at the Nürburgring is being expanded further. Furthermore, Mercedes-AMG has entered into a cooperation with Nürburgring and will support the Nürburgring Driving Academy with vehicles from Affalterbach, for example.
Outstanding Customer Sports season 2016
With a total of 18 overall victories and 32 other podium finishes, the international customer and performance teams celebrated a sensational season in 2016 with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. The GT3 racing car got the season off to the ideal start. In the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring at the end of May the GT3 racing car drove home the biggest success thus far since the AMG Customer Sports programme was founded: with overall victory, pole position, fastest lap as well as further second, third, fourth and sixth placings now on record in the annals of motorsport. The brand’s clean sweep of the podium places in the world’s biggest car race was shared by the AMG team BLACK FALCON (P1), the AMG team HTP Motorsport (P2) and the HARIBO Racing Team-AMG (P3).
Also in the customer sports programme, Mercedes-AMG will keep its foot on the gas in the coming season, with participation of the successful AMG GT3 being extended to the USA. Renowned teams will contest both the highly popular IMSA Series as well as the PWC, the Pirelli World Challenge. The teams will also benefit from optimal support from Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in the USA.
First-class customer support at AMG Performance Centres
As part of the strategic broadening of the portfolio to over 50 models, the number of AMG Performance Centres has also undergone huge expansion. At over 400 Performance Centres in 40 countries, customers and fans can immerse themselves in the brand world of Mercedes-AMG. These are places where the history of the brand and its DNA can be experienced first-hand. As appropriate for the wide product range, trained and qualified AMG sales and service experts provide knowledgeable advice and support to customers worldwide.
The next stage in the development of the AMG Performance Centres will see the opening of further AMG sales and service outlets with a distinct architecture in Japan, Australia and the Middle East. Complementing the existing global sales network, the independent location, which opened in Tokyo Setagaya in January 2017, spearheads the dealer network and defines the next step in the sales initiative. On a total area of almost 1000 square metres, customers can learn about the latest AMG Performance models and their technological features, the AMG Driving Academy, the AMG Collection and the involvement of AMG in motorsport.
Exclusive AMG Private Lounge
Another central component of customer support is the online AMG Private Lounge. The online platform invites AMG owners to share their passion for the brand with other AMG enthusiasts. At present, the AMG Private Lounge Community has more than 55,000 accredited members worldwide. Insider knowledge, direct contact with Affalterbach, exclusive events and opportunities to communicate and exchange ideas give the brand a more approachable face. No other car manufacturer offers anything comparable.
Pit radio for AMG customers
To ensure a high quality of customer support, customers have access to an exclusive AMG hotline, launched in October 2016. The primary aim of the “pit radio” is to restore performance when needed – in the event of an accident, for example. The service hotline can also help if the customer has any technical questions or wants to make a workshop appointment. A defined process guarantees customers the quickest possible assistance. The hotline is initially available to customers in Germany, Great Britain, France, Austria and Switzerland, with further markets and a broadening of the offering to follow.
Milestones in the history of the sports car and performance brand
The company founded by Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher has been fulfilling the dreams of performance enthusiasts for 50 years. The pair set up their first workshop in an old mill in 1967 as an “engineering office and design and testing centre for the development of racing engines”. In 1971, the AMG 300 SEL 6.8 of “Aufrecht and Melcher, Großaspach” – in short: AMG – claimed victory completely out of the blue in its class and took second place overall in the 24-hour race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Another milestone was the all-new cylinder head with cutting-edge valve technology, developed by Melcher.
Collaboration with Mercedes-Benz began in 1990. The C 36 AMG, launched in 1993, was the first vehicle on the market to result from the collaboration agreement with Daimler-Benz. In 2005, Mercedes-AMG became a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG and 2009 saw the introduction of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the first vehicle to be developed entirely by Mercedes-AMG. AMG branched into motor racing with the SLS AMG GT3 in 2011. This was followed by the introduction of the Mercedes-AMG GT in 2014 and the launch of the 43 series models in 2015, introducing a broader target group to the brand.
Mercedes-AMG GT Concept – Driving Performance of the future
As part of its 50th anniversary Mercedes-AMG is this year celebrating not only the successful past and present; above all it is looking forward. With the show car Mercedes-AMG GT Concept the sports car and performance brand is giving an indication of the alternative drive configurations AMG is designing. Over and above this the four-door coupé heralds the further extension of the AMG GT family. The third model series after the SLS AMG and AMG GT is now being completely autonomously developed at the company’s headquarters in Affalterbach. The designation and fundamental design elements on the front and tail end denote the family affiliation to the AMG GT. The “EQ Power+” identifier on the mirror cam indicates the increased performance that can be expected from hybridisation at AMG.
“The GT Concept – like the AMG hypercar, which we present at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt – illustrates how we are defining the performance of the future at AMG. Impressive driving dynamics coupled with high efficiency, resulting from an innovative drive system and tailored to the vehicle segment in question – that is Future Performance made by AMG. With our AMG GT Concept that means a combination of an ultramodern V8 petrol engine and a high-performance electric motor. Both intelligently networked and following a modular battery concept with a combination of extremely powerful yet light batteries. This performance hybrid powertrain delivers a convincing electric range and the possibility to generate a system output of up to 600 kW in its ultimate stage of development. It covers the sprint from 0-100 in less than three seconds – which corresponds to a super sports car level,” says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
The four-door concept sports car from Affalterbach will seamlessly continue the success story of the AMG GT model series. The dynamic fastback will also be highly suitable for everyday use thanks to the large tailgate and the variable interior and luggage compartment. The new coupé thus blends the high functionality of the performance cars with the dynamism of the sports cars. The show car gives a sneak preview of the exterior design of the coming series production model.
AMG Future Performance: forward-thinking hybrid drive system
The drive system of the AMG GT Concept represents a completely new development. With the SLS AMG Electric Drive back in 2010 Mercedes-AMG proved that a super sports car with a battery/electric drive system can be realised – with astounding performance and maximum driving pleasure. Based on this experience, the AMG GT Concept study conveys an impression of the alternative drive configurations Mercedes-AMG is designing. Following the AMG brand pledge “Driving Performance”, Mercedes-AMG will in future develop segment-specific hybrids with an impressive performance gain which not only ensure an incomparable output, but also maximum efficiency.
Innovative combination of combustion engine and electric motor
After the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 vehicle, the show car is the second AMG model to bear the new designation “EQ Power+”, which all performance hybrids from Mercedes-AMG will be given in future. The performance hybrid system combines the powerful 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with an additional powerful electric motor and thus ensures extremely immediate response and offers an extraordinarily high system performance.
Characteristically for the brand, the maximum Driving Performance in the form of extremely high driving dynamics is the Affalterbach engineers’ focus. This is why the AMG GT Concept has a balanced axle load distribution. The fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive is also supported by the electric motor. It drives the rear wheels directly and has the effect of an additional booster. Besides this, according to the principle of Torque Vectoring, every wheel can be allocated torque individually. The result: the driver directly experiences a tangible increase in performance.
The scalable performance battery
This is set to extend the portfolio of Daimler AG to include a performance-oriented alternative: the battery is more powerful than conventional hybrid batteries, but at the same time more compact and lighter – further proof of the systematic way in which the AMG Lightweight Performance Strategy is being implemented. The modular system can be scaled up, so that the power and capacity of the battery can be tailored to specific requirements of customers or certain markets.
The charging of the battery during the journey occurs on the one hand via brake recuperation, but on the other hand also with the aid of the combustion engine if the battery charge has dropped beneath a certain threshold value.
Power from two drive systems: performance operating strategy from Formula 1
The operating strategy of the AMG GT Concept is derived from the hybrid power unit of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. As in the champions league of motorsport, the battery is also charged whilst the vehicle is being driven, so as always to have the full amount of electrical power available – and for instance to be able to accelerate out of bends extremely fast with full thrust. The transfer of knowledge works through the cooperation with the development engineers at Mercedes-AMG HPP (High Performance Powertrains GmbH), meaning that the operating strategy of future performance hybrids from AMG will be perceptible all the time.
The electric drive unit
Three operating modes can be preselected via the electric drive unit: the AMG GT Concept either drives purely electrically or only with the combustion engine or it optimally combines both drive sources with one another as a hybrid. The manifestation of the operating strategy, the definition of the drive programs and fundamental hybrid components are exclusive AMG developments, which all pursue the same aim: to facilitate a unique dynamic driving experience with Driving Performance in future, too.
Exclusive collector’s item: AMG GT3 Edition 50
With the new AMG GT3 Edition 50, Mercedes-AMG is presenting an exclusively equipped small series which is aimed at racing-enthusiast car collectors. With its unique colour concept, the extensive optional extras and the strict limitation to merely five vehicles, the customer sports special model commands an outstanding position for lovers of Mercedes-AMG vehicles.
The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is one of the currently most successful customer sports racing cars in the world, crowned by the quadruple victory in the 24-hour race at Nürburgring in 2016. It forms the basis for an extraordinary special model which Mercedes-AMG is issuing to mark its 50th birthday: the AMG GT3 Edition 50. A mere five car collectors will have the pleasure of parking this very special Customer Sports car in their garage.
New special paint finish can be seen for the first time
The striking special paint finish, worn by an AMG car for the first time, already signals the special status enjoyed by the Edition 50 in AMG model history. The likewise new “real black” colour forms an authentic motorsport contrast. Among other places, this matt black is found on the “50 YEARS AMG” emblem on the bonnet.
A further eye-catching feature is the distinctive silver-framed logo “50 YEARS OF DRIVING PERFORMANCE” in finely-grained carbon-fibre on the doors of the GT3 racing car:
The super-light and strong motorsport material carbon fibre is also used for the front diffuser, the rear diffuser, the rear aerofoil including end plates, the flics at the front, the air intakes, the radiator grille and the side skirts, each painted in a matt finish. The disc band and rear aerofoil bear the AMG logo.
Furthermore, the open Performance exhaust system provides an acoustic USP and the elimination of the restrictor ensures optimised performance.
Racing interior exclusively appointed
The functional racing car atmosphere dominates in the interior of the AMG GT3 Edition 50. It is complemented with high-quality, exclusive details: The roll cage as well as the visible floor assembly are painted in the special colour “real black”. Dashboard, sills, door panels, vent pipe and centre console are styled in matt black carbon fibre. Effective contrasts are formed by silver-coloured six-point seat belts and the racing steering wheel spider in silver. The collector’s item also has a seat shell in a high-strength carbon-fibre safety cell on the front-passenger side. The seat belts also bear the distinctive “50 YEARS OF DRIVING PERFORMANCE“ logo with silver surround. Further fine details include the AMG logos in the doors and sill, plus the “Edition 50 -1 of 5” badge
Additional extras include a car cover sporting the “50 YEARS OF DRIVING PERFORMANCE” emblem and a very exclusive birthday highlight from AMG partner IWC Schaffhausen: Each of the five vehicles is delivered to its customer with an Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG” watch from IWC Schaffhausen, customised in the style of the vehicle.
Vehicle handover directly at AMG company headquarters
The Mercedes-AMG GT3 Edition 50 is delivered directly in Affalterbach, where customers can experience exclusive insights into the world of AMG Driving Performance. In the 360-square-metre delivery hall there is an extensive introduction to the new vehicle’s technical features and operation. On request, AMG GT3 Edition 50 customers can receive personal racetrack coaching as part of a commissioning event with the vehicle.
The brand promise: “Driving Performance”
Mercedes-AMG is die sports car and performance brand within Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-AMG addresses all performance enthusiasts with this clear brand positioning. The brand pledge of Driving Performance illustrates the passion and the inner drive of all the employees to keep on questioning the status quo, to push the boundaries of what is possible and to facilitate intensive driving experiences for the customer with dynamic performance cars.
Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG complement one another perfectly: AMG benefits from the classic Mercedes values such as safety and comfort, and Mercedes gains more sportiness from AMG. With the widely extended product portfolio, Mercedes-AMG is happy to face the competition from the performance brands of major automotive manufacturers and from the classic sports car brands alike.
The brand pledge of Driving Performance embodies much more than the pure power of the vehicles. It also describes the inner drive always to strive for peak performances, which makes the employees in Affalterbach inextricably linked with the customers all over the world. The will to go the extra mile and explore the limits at any cost exemplifies this. That was already the case in 1971, when the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG achieved its unimaginable victory at the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps. And that is still true today, as evidenced by models with full-blooded motorsport technology, and continues into the future, when AMG will provide a tangible experience of Formula 1 racing for non-racers as well.
Superiority, intensity and character help shape the Driving Performance. This also characterises the actions and can be experienced by the customer – in the vehicle, during the brand experience in the Driving Academy or in the communication. For the customer, this results in an intensive experience for all the senses. The standard therefore is to make intense brand experiences possible that linger.
Professional care and advice in over 400 Performance Centres
A further key to the success of Mercedes-AMG is the particularly intensive customer care. The more than 400 AMG Performance Centres in 40 countries play an important role in this regard. This is where customers and fans immerse themselves in the brand environment of Mercedes-AMG. The history of the brand and its DNA can be experienced first-hand, for instance through the unparalleled quality of the customer support and advice from the trained AMG sales and service experts.
The sales rooms at the AMG Performance Centres, which are integrated into Mercedes-Benz dealerships as a shop-in-shop system, are characterised by an entirely distinct AMG brand identity. High-grade materials, an exclusive motorsport ambience and hallmark AMG colours make for an accessible brand experience. The opening of a dedicated sales outlet in Tokyo Setagaya at the beginning of this year was the next step in the sales initiative. For the first time, the new location represents the sports car and performance brand in a distinctive architecture. The brand is not integrated into an existing Mercedes-Benz dealership as a shop-in-shop system, but for the first time based on the stand-alone principle. Customers can experience the brand universe of AMG on two storeys. The focus in the showroom is exclusively on the models and themes of the sports car and performance brand. The store serves as a role model for future stand-alone projects in other major cities, which are already on the drawing board for e.g. Sydney and Dubai.
Another central component of customer support is the online AMG Private Lounge. Launched in 2006 for US customers, it was expanded to German-speaking areas in 2009 and brought an international dimension to the official AMG Brand Community. The online platform invites AMG owners to share their passion for the brand with other AMG enthusiasts. Inside knowledge, direct contact with Affalterbach, exclusive events and opportunities to communicate and exchange ideas create a tangible brand experience. The community spirit is further strengthened by highly exclusive events only for Private Lounge members and the shared brand experience. At present the AMG Private Lounge Community has an accredited membership of 55,000 worldwide. No other car manufacturer offers anything comparable.
AMG Driving Academy: learn from the pros
At the AMG Driving Academy customers experience the fascination of the AMG brand in a thrilling way. It offers driving experiences and training sessions for individual requirements, giving customers the opportunity to become acquainted with the potential of a Mercedes-AMG and simultaneously increase their handling safety on roads and race tracks.
During AMG RACETRACK training, the participants develop their driving skills under the instruction of coaches experienced in racing and with the aid of data recording and video analyses. They are coached by top instructors – including racing greats like Bernd Schneider and Karl Wendlinger or trainers active in motorsport’s long-distance and rally series, such as Jan Seyffarth and Hannes Danzinger.
At the AMG Winter Sporting the participants experience driving enjoyment and performance in extreme conditions, for example at 66.12° latitude north and 17.93° longitude east near Arjeplog in Lapland, northern Sweden, not far from the Arctic Circle. Here prepared routes on a frozen lake await the AMG enthusiasts, who can perfect their driving technique in various modules.
The world’s most successful racing touring cars
With 177 racing victories, ten Drivers’, 13 Team and six Constructors’ titles, Mercedes-AMG is the most successful brand in the history of the DTM, the most challenging racing touring car series in the world. The C-Class in its various model generations has at the same time become the most successful racing touring car in history.
The successes and series wins began with entry into the DTM in 1986. In the debut season the AMG team drove home individual victories, for instance on the Berlin Avus. This first notable achievement with the 190 E 2.3-16 led to a motorsport cooperation agreement with Mercedes-Benz in 1988.
The first vehicle was the 190 E 2.5-16 EVO, which clocked up many racing victories. At the end of a thrilling season followed by 150 million spectators at the racetracks and on TV, Klaus Ludwig emerged as the first DTM champion driving a Mercedes-AMG in 1992.
In 1995 Bernd Schneider’s star rose: today’s Mercedes-AMG Brand Ambassador became the overall DTM/ITC winner in the C-Class (model series W 202). In the following years his success rate increased to five DTM titles and 43 race wins – a record which will probably remain unmatched for a long time. But an exciting racing series like the DTM never stands still: Mercedes-AMG has also been able to achieve many wins and titles with the C-Class successor series and the CLK.
The latest title success in the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM teams came courtesy of Pascal Wehrlein, who became Drivers’ Champion in the 2015 DTM season and helped win the Team Championship (gooix/Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG). In 2016 the drivers of the Mercedes-AMG DTM team clocked up 15 podium places overall, including four firsts.
In the 2017 season, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is again on the attack in the DTM, using a total of six HWA cars (Mercedes-AMG DTM C 63), with the aim of continuing the success story in the DTM.
With a winning start: in the first race in Hockenheim on 6 May, the 399th race for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the DTM/ITC, the up-and-coming star Lucas Auer won. The following Sunday Gary Paffett made it to 2nd place and secured Mercedes-AMG the 522nd podium place in the hard-fought racing series. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport currently leads the Drivers’, Constructors’ and Team ratings after four races:
Outstanding successes with the AMG GT3 models
Alongside Formula 1 and DTM a third factor has been making a decisive contribution to the major successes on the race track for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport for a few years now – the global Customer Racing programme. The new era was heralded in in 2010 with the unveiling of the SLS AMG GT3, the first Customer Sports car in the history of Mercedes-Benz. The gull-wing race-track model caused a sensation around the world and bestowed fantastic successes on the customer teams.
The winning streak in the 2013 season took on a historic dimension with wins in all the major long-distance races for GT3 cars — from the Bathurst and Abu Dhabi 24-hour races through the 24-hour race in Dubai to the classics on the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps.
In 2016 the Mercedes-AMG GT3 opened a new chapter in Mercedes-AMG Motorsport’s commitment to Customer Sports. Like its predecessor, the SLS AMG GT3, the new racing car impresses with a ground-breaking safety level coupled with a new maximum in performance and reliability.
With a total of 18 overall victories and 32 other podium finishes, the international customer and performance teams celebrated a sensational season in 2016 with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. The GT3 racing car got the season off to an ideal start. In the 24-hour race at Nürburgring at the end of May, the GT3 racing car brought home the biggest success to date since the Mercedes-AMG Customer Sports programme was founded: with overall victory, pole position, fastest lap as well as further second, third, fourth and sixth placings now on record in the annals of motorsport. The brand’s clean sweep of the podium places in the world’s biggest car race was shared by the AMG team BLACK FALCON (P1), the AMG team HTP Motorsport (P2) and the HARIBO Racing Team-AMG (P3).
Behind the sporting successes is a comprehensive Customer Sports programme, which – just like the cars themselves – is being continually advanced. The leitmotif is fast and professional support for the teams with the aim of contributing towards as much joint success as possible through engineering know-how and manpower.
Mercedes-AMG is keeping its foot firmly on the gas in the Customer Sports programme in 2017, too, with participation of the successful AMG GT3 being extended to the USA. Acclaimed teams compete in the highly popular IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship (IWSC) as well as in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC). The teams will also benefit from optimal support from Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in the USA.
Milestones in the history of the sports car and performance brand
- AMG was founded in Burgstall in 1967 by Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher as an “engineering office, design and testing for the development of racing engines”. The letters stood for Aufrecht, Melcher and Großaspach – the birthplace of Aufrecht.
- In 1971, AMG became famous overnight, with the red-painted AMG 300 SEL 6.8 winning its class in supreme style at the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race while finishing second in the overall classification.
- The plant in Affalterbach was founded in 1976. In a newly constructed building, the racing engine workshop evolved into a manufacturer of sports saloons and coupés.
- In 1984, Erhard Melcher completely independently developed a cylinder head with modern four-valve technology, the innovative engine being used as a 5.0-litre V8 in the Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC. The principle of “One Man, One Engine” was valid from the outset.
- From 1986, the new cylinder head was used not only in the AMG version of the S-Class, but primarily in the saloon and, from 1987, in the coupé of the mid-size class (W124). Rated at 265 kW (360 hp), the car was christened “The Hammer” by the specialist media in the USA.
- From 1988, AMG not only constructed Mercedes-Benz 190 E racing cars, but was also responsible for their deployment in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).
- Collaboration with Mercedes-Benz began in 1990. In 1991, AMG embarked on the development and production of sports versions of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
- The C 36 AMG, launched in 1993, was the first vehicle on the market to result from the collaboration agreement with Daimler-Benz. With sales of 5000 units up to 1997, it became the first best-seller.
- With effect from 1999, Mercedes-AMG was 51 percent owned by DaimlerChrysler.
- In 2001, the newly developed 5-speed automatic transmission in the C 32 AMG was paired with the 3.2-litre supercharged V6. Innovative touch control allowed the gears to be selected manually.
- In 2005, Mercedes-AMG became a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG.
- Unveiled in 2009, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was the first vehicle to be developed entirely in-house by the sports car and performance brand. The sound, along with uncompromising driving dynamics and iconic gull-wing doors, found fans around the world.
- AMG branched into motor racing with the SLS AMG GT3 in 2011. At the same time, the SLS GT3 marked the entry of Mercedes-Benz into exclusive customer racing sport.
- Unveiled in 2014, the Mercedes-AMG GT model series was the second sports car to be developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach.
- With its entry into the compact segment and its 43 series vehicles, AMG widened its portfolio while acquiring new groups of customers.
- With almost 70,000 units, Mercedes-AMG set a new sales record in 2015. The growth drivers included not just the newly launched 43 series models, but above all the performance versions of the C-Class, SUVs and compacts.
- Since 2016, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 has written a new chapter in the history of Customer Sports. At the ADAC Zurich 24h race on the Nürburgring in 2016, the first four places went to teams competing in the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
- With almost 100,000 units delivered, in 2017 Mercedes-AMG heads into the year of its 50th anniversary on the back of a new sales record.
Mercedes-AMG motorsport milestones
With 177 racing victories, ten Drivers’, 13 Team and six Constructors’ titles, Mercedes-AMG is the most successful brand in the history of the DTM, the most challenging racing touring car series in the world. The C-Class in its various model generations has at the same time become the most successful racing touring car in history. The FIA GT World Championship, in which AMG won each of the eleven races in the 1998 season with the CLK GTR and the CLK-LM, also features in the AMG track record.
Since 2012 AMG has also been synonymous with peak sporty performance and major successes in FIA Formula 1. From 2014 to 2016 the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team won the Constructors’ and the Drivers’ World Championship three times in succession with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Since 1996 Mercedes-AMG has provided the Safety Car and the Medical Car in Formula 1.
Over and above this the brand is successfully committed to customer motorsport and has won legendary long-distance classics and numerous championship titles with the SLS AMG GT3 and the AMG GT3.
With its passionate commitment to racing, Mercedes-AMG ensures the transfer of technology from the race track to the road – for exemplary Driving Performance which challenges the limits of physics and offers unforgettable driving experiences.
- 1971 On 25 July a Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8, extensively modified by AMG, took everyone by complete surprise in the 24-hour race in Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps to take second place in the overall placings. The experienced drivers Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz took turns at the wheel of the 315 kW/428 hp racing saloon. With this coup AMG found fame overnight in the car scene. Even the German news programme “Tagesschau” reported on the surprise success. The legend was born.
- 1972 In March the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG, now repainted yellow, took part in the pre-tests for the 24-hour Le Mans race, but did not enter the race in June. But it was used in competitions, in the 24-hour race at Nürburgring at the end of June and in the Nuremberg 200 Miles on 6 August 1972 at Norisring. This was where Hans Heyer drove to victory in the “series and special touring cars over 2000 cubic centimetres displacement” class and ended the racing career of the 6.8 once again painted red. Later the car was sold to the French conglomerate Matra and converted for high-speed tests of aircraft tyres.
- 1980 Clemens Schickentanz and Jörg Denzel in the 276 kW/375 hp Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC AMG won the Touring Car Grand Prix on the North Loop at Nürburgring. After a two-year development period the sensational coupé with the infernal sound had thus fulfilled its remit not only to acquire technical know-how for the road-going vehicles but also to drive home victories with advertising appeal.
- 1986 With a Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16, prepared by AMG, from the private racing team Dr Helmut Marko, Volker Weidler won the Eifel Race and the Avus Race as part of the emergent DTM. Driver Volker Weidler also took the DTM Vice Championship. Further podium places consolidated the reputation of AMG as a manufacturer of reliable and winning racing technology.
- 1987 On its own initiative AMG developed a DTM racing version of the 500 SEC according to the Group A regulations and constructed a racing car over the winter of 1987/88. But due to the lack of homologation, the huge V8 beast disappeared into the garage for the time being.
- 1988 Mercedes-Benz and AMG began their official partnership in motorsport. Right from the word go the team work was a great success: with the rebuilt Mercedes-AMG 190 E 2.3-16 Johnny Cecotto and Danny Snobek clocked up six wins. Plus there were a few second places from Roland Asch and Alain Cudini.
- 1989 AMG was the most successful DTM team with the enhanced 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution I. Klaus Ludwig and Kurt Thiim tucked seven victories under their belts.
- 1989 In the 24-hour races on the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps AMG entered with the 500 SEC. The 5.0-litre eight-cylinder engine in the large Mercedes coupé developed 338 kW (460 hp) after a fundamental rework. A five-speed manual transmission replaced the standard four-stage automatic one. In order to comply with the rules the luxury coupé had to come down in weight from 1660 to 1340 kilograms.
- 1990 The more powerful 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, which had undergone a fundamental aerodynamic revision, celebrated its première. The high rear spoiler and the broad side flaps showed superb fine-tuning in the wind tunnel. The 502 units built for homologation soon became coveted collectibles. With four victories from Kurt Thiim and Klaus Ludwig AMG entered the DTM’s success statistics.
- 1991 Klaus Ludwig and Kurt Thiim clocked up six wins with the :Evo II”, four of which alone in the races at the Nürburgring. Klaus Ludwig became Vice Champion, whilst AMG won the Team Championship.
- 1992 The DTM was the ultimate spectator magnet: over 150 million spectators followed the races on the race track and TV screen. AMG celebrated a fantastic year of success in motorsport: the company won the Team Championship with 16 victories, and the Constructors’ Championship again went to Mercedes-Benz. Klaus Ludwig became DTM Champion in the Mercedes-AMG 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, and Kurt Thiim became Vice Champion. On the Hockenheimring Ellen Lohr became the first woman to win a DTM race. Ex-Formula 1 World Champion Keke Rosberg drove for AMG and won the first race in Wunstorf, starting a tradition of famous driving personalities which lasts to this day. The young four-times race winner Bernd Schneider was proving to be a talented up-and-coming driver, who was to go down in the annals of racing touring car history.
- 1993 Roland Asch became DTM Vice Champion in an Mercedes-AMG in the 90 E’s final season. For its farewell the four-cylinder racing car was the first to see the finishing line in the “Class 1” development stage a total of seven times with Bernd Schneider, Klaus Ludwig and Roland Asch. In the overall DTM placings there were six Mercedes-Benz cars in the first ten.
- 1994 A sensational start for the new Mercedes-AMG C-Class with a six-cylinder engine: the new racing car was the benchmark for all the competitors. Klaus Ludwig became DTM Champion from the off with three wins and many podium places. Jörg van Ommen became Vice Champion. Five further number 1 positions were attained by Kurt Thiim, Bernd Schneider and Jörg van Ommen.
- 1995 AMG defended the brand title and for the third time won the DTM Championship plus the title in the newly founded International Touring Car Championship (ITC). In both cases the Champion was Bernd Schneider in an Mercedes-AMG C-Class. Precisely eleven victories were clocked up by shooting star Bernd Schneider, and Dario Franchitti achieved a first place. Jörg van Ommen again became Vice Champion.
- 1996 Bernd Schneider took the ITC Vice Championship in Mercedes-AMG. Bernd Schneider, Dario Franchitti, Jörg van Ommen and Jan Magnussen won seven races in the C-Class. The DTM had come to an end for the time being, as the competitors Alfa Romeo and Opel pulled out. AMG had no opponents so at the end of the year it looked for a new field of activity in motorsport.
- 1996 The C 36 AMG became the first “Official F1 Safety Car” and “Official F1 Medical Car” from Mercedes-AMG. This marked the beginning of a long tradition which continues to this day.
- 1997 In the newly created international FIA-GT Championship there were some tempting challenges in store. In just 128 days the AMG Motorsport Team designed a completely new racing car for the GT1 Class, the CLK-GTR. The chassis and body of the newcomer consisted of a fibre-reinforced compound with an integral roll-over bar made of steel. The engine and transmission took on supporting roles. The engine was located directly behind the rear axle and was developed from the 6.0 litre V12 in the Mercedes-Benz S 600. From a displacement of 6.9 litres it generated up to 450 kW/612 hp at 6800 rpm, and the maximum torque was 775 Nm at 5250 rpm.
- The power was transferred to the rear wheels via a sequential 6-speed transmission. The CLK GTR thus achieved a top speed of more than 320 km/h and accelerated from zero to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. New paddles on the steering wheel were used for shifting. These and other innovations were later fed into series production and illustrate the constant technology transfer from motorsport to the road-going vehicle.
- Proven talents like Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig were taken on board as drivers. They were joined by budding drivers such as Bernd Mayländer, Alexander Wurz and Marcel Tiemann. Alessandro Nannini from Formula 1 also came aboard. This was a recipe for success: AMG won six races, and Bernd Schneider promptly won the Championship. Five of the first ten places were occupied by the cars from Affalterbach. Ralf Schumacher, then a Formula 1 newcomer at Jordan, also once drove this Silver Arrow: on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
- 1998 Total dominance by Mercedes-AMG in the FIA-GT: The CLK-GTR and the successor model, the CLK-LM with a V8 engine, won all eleven races. The Klaus Ludwig/Ricardo Zonta team secured the Drivers’ title, Mercedes-AMG the Constructors’ title. Bernd Schneider/Mark Webber became Vice Champions.
- 2000 The DTM celebrated a spectacular comeback as the German Touring Car Masters. AMG again took part with the completely new CLK-DTM based on the new coupé; Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig were at the wheel. This unbeatable combination determined the outcome of the Championship on its own terms. Bernd Schneider celebrated six victories, with Klaus Ludwig winning two races.
- 2001 Impressive repeat of the previous year’s success: Bernd Schneider took the Drivers’ title in the CLK-DTM, and the Constructors’ title went to the AMG team. The V8 racing car was a true kingmaker: Uwe Alzen won two races with it; Bernd Mayländer, Peter Dumbreck and Marcel Fässler all stood right at the top of the podium on one occasion.
- 2002 Mercedes-AMG continued its commitment to DTM with a new version of the CLK-DTM. Ex-Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi moved to the Mercedes-AMG team after 201 Grand Prix drives. Bernd Schneider became Vice Champion, Vodafone Mercedes-AMG won the Team Championship, Mercedes-Benz the Constructors’ Championship.
- 2003 Successes right down the line: Bernd Schneider won his fourth DTM Championship in the CLK-DTM. His team colleague Christijan Albers became Vice Champion. Mercedes-AMG defended the Team Championship, and Mercedes-Benz won nine out of ten races to take the Constructors’ Championship again.
- 2004 The C-Class DTM took over from the successful CLK-DTM. The young star Gary Paffett became Vice Champion. AMG and Mercedes-Benz took second place in the Team and Constructors’ Championship respectively.
- 2005 Thanks to a close duel for the title with Audi, the 2005 DTM season was one of the most exciting in history. The top place in the table changed seven times. Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett celebrated 5 wins versus 3 over his rival Mattias Ekström to take the title. Mika Häkkinen, two-time Formula 1 World Champion in 1998 and 1999, strengthened the Mercedes-AMG DTM team and won the third race of the season in Spa-Francorchamps.
- 2006 Bernd Schneider crowned the exciting season with his fifth Championship title. Bruno Spengler won the last race to become Vice Champion. The Team Championship went to Mercedes-AMG. With these successes the C-Class and its predecessor the 190 entered history as the most successful racing touring car in the DTM.
- 2007 The company entered the season with the new Mercedes-AMG C-Class. The eight-cylinder V engine with a 90-degree cylinder angle, four-litre displacement and four valves per cylinder was further optimised. It developed 350 kW (470 hp) at 7500 rpm and a maximum torque of 500 newton metres. The drivers were Bernd Schneider, Mika Häkkinen, Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green.
- 2011 The exclusive world of customer racing is entered with the SLS AMG GT3.
- 2012 In the 2012 motorsport season the active Mercedes-AMG customer teams around the world delivered a strong performance. With nine titles and 43 victories, the SLS AMG GT3 achieved impressive successes on four continents.
- 2013 The SLS AMG GT3 won all the major 24-hour races: Dubai, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps.
- 2014 The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team won the FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship title with Lewis Hamilton, and the Constructors’ title with the Mercedes F1 W05 hybrid racing car. This was the first winning German team since the Constructors’ title was awarded in 1958. Team colleague Nico Rosberg became Vice World Champion.
- 2015 Mercedes-AMG Petronas and Lewis Hamilton repeated the double title win in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, and Nico Rosberg again became Vice World Champion.
- 2015 Pascal Wehrlein in the Mercedes-AMG C-Class Coupé became DTM Champion and a test and reserve driver in Formula 1.
- 2016 The Mercedes-AMG GT3 opened a new chapter in the history of Customer Sports. At the ADAC Zurich 24h race on the Nürburgring in 2016, the first four places went to teams competing in the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
- 2016 The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team took the Constructors’ World Championship title for the third time in succession, whilst Nico Rosberg became Drivers’ World Champion and Lewis Hamilton Vice World Champion.
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