Author Topic: The History of AMG  (Read 6775 times)

Offline fasteddy

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The History of AMG
« on: October 27, 2006, 05:51:43 PM »
35 years of Mercedes-Benz high-performance vehicles and production-car track success
-1967 to 2002: from a three-man band to a workforce of around 580
-35 years of high-tech engineering for Mercedes-Benz vehicles
-A pioneer in adapting cars to individual customer specifications
Victories across the board in international motorsport

From its beginnings 35 years ago as a specialist motorsport and tuning firm, Mercedes-AMG GmbH has grown into a supplier of exclusive high-performance cars with some 580 employees, an extensive model range now comprising 17 different AMG cars, customers across the world and a brand name which has gained a high level of recognition. The company was founded back in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht (A) and his partner Eberhard Melcher (M), whilst Aufrecht?s birthplace of Gro?aspach (G) sup-plied the third letter in the company name. They officially described them-selves as ?engineering, construction and testing specialists in the development of racing engines?. The firm was based in an old mill in Burgstall (near Affalterbach).

The breakthrough in 1971 with class victory in the 24 Hours of Spa
In its early years, AMG concentrated on building racing cars based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE and competing in European touring car races. And the company didn?t have to wait long to taste success, their first real breakthrough arriving in 1971. A Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 modified by AMG took a surprise class victory in the 24-hour race at Spa in Belgium, finishing in second place overall. Sharing the driving duties in the racing saloon that day was the partnership of Hans Heyer and Clemes Schickendanz.

The 1971 success proved to be the springboard for a enviable record on the track which has continued to the present day :

1980: An AMG Mercedes 450 SLC takes first place in the European Touring Car Championship grand-prix race at the N?rburgring.
1986: An AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 records two victories in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).
1988: The AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 takes four wins in the German Touring Car Championship, Mercedes-Benz and AMG strike up an of-ficial partnership in motorsport.
1989: AMG is the most successful team in the DTM, with Klaus Ludwig and Johnny Cecotto notching up seven race wins at the wheel of the AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution I.
1990: Premiere of the more powerful 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.
1991: AMG Mercedes finishes top of the team standings and Klaus Ludwig is the most successful driver. Mercedes-Benz takes the con-structors? title. The DTM is at the peak of its powers, with the races at-tracting an audience of over 153 million.
1992: AMG Mercedes again takes the team honours and Mercedes-Benz the constructors? crown. Klaus Ludwig is the DTM champion driving an AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. Ellen Lohr becomes the fist woman to win a round of the DTM ? at the wheel of an AMG Mercedes ? whilst former Formula 1 World Champion Keke Rosberg also drives for the team.
1993: Roland Asch finishes runner-up in the DTM in an AMG Mercedes. This proves to be the farewell season for the AMG Mercedes 190 E, the winner of 50 races.
1994: The new AMG Mercedes C-Class lines up on the starting grid, powered by a six-cylinder engine. Klaus Ludwig wastes no time in taking the DTM crown once again.
1995: AMG wins the DTM championship for the third time, as well as the international ITC series in its debut year. The drivers? champion on each occasion is Bernd Schneider.
1996: Bernd Schneider drives an AMG Mercedes to second place in the ITC.
1997: The new Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, constructed by AMG in only 128 days, takes Bernd Schneider to the inaugural FIA GT Championship title.
1998: AMG Mercedes dominates the FIA-GT series, with Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta winning all eleven races and the drivers? championship in the CLK-GTR. AMG Mercedes cruises to the constructors? title.
2000: In the first year of the new DTM (German Touring Car Masters) series, AMG clinches the championship title with Bernd Schneider at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM.
2001: A repeat of the previous year with Bernd Schneider driving his Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM to the drivers? championship crown and AMG taking the team title.
2002: The excitement of the DTM continues with the new CLK-DTM. Ex-Formula 1 star Jean Alesi makes the switch to Team AMG Mercedes after 201 Grand Prix races.

Technological achievements provide a boost for business

AMG?s success was to spread well beyond the international motorsport stage. By the 1970s, customers were beginning to develop a taste for more individuality in their cars and the German company used this burgeoning appetite as the platform to develop their business. The transfer of technology from motorsport into series-produced cars already formed part of the company?s philosophy and, by developing impressive technology and first-class quality on the back of its involvement in motor racing, the company started to earn itself quite a reputation. Word quickly spread and the aims AMG had set itself soon made it one of the leaders in the refinement and tuning of premium cars.

The most important technical milestones in the history of AMG:

1971: The Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 AMG developing 206 kW/280 hp and 542 Nm of torque, and boasting an optimised chassis and more powerful baking system.
The mid-to-late 1970s: uprated AMG engines, modifications to the chassis and brakes, AMG light-alloy wheels and wide-base tyres sharpen the edge of numerous Mercedes-Benz cars.

1982: In-car video for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
1983: The Mercedes-Benz 280 CE 5.0 AMG with eight-cylinder engine developing 203 kW/276 hp and 408 Nm torque.
1984: The Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG with eight-cylinder engine featuring newly developed four-valve technology, output of 250 kW/340 hp and a top speed of 260 km/h.
1984: The Mercedes-Benz 300 E 5.0 AMG with eight-cylinder engine featuring newly developed four-valve technology, output of 250 kW/340 hp and a top speed of 280km/h.
1985: New metal catalytic converter for unrivalled emissions control.
1986: The Mercedes-Benz 300 E 5.6 AMG with eight-cylinder engine boasting 5.6-l displacement, four-valve technology, 265 kW/360 hp, 510 Nm torque and a top speed of 300 km/h. The first time that sports-car performance had been combined with the day-to-day qualities of a Mercedes. American fans christen the powerful AMG model ?The hammer?.
1987: The Mercedes-Benz 300 E AMG and 190 E AMG with 3.2-l six-cylinder engine and 180 kW/245 hp.
1988: The Mercedes-Benz 300 E 6.0 AMG, eight-cylinder engine with 6-l displacement, four-valve technology, 283 kW/385 hp and 566 Nm torque.
1989: The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution AMG, four-cylinder engine with 165 kW/225 hp and 240 Nm torque.

1990: The Mercedes-Benz 300 E-24 3.4 AMG, six-cylinder engine with 200 kW/272 hp and 335 Nm torque.
1993: The Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG with six-cylinder engine, 206 kW/280 hp and 385 Nm torque. The first vehicle jointly produced under the cooperation agreement between Daimler-Benz and AMG.
1996: The Mercedes-Benz E 50 AMG with eight-cylinder engine, 255 kW/347 hp and 480 Nm torque.
1997: The Mercedes-Benz C 43 AMG with eight-cylinder engine, 225 kW/306 hp and 410 Nm torque. Also available as an Estate.
1997 The Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG with eight-cylinder engine, 260 kW/354 hp and 530 Nm torque. Also available as an Estate.
1998: The Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG with eight-cylinder engine, 255 kW/347 hp and 510 Nm torque. Also available as a Cabriolet.
1998: The road-going version of the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR with 6.9-l twelve-cylinder engine developing 440 kW/600 hp. Limited to 25 units.
1999: The SL 73 AMG with 7.3-l V12 engine developing 386 kW/525 hp and 750 Nm torque.
1999: The SL 55 AMG with eight-cylinder engine developing 260 kW/354 hp and 530 Nm torque.
1999: The Mercedes-Benz S 55 AMG and G 55 AMG with eight-cylinder engines developing 260 kW/354 hp and 265 kW/360 hp, and 525/530 Nm torque.
1999: The Mercedes-Benz ML 55 AMG with eight-cylinder engine, 255 kW/347 hp and 510 Nm torque.
1999: Presentation of ?AMG Advanced Mobile Media Systems? in a Mercedes-Benz S 55 AMG with the world?s first 6-channel digital surround-sound system.

2000: Mercedes-AMG develops the S-Class Pullman Saloon with DaimlerChrysler.
2000: The Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG with eight-cylinder engine, 265 kW/360 hp and 530 Nm torque.
2000: The Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG with 4MATIC four-wheel drive. Also available as an Estate.
2001: The Mercedes-Benz C 32 and SLK 32 AMG with supercharged V6 engine, 260 kW/354 hp and 440 Nm torque. C 32 AMG Also available as an Estate and Sports Coup?.
2001: The Mercedes-Benz S and CL 63 AMG with twelve-cylinder en-gine, 326 kW/444 hp and 620 Nm torque.
2001: The ?AMG Advanced Mobile Media? high-class communications and entertainment system is introduced for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Pullman.
2001: The Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG with supercharged V8 engine, 368 kW/500 hp and 700 Nm torque.
2002: Presentation of the new Mercedes-Benz CLK 55 AMG, E 55 AMG, C 30 CDI AMG, S 55 AMG and CL 55 AMG high-performance cars.

The three-man band becomes a medium-size company

The strong demand for refined and tuned Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the late 1970s led to a steady increase in the number of orders received by AMG. The company outgrew its base in Burgstall and moved to Affalterbach in 1978. AMG developed from the first Mercedes-Benz tuning company to a model for an entire branch of the automotive industry. The company?s impact was evident at the 1981 International Motor Show in Frankfurt/Main, where a total of 176 exhibitors were involved in tuning and accessories for the Mercedes-Benz brand. An important event in the history of AMG was the debut of the Mercedes-Benz 190 in 1983. The compact Saloon soon became the darling of German car tuners and helped AMG to tap into a whole new clientele.

1985: AMG opens ?Werk II? and the workforce grows to 100 employees

AMG continued to expand. In 1985 the company opened ?Werk II?, the second factory, and welcomed aboard its 100th employee. The AMG allure stretched far and wide, AMG attracting customers to Affalterbach from all over the planet. The firm counted prominent figures from the worlds of motorsport, film, music, sport and economics, as well as royalty, among its army of fans. Although some of the requests from these most discerning of customers were extremely specialised, AMG was always up to the task, tackling these one-off projects with their renowned passion and know-how.

As an industry pioneer and trendsetter, AMG used its constantly expanding well of experience to great benefit, ignoring short-lived fads. The company was already committed to achieving and retaining a position as a world leader in terms of technology, design, sales and return.

The cooperation agreement with Daimler-Benz AG

One of the key milestones in the history of AMG came in 1990, with the signing of the cooperation agreement with Daimler-Benz AG. Under the terms of the deal, AMG products could now be sold at Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlets and dealers, significantly improving customer ac-ceptance. Further expansion led in 1990 to the opening of ?Werk III?, the third factory, and an increase in the workforce to 400 employees. In 1993 the company unveiled the first co-developed vehicle to be born out of the cooperation agreement: the Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG. By this time AMG had become sufficiently well known to be recognised as a trademark by the Patent office.

The integration into the DaimlerChrysler Group in 1999

On 1 January 1999, H.W. Aufrecht handed over a majority shareholding in AMG and the company was incorporated into DaimlerChrysler AG. This allowed the newly founded Mercedes-AMG GmbH to benefit to an even greater extent from the Group?s resources and global standing. The highly specialised subsidiary was given overall responsibility for the engine, transmission, chassis, brakes, aerodynamics, interior, design and sales and marketing of AMG-badged cars. The management team consisted of Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard (Chairman) and Domingos Piedade, with Ulrich Bruhnke taking over as Chairman in 2000.

Production record of over 18,700 vehicles set in 2001

AMG can point to a recent history of enviable success. Over 5000 units of the C 36 AMG were delivered between 1993 and 1997, whilst almost 3000 E 50 AMG vehicles were sold between 1996 and 1997. The E 50 AMG was then succeeded by the E 55 AMG, of which around 12,000 units were produced. However, the best sales year so far has been 2001, with 18,700 AMG vehicles delivered to their owners around the word - more than 1999 and 2000 together.

Involvement in Formula 1 with the SL 55 AMG official Safety Car

Mercedes-AMG is represented in the Formula 1 World Championship by the SL 55 AMG (official Safety Car) and C 32 AMG Estate (Medical Car). The company is also involved in international polo as a team sponsor.

In 1999 the motorsport department was absorbed into company founder Hans Werner Aufrecht?s new firm H.W.A. GmbH, located in close proximity to Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Some 170 staff now work together with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport to manage the two companies? long-standing involvement in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) race series.

Related Content: 
 Part 1
Mercedes-AMG GmbH Philosophy (news)
 Part 2: Mercedes-AMG Engines in Depth (news)
 AMG Motorsports (photos)
 Mercedes-AMG opens new Performance Studio (news)