Mercedes-Benz are arguably the best in the world at making high-performance super-sedans, and it all comes from the AMG headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany. It started out as a racing engine development brand, and gradually became more and more attached with Mercedes. It's now a big part of Mercedes, as it tunes their cars to give better looks, better performance, and better everything else as well. Let's not forget, they are the ones responsible for the four (almost five now) World Constructors' Trophies as one of the most dominant teams in F1. How did it become so massive?
1967: A very complex name is born
Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, former Mercedes employees, started a racing engine company in Burgstall, which was somewhat related to Mercedes. Aufrecht-Melcher- Großaspach ( Großaspach is Aufrecht's hometown) make up the name AMG. As I don't have the skill to type it all out, I've copied the company's actual full name, which is... brace yourselves...
AMG Motorenbau und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH.
Monty Python fans will remember the fatal funniest joke in the world. Anyway, I think that's the last of the near-fatal German spellings. I wonder how they wrote this name on the piece of paper they signed for officialising it. I'm sure there was a spelling mistake there.
Thankfully, people have been referring to it only as AMG since, and they've been building such powerful and God-level sounding engines, they make you go OMG! Did that joke work?
1971: Road cars start having AMG engines
This idea was surely genius. It went well, as people liked it and the demand for special AMG performance packages went up beyond the sky. The big, powerful and noisy Mercedes cars were a hit. People loved to watch them roar round the town, and wanted one themselves. So, smartly, Mercedes made AMG tune all of their cars, to reach out wide among the buyers. It worked.
It was not only engines, AMG made racing seats, stylish wheels, body kits, what not! They were suddenly transformed into a huge industry, with demand expanding like an inflating balloon. The car world was suddenly a performance world, rather than a luxury-filled one.
1986: World's fastest passenger sedan
AMG was already the performance daddy by the time, but to make history, they needed a record. And for that, they did what they do best. A 5.6 Litre V8 making a massive 360 horsepower was just thrown into a W124 E-Class, and that made it faster from 60-120 miles an hour, than a Lamborghini Countach!
It was called the Hammer! What a name! If the world had the internet then, it would have crashed with posts about the epic AMG super-sedan.
2012: AMG enters F1
Mercedes already had been competing in the sport for 2 years before that, but had an average car that would sometimes get points, even with Michael Schumacher at the wheel. But when AMG started developing it, 2012 gave Mercedes their first win since the return, and hence the first one since the 1950s. Rosberg won the Chinese Grand Prix, and Michael Schumacher delivered a special pole position at Monaco. He also got a surprise podium at Valencia, which showed the car was improving brilliantly.
After 2013 when they had a pretty decent season with Hamilton and Rosberg, they have just been dominating F1 since 2014, winning 72 of the 98 races held since the start of the V6 Turbo Hybrid era that year.
AMG is surely a special brand of each one of us. It's a legend in the motoring industry and will be remembered forever as the Godfather of performance machines. BMW and Audi are brilliant at it too, but this is the original blood.
I'm sure all of you must have a favourite AMG car, be it a road car or a racing car. If you're not shy, you could let me know. Time for some banter!