WHAT ARE MERCEDES-AMG’S TOP 10 CARS?
We take a look at some of AMG’s best models in its 50-year history
Back in 1965, German engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher were working on the Daimler-Benz motorsport development programme – that was until the company suddenly discontinued all racing activity.
But the pair continued to work on the Mercedes 300 SE engine that they had been developing back in Aufrecht’s garage in Großaspach, south-western Germany, and that work bared fruit as the engine powered to 10 wins in the German Touring Car Championship at the hands of Manfred Schiek – one of the duo’s colleagues at Daimler.
Following that, the pair left Mercedes-Benz in 1966 and founded the fledgling ‘Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach’ or AMG engineering company as it is more commonly known in 1967.
Aufrecht wanted to take racing performance from the machines that were winning races throughout Germany and put that into road cars for everyone to enjoy. However, many private racing teams came knocking for the rather excellent engines and this has led to some truly superb machines.
Now based in Affalterbach, AMG is one of the world’s leading tuning companies and Mercedes’s very own personal nuthouse, where many of their most powerful models have been developed. It even has a Formula 1 team and is currently developing its very own hypercar with upwards of 1000bhp.
But our list starts off with the genesis of this rather mad brand…
1971 Mercedes 300SEL 6.8-litre ‘Red Pig’
Affectionately known as the ‘Red Pig’, this AMG-fettled monster won its class at the 24 Hours of Spa and was second overall – an impressive result indeed. Fitted with a 419bhp, 6.8-litre V8 engine, this car had a short-lived but no less impressive racing career, with only five ever built.
1986 Mercedes AMG W124 300E 5.6-litre Hammer
AMG decided to replace the 3.0-litre straight-six engine fitted the normal 300E and replaced it with a 5.0-litre V8 that, when first introduced, produced a staggering 340bhp, which for a saloon at the time was unheard of. At the end of the model’s life, it had an even larger 6.0-litre V8 producing 375bhp – pretty bonkers.
1989 Mercedes 560 SEC 6.0-litre AMG
This model was based on the S-Class Coupe of the time, and when they left the AMG factory they had a wider body and a 6.0-litre 395bhp engine squeezed into the great-looking bodywork. It was capable of some rather mad performance and it’s arguably one of the most stylish AMG models.
1998 Mercedes CLK GTR
Due to Mercedes entering it into a racing series, the rules at the time stated that road-going versions needed to be made – and thank goodness they were. The CLK GTR is one of the most expensive production cars of all time and had a 604bhp, 6.9-litre V12 under its shell. It even came with a roadster version – which would have been interesting to say the least.
1999 Mercedes SL73 AMG
After being given some rather pretty but uninspiring SLs, Mercedes received in return a 7.3-litre, V12-powered monster that was incredibly hard to come by. The engine from this ended up in Pagani’s mental Zonda supercar, so AMG obviously did something right with this model.
2006 Mercedes E63 AMG Estate
Now, you may think that AMG leave the practical stuff in Mercedes’s hands – but they took hold of some E-Class Estates and turned them into ballistic, mile-munching monsters. Fitted with a 6.2-litre V8 offering 518bhp, this was practical and bonkers in equal measure, which can only be a good thing.
2007 Mercedes CLK63 AMG Black Series
If you want to know how good this car was, The Grand Tour’s very own Jeremy Clarkson bought one of these, so if he liked it, imagine how spectacular it would have to be. Fitted with a 500bhp, 6.2-litre V8, this was the Black Series AMG and it has led the way for some pretty insane machines.
2009 Mercedes SL65 AMG
If you want an insane two-seat coupe with little or no regard for your eardrums, this is worth looking at. To keep you slightly safer though, AMG fixed the folding roof in place that you would usually get with an SL, as you could be catapulted from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds and on to 199mph. Yikes!
2013 Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series
Inspired by the GT3 racing version, this gullwinged beauty was turned into a proper beast thanks to a 622bhp, 6.2-litre V8 and some body tweaks to make it look rather menacing. Capable of 196mph, this car was not to be messed with and is currently the most recent Black Series AMG.
2017 Mercedes AMG GT-R
With the pretty rapid AMG GT at its base, the GT-R was developed at ‘The Green Hell’ or what it’s more commonly known as the Nürburgring race circuit, and you can tell when you drive it. The GT-R may not have as large an engine as previous AMG models – a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 – but it produces more than many before it, 585bhp to be exact.