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The History of Mercedes-AMG

AMG are quite simply some of the finest and most sought-after letters to grace a car. For many, AMG is the pinnacle in Mercedes-Benz motor cars, the ultimate performance versions of already incredibly luxurious and exclusive vehicles.

Founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, AMG started by building and tuning engines, expanding into customising Mercedes-Benz vehicles and producing unofficial accessory and upgrade packs. AMG were an entirely separate company from Mercedes-Benz.

They have since become a huge part of Mercedes-Benz history, going from an individual comany which modified and tuned customers' Mercedes-Benz vehicles, to winning motorsport races and now being a fully-fledged department within Mercedes-Benz.

AMG Beginnings

After founding the company in the late 1960s, AMG became more involved where they could with Mercedes-Benz. In 1971, AMG turned the motor racing world upside down, taking a Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 V8 executive sedan and transforming it into the 6.8-litre 'Red Pig'. The car cemented itself in history by finishing second at the 24 Hours of Spa, beating much lighter sports cars from rival manufacturers.

The Red Pig is celebrated as the first major milestone in the history of AMG. Today, this iconic car is seen as the foundation for the AMG bloodline and their motorsport-inspired style and heritage.

But how can success on the track lead to a multitude of successful road cars? It is no secret performance cars sell. Worldwide manufacturers even dedicate whole sub brands to them and in essence this is where the success started for AMG.

1980s Excess

In the 1980s AMG continued to provide aftermarket and tuning enhancements for Mercedes-Benz models. However, the racing success of the 1970s had set a foundation, and now in the 1980s, excess was very much in fashion.

In 1986 you could send your W124 Mercedes-Benz E-Class to Affalterbach and AMG would do their thing, creating a car which was given the nickname 'Hammer'. Not only was the Hammer cool, it was stereotypically 1980s, featuring wide arches and power pumped up to 375bhp - which was thanks to a 6.0-litre V8 engine. It was hugely fast as well, with 0 to 62mph happening in around 4.4 seconds which is quick today; bordering on crazy back in 1980s.

Pushing the Envelope

At time the time of writing in 2021, the 2020s have welcomed some more epic Mercedes-AMG models, such as the A 45 AMGGLA 45 S andGLC 63 After getting on for a decade since any new AMG Black Series models were launched, a sixth addition to the Black Series legacy has been added in the form of the epic Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.

With a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 heart and looks that emulate Mercedes-AMG racing cars, this is the most track-focused AMG product yet - tracing back its heritage to the Red Pig from the start of our timeline.

With 0-62mph happening in just over 3 seconds, and with a 202mph top speed, this is without doubt one serious piece of kit born for the racetrack - which happens to be road legal too.



Further Resources


History of Mercedes Benz (Documentary)


December 5, 2017

Mercedes-Benz Documentary


July 8, 2020

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