AMG celebrates 45 years of fast times and offers a virtual factory tour
Located in Affalterbach, Germany, the official performance wing of Mercedes-Benz is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year and preparing to embark on an even more ambitious "AMG Performance 50" program for the years ahead. Formed in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, AMG has transitioned from a wildly successful independent privateer motorsport operation to become Mercedes-AMG GmbH, a fully integrated component part of the larger Daimler organization employing over 1,000 skilled engineers and technicians. During that period, the AMG badge has appeared on numerous high-performance models as well as on some of the world's fastest and most successful racing cars.
Today, no fewer than 22 different models are produced at the AMG factory, including the stunning SLS AMG, the first-ever Mercedes-Benz vehicle fully designed and developed independently by Mercedes-AMG GmbH. With engine outputs ranging from 422 to 630 horsepower and outstanding fuel efficiency, each of these handcrafted overachievers also is built to conform to the world's most demanding emissions standards and safety regulations.
As successful as Mercedes-AMG GmbH has been in the past, the organization has set even loftier goals for the future. Chairman Ola Källenius plans to expand the AMG model range to around 30 vehicles during the next five years on the run-up to "AMG Performance 50" while increasing global sales by more than 50 percent from the current 20,000 to over 30,000 units. That projected growth spurt will be centered on providing an even more varied selection of affordable, youth oriented models - including the upcoming A45 AMG for some markets. In addition, Källenius says it will entail the more widespread implementation of high-performance all-wheel drive, a greater emphasis on lightweight construction techniques and more efficient powertrain technologies that will include both conventional gasoline engines as well as state-of-the art alternatives as evidenced in the SLS AMG E-Cell.