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The story of AMG begins with two Daimler-Benz engineers. Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher worked in the Daimler-Benz Group’s development department in the 1960s and prepared the 300 SE racing engine – until Mercedes-Benz suspended all motorsport activities. The two young men then decided to go it alone – and quickly established their own engineering firm. While Aufrecht was passionately interested in motorsport, Melcher was well known for his brilliance in the field of engine development. Their company was regarded as a daring enterprise at that time: Many people saw the modification of something as perfect a Mercedes as verging on sacrilege.
The start-up firm “AMG Engineering Office, Construction and Testing for the Development of Racing Engines” was born on June 1, 1967. The name AMG comes from the first letters of the founders’ family names followed by G for Großaspach – the town where Aufrecht was born. The small team’s first premises were in a garage in Burgstall, until the firm moved to nearby Affalterbach in 1976. This was followed by years of rapid growth: AMG equipped more and more Mercedes-Benz models with high-performance technology and entered a new field of business with the individualization of customers’ automobiles. The brand became so successful that it quickly attracted the keen interest of Mercedes-Benz AG. A cooperation agreement was signed in 1990, before DaimlerChrysler AG became the majority shareholder in 1999 and the sole shareholder and parent company of AMG in 2005.
The spirit of the founders – with a clear focus on motorsport and innovative engineering – is still our predominant feature. Daimler AG, our parent company, clearly recognizes that the great expertise, the independent location close to the Mercedes-Benz headquarters and the dynamic nature of such a focused company are advantages that must be utilized. From the original idea of Aufrecht and Melcher, a company has grown that promotes our internationally successful high-performance brand with more than 1,100 passionate employees, 500 of whom are engineers.
The staff in the Affalterbach design department create the individual character of the AMG – and interpret it anew for every single car. Seen from the outside, the sporty proportions, sharp visual features – twin louvre and A-wing – and technology details that distinguish an AMG from a series-production Mercedes-Benz. Even when stationary our vehicles are explicit about their true purpose: Driving Performance.
In particular, the technology of the AMG Performance vehicles differs fundamentally from that of all other cars. This represents a great challenge for the staff of the AMG Design department: they have to integrate high-performance technology in the vehicles and at the same time create a muscular exterior. In order to succeed in the endeavour to translate complex technical demands into an autonomous design idiom and thus create authentic dream cars, at AMG the basic principle is paramount: Form follows performance.
We believe that a precise and meticulous approach to manufacturing is the best way to guarantee top performance. That is why every single AMG engine is built applying the same philosophy: One Man, One Engine.
From the company’s beginning more than 40 years ago, every AMG engine is assembled carefully and precisely in Affalterbach by a single AMG master engine builder. Everything from the first piston to the last bolt is the work of one AMG technician and . all work stages are subject to the stringent Mercedes-Benz quality criteria. In the final stage the Master Mechanic personally installs an engraved placard bearing his signature—one man’s personal assurance of quality and the mark of the company’s uncompromising commitment to precision and performance. The One Man, One Engine philosophy is one of the key reasons why Mercedes-AMG continues to raise the bar in the luxury/ performance vehicle market.
Success in motorsport is as closely associated with the AMG brand as the site in Affalterbach. No wonder– fascination with automobile competition was at the focus of activities when the company was founded. AMG already achieved the breakthrough in motorsport with the first car whose engine AMG founders Aufrecht and Melcher had tuned for uncompromising performance: the AMG 300 SEL 6.8. This touring car was the winner in its category in the 24 Hours of Spa Francorchamps on July 25, 1971—driven by Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz. Everyone was talking about AMG after that—and the AMG 300 SEL 6.8 went into the history books as the “Legend of Spa.”
In 1980, another legendary motorsport car continued the success story: The AMG 450 SLC Mampe. This racing car was named after the sponsor, “Mampe”. And won the Touring Car Grand Prix on the Northern Loop of the Nürnburgring with Clemens Schickentanz and Jörg Denzel at the wheel. The two-year development period paid off: A lot of the technical expertise gained was applied in the AMG road cars.
At the end of the 1990’s, AMG was the benchmark in the FIA GT World Championship with the CLK-GTR AMG. In 1997, Bernd Schneider became world champion, before AMG Mercedes won all of the races in the series in 1998 and took the title with Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta.