History of Mercedes-AMG

Mercedes-AMG celebrates 50 years of pushing the boundaries in driving performance.

Most people tend to think of ageing as a negative connotation. It is human nature to try to defy age, one as ancient as human history. The average person will spend upwards of $50,000 on anti-ageing in their lifetime, trying to prevent their number from catching up with their physical appearance. Simply put, humans associate ageing with getting old, and many of us are nothing short of terrified by it.

Mercedes-AMG, on the other hand, takes a very different approach to ageing. So different, in fact, that it is not even called ‘ageing’, but ‘developing’ – and you will never hear someone accuse them of being ‘old’ or ‘out-dated’, more than you would ‘revolutionary’, ‘cutting-edge’, and with ‘curves in all the right places’.

On the eve of their 50th Birthday, Mercedes-AMG’s development has seen them become one of, if not the most successful high performance vehicle conglomerate in the world. Delivering almost 100,000 units in 2016 alone, Daimler’s high performance branch is headed into its best year yet, with tripled sales since 2013 and a 44% growth year-on-year.

Flashback to 1967 in Affalterbach, Germany, where two young men by the names of Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher were fine-tuning engines in an old mill, turning mundane vehicles into high performing machines. Their favourite hobby soon became their greatest passion, and in 1971 their AMG 300 SEL 6.8 won in its class at the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race.

They inaugurated their Affalterbach facility in 1976 and soon began manufacturing high performance sedans and coupes. By 1984, Aufrecht had developed a new cylinder head with 4-valve technology, which made its debut in a 5.0-litre V8 engine.

The collaboration with Mercedes-Benz did not happen until 1990, however, when AMG were commissioned to build race cars for the Deutsche Touring Masters racing series. In 1996, the dream was truly realised for Aufrecht and Melcher, with the release of the first ever model from Mercedes-AMG, the C 36, which was used as the official safety car for the 1996 Formula 1 season. By 2005, Mercedes-AMG was a 100% owned subsidiary of Daimler alongside Mercedes-Benz.

The AMG range was properly introduced to the Australian market only a couple of years ago, with Mercedes-Benz Brisbane acquiring the rights to the first-ever Australian AMG Performance Centre in 2015. The demand for these vehicles in Australia was truly cemented this past year, with Mercedes-AMG beating out their closest competitor.

Now with over 400 Performance Centre’s worldwide, Mercedes-AMG continues to push the boundaries of performance and technology on a daily basis. The company is now home to one of the widest and most advanced ranges of high performance vehicles, with over 40 separate AMG models in the entire range; and the Daimler conglomerate is showing no signs of stopping there.

It is quite clear that the number 50 marks the start of something much bigger for Mercedes-AMG, and their immeasurable development over this short period goes to show that ageing is anything but terrifying – it is an opportunity to develop and change for the better. After all, as the saying goes - age is just a number.