For almost 25 years, AMG has been known as the performance division of Mercedes. But to think of it as a small engineering department within a massive corporation could not be further from the truth. In its almost 50-year history, it has built some of the most incredible performance cars that have ever left Germany, and it has been doing so long before it was under the wing of the mighty Mercedes-Benz.
Like BMW’s relationship with Alpina, AMG enjoyed a strong working relationship with Mercedes for decades as an independent tuner until the signing of a cooperation agreement in 1990. Previously, the relationship had been beneficial for both companies. Mercedes’ prestige of performance remained intact thanks to AMG’s fantastic reputation for quality and performance, and its Mercedes connection kept AMG at the forefront of the performance tuning community.
The company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz in 2005, and in addition to building the best Mercedes models available today, it is also developing engines for the Pagani supercar maker, as well as Aston Martin.
From building cars one at a time in a small workshop to the unfathomable resources of Mercedes-Benz, here are 10 cars that helped transform AMG from the small-market tuner to one of the most advanced performance divisions in the world.
For a brand as worthy as Mercedes-Benz, one would not think it would be convenient for some tuners of the secondary market to remove one of its executive cars, calling it “The Red Pig”, and competing with much smaller and lighter Alfa offers. Romeo and BMW. But that’s what AMG did in 1971, and it turned the world of European racing upside down.
Taking the big 6.3-liter Merc engine and increasing its displacement to 6.8, the Red Pig finished second in the prestigious 24 Hours of Spa and became famous overnight. With a maximum speed of 142 miles per hour and a time from zero to zero of 6.3 seconds, the Red Pig became famous as “the fastest sedan in the world” and was more than enough to get the attention of Mercedes.