45 years of AMG: anniversary marks the start of a new era
Affalterbach – As part of the anniversary marking “45 years of AMG”, Mercedes-AMG is providing an exclusive glimpse of the highlights of the A 45 AMG. With the powerful new top-of-the-range A-Class model, the performance brand from Mercedes-Benz is marking the start of a new era.
For the first time in the 45-year history of the company, AMG will offer an exciting high-performance vehicle in the compact class. The A 45 AMG is representative of the ambitious future strategy entitled “AMG Performance 50”, leading up to the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Based on a unique model offensive comprising additional high-performance compact cars as well as a number of AMG cars in higher classes featuring highly efficient drive systems, the company from Affalterbach is giving out clear signals for dynamic growth. And the offensive is all set to get under way this summer with new models including the SLS AMG GT and the GL 63 AMG.
The AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine specially developed for the A 45 AMG is expected to set new standards in its displacement class: with maximum torque significantly above 400 Nm and low consumption levels, AMG is aiming to take the leading position among the competition.
“Our goal is to build the most dynamic, most powerful and at the same time most efficient four-cylinder series production compact car. Together with other future high-performance compact cars, the new A 45 AMG will embody exclusive dynamism and the “AMG Performance 50″ growth strategy. With this passionate commitment to what for us is a new vehicle segment, Mercedes-AMG plans to make a significant contribution to the growth of Mercedes-Benz Cars”, according to Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Perfect power transmission is ensured in the A 45 AMG thanks to the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission with dual clutch technology and performance-oriented all-wheel drive. The ideal basis for high cornering speeds and exciting, agile handling also comes courtesy of the AMG sports suspension with independently developed front and rear axles, electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, AMG high-performance braking system and 3-stage ESP® with “SPORT Handling” mode.
Driving performance for the new generation – world premiere in the first quarter of 2013
With the new A 45 AMG – the top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz A-Class model – Mercedes-AMG is addressing a new target group: falling within an age range from 30 up to around 45, the target group is younger than the classic AMG customer. Professionally successful and independent, these customers are looking for a compact, dynamic and individual vehicle. They want to express their stylish, trend-oriented lifestyle with a car from a recognised performance brand. By being available at an attractive price, the A 45 AMG will appeal to prospective new customers and help to open up new markets.
The A 45 AMG will celebrate its world premiere in the first quarter of 2013. Further AMG high-performance compact cars with a variety of different characteristic features are already in the pipeline and will follow on the heels of the A 45 AMG. When it came to the development of the compact Mercedes-Benz vehicle architecture for front and all-wheel drive, Mercedes-AMG has been involved from the very beginning. The most dynamic versions of the A-Class, namely the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport – both “engineered by AMG” – currently already feature a front axle developed by AMG , tuned suspension, AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels with 235/40 R 18 tyres all round, painted in high-gloss black and with a high-sheen finish, and also red-painted brake callipers. The “Sport” designation is always used to characterise the most dynamic model series versions in the Mercedes-Benz product range.
Even more future AMG models with all-wheel drive
All-wheel drive is set to play a bigger role at Mercedes-AMG in the future too – being offered not just for SUVs and off-road vehicles, but also for other AMG high-performance vehicles. Mercedes-AMG currently has four all-wheel-drive models in its range: the ML 63 AMG, the G 63 AMG, the G 65 AMG and the GL 63 AMG. To mark the start of the new era, in 2013 the new A 45 AMG will be launched with a performance-oriented all-wheel drive system as standard.
Consistent growth strategy: “AMG Performance 50”
AMG is enjoying strong demand for its vehicles, particularly in its three largest markets where the performance brand has witnessed extremely dynamic growth in the past year. Sales have increased by seven per cent in the USA, 15 per cent in Germany and almost 50 per cent in China.
This growth is continuing in 2012. In the first quarter of the year AMG recorded growth of more than 30 per cent, making it the best first quarter in the company’s history. As a result AMG is looking to continue its consistent growth beyond 2012 and to make a significant contribution to the sales achieved by Mercedes-Benz Cars. Based on the ambitious future strategy entitled “AMG Performance 50”, in the coming years AMG will be launching further unique high-performance models. According to Ola Källenius: “We have decided to expand our model range from its current level of 22 vehicles to around 30 vehicles in the future. We are looking to increase our global sales, which today stand at around 20,000 vehicles, to more than 30,000 vehicles by the time of our 50th anniversary, and thereby assert our leading position in this exclusive segment.” In addition to the new performance compact car, the SLS AMG GT and the GL 63 AMG, in the future the S-Class segment will play an even greater role at AMG. The current offering comprising the S 63 AMG and S 65 AMG, as well as the CL 63 AMG and CL 65 AMG, will be extended further over the coming years.
To meet the increasing demand, AMG is also expanding its production capacity accordingly. As a result, the new AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine will be produced at the Mercedes-Benz MDC Power engine production plant in Kölleda. This is where four-cylinder engines for the A- and B-Class are normally produced, and a specific assembly line is being set up for the new AMG engine. Of course the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engines will also be produced in line with the traditional AMG philosophy of “one man, one engine”. A characteristic feature of this production principle is the AMG engine badge bearing the signature of the responsible engineer.
Around 350 AMG Performance Centres by the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG GmbH
The “AMG Performance 50” growth strategy also includes opening up new dynamic markets. AMG sees significant potential for increasing demand in countries such as China, Russia, Korea and Brazil. Playing a central role as part of this strategy are the AMG Performance Centres: some 270 Centres have been opened in 24 countries around the globe since 2008, and there are plans to increase this number to around 350 Performance Centres by 2017. A current example for the regional growth strategy is China: the new AMG Performance Centre Beijing Sanlitun opened on 22 April 2012 and is situated in an exclusive prime location in the luxury Sanlitun Village North shopping mall, and reflects the pioneering role played by AMG when it comes to design and technology in a modern setting. Unlike previously, the new store in Beijing is not integrated into a Mercedes-Benz dealership as part of a “shop-in-shop” system. Instead, it is based on a so-called standalone concept, and focuses exclusively on the products and features of the AMG performance brand.
Expansion of the excellent service quality enjoyed by all AMG customers
An important part of the “AMG Performance 50” dynamic growth strategy is the expansion of the excellent service quality enjoyed by all AMG customers. With immediate effect, more intensive customer care will allow for vehicles to be collected direct from the AMG headquarters – where AMG customers can learn all about the spirit of Affalterbach in the AMG theme area. In a new, 360-square-metre delivery hall, AMG customers can now take receipt of their new high-performance vehicle direct from AMG.
After being welcomed by a personal customer service attendant in the AMG Private Lounge, which was opened in 2011, the programme comprises an exclusive tour of the plant. This also includes a visit to the AMG Performance Studio, where individual and one-off AMG vehicles are developed and produced in limited numbers. This is followed by a tour of the AMG engine production facility: here AMG customers have the unique opportunity to meet the engineers who have produced the engine of their high-performance vehicle by hand in accordance with the traditional philosophy “one man, one engine”.
“AMG Performance 50” helps to reduce fleet consumption
Another goal of “AMG Performance 50” is the consistent reduction of fleet consumption. According to Ola Källenius: “By the 50th anniversary of AMG, we want to achieve CO2 emissions of around 200 grams per kilometre for the entire AMG model range. Our new AMG compact cars will of course help us to achieve this ambitious plan, but we are also aiming for a significant reduction in fuel consumption for other model series too. Many AMG models are currently already the “best in class” when it comes to consumption, emissions, maximum performance and torque. Our success is based on state-of-the-art technology.”
Acting as a role model in this area is the SLK 55 AMG. The eight-cylinder roadster incorporates Formula 1 technology for the road. It uses the world’s most fuel-efficient V8 engine which features the newly developed AMG Cylinder Management cylinder shut-off system. Adapted from the world of Formula 1, this technology enables the SLK 55 AMG to achieve 33.6 mpg which is a 30 per cent improvement in efficiency, and CO2 emissions of 195 grams per kilometre (NEDC combined). The technology is used in a similar way in the approx. 750 hp Mercedes-Benz V8 engines found in Formula 1. As efficiency also plays a major role at the pinnacle of motor racing, four cylinders are disabled by shutting off the fuel injection when the driver has lower load demands.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL is further proof of the pioneering role played by Mercedes-AMG in the development of intelligent drive concepts. The drivetrain with high-voltage lithium-ion battery for the new SLS AMG E-CELL is produced in cooperation with experts from Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth in the UK. The SLS AMG E-CELL will celebrate its premiere this autumn at the Paris Motor Show. Mercedes-AMG will be launching a series production run of the first purely electric driven super sports car, and the first customers are expected to take delivery of this gullwing model with electric drive in 2013.
Both the SLS AMG E-CELL and the V8 engine with cylinder shut-off system in the SLK 55 AMG are examples of the goal to achieve a sustainable improvement in efficiency and a reduction in fleet consumption.
“AMG Lightweight Performance” design strategy
A further building block adopted from the world of motorsport is in the area of lightweight construction – less weight means better performance and lower fuel consumption. As part of its ambitious “AMG Lightweight Performance” lightweight construction strategy, Mercedes-AMG will continue to apply consistent measures to reduce vehicle weight. Through their experience with the SLR, the AMG Black Series vehicles and in motorsport, Mercedes-Benz and AMG have accumulated more than 10 years of expertise in working with carbon-fibre materials.
AMG currently makes the propshaft for the SLS AMG, for example, out of carbon fibre. In the SLS Roadster, the supporting structure for the draught-stop is made as standard as a carbon-fibre sandwich structure. This component, with extremely short cycle times in an industrially oriented manufacturing process, already demonstrates what will be possible in the future. Carbon-fibre is also used in the SLS AMG E-CELL: the carbon-fibre monocoque for the battery is an integral part of the body shell and connected to the aluminium spaceframe.
In the case of the SL 63 AMG and SL 65 AMG, for the first time the internal support for the boot lid is mass-produced from a lightweight carbon-fibre composite material. A completely new feature is the carbon-fibre rear panel with roll-over bar, available from the AMG Performance Studio as an exclusive optional extra for the C 63 AMG Coupé AMG Black Series. The high-strength, elegantly designed carbon-fibre component forms an integral part of the body and helps to reduce the vehicle weight by more than seven kilograms compared with a regular rear panel made of sheet steel.
Future strategy for all V12 engines lies with Mercedes-AMG
In the future, both the development responsibility as well as the production competence for all Mercedes-Benz-brand V12 engines will lie with Mercedes-AMG. Currently AMG produces the M 279 AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine motor for the S 65 AMG, CL 65 AMG, SL 65 AMG and G 65 AMG. In the future, all twelve-cylinder engines for upcoming Mercedes models will be developed in Affalterbach, and manufactured in the AMG production facility in accordance with the traditional philosophy “one man, one engine”.
AMG Sports package as a factor of success
A further component of the “AMG Performance 50” growth strategy is the consistent enhancement of the AMG Sports package. This dynamic optional extra is available for numerous Mercedes models and includes such attractive options as AMG bodystyling, AMG light-alloy wheels and the AMG sports suspension. The continually increasing demand for the AMG Sports package has induced Mercedes-AMG to enhance the range further. Currently around 25 per cent of all Mercedes vehicles worldwide are delivered with the AMG Sports package – in 2011 alone more than 300,000 customers opted for a Mercedes-Benz with the AMG Sports package.
An attractive entry into the world of AMG is currently already afforded by the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport, as well as the special variants of the C-Class, the C 250 Sport and C 250 CDI Sport, in whose development the performance specialists of AMG have been consistently involved. In addition to the visually enhanced AMG Sports package Plus, both models comprise a host of technical features developed exclusively by AMG to increase driving pleasure.
AMG Driving Academy on the road to success
The AMG Driving Academy also focuses on providing an intensive experience. The wide-ranging programme of events, which is being continually expanded, not only meets the most diverse requirements but also represents the very embodiment of pure excitement. Events on offer include enjoyment-oriented EMOTION tours, special winter driving training sessions in Swedish Lapland and exciting events on legendary racing circuits such as the North Loop of the Nürburgring, the Hockenheimring or Zandvoort. A particular highlight is the MASTERS programme, at which participants are able to drive the SLS AMG GT3, the racing version of the gullwing model. Participants who are resident in Germany also have the chance to acquire a national DMSB (German Motorsport Federation) driver’s licence.
All of the AMG Driving Academy’s events in Europe represent the perfect combination of driving pleasure and environmental awareness. The quantity of CO2 emissions of a Driving Academy event is determined on the basis of its so-called “carbon footprint” and this can be offset by involvement in climate protection projects. AMG Driving Academy training events now take place in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Spain, as well as the USA, China and India. Based on increasing customer interest, Mercedes-AMG is currently working on expanding the programme to such markets as Australia, Japan, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, the AMG Driving Academy also offers tailor-made events for corporate customers as well as a variety of other different markets. Demand is constantly on the increase and reflects the impressive success story which the AMG Driving Academy has enjoyed. In 2011 more than 7000 participants attended an AMG Driving Academy event – and this trend is on the up.
Motorsport serves as a source of inspiration for the AMG engineers
AMG was founded in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, and from the very outset has achieved numerous successes in the field of motorsport. Today, as in the past, a commitment to the race track continues to form the brand’s main source of inspiration. The former two-man company currently employs a workforce of more than 1000 at its plant in Affalterbach, and over the past 45 years has become the technological spearhead and a one hundred per cent subsidiary of Daimler AG. The professionalism of Mercedes-Benz’s performance brand is defined by its pursuit of high performance, precision and efficiency. As the first vehicle developed independently by Mercedes-AMG, the SLS AMG super sports car unveiled in 2009 proves to impressive effect the competence and passion which exists at the company headquarters in Affalterbach. The AMG brand promise of “Driving Performance” stands for state-of-the-art technology and pure driving excitement.
With its roots seated firmly in motorsport, the AMG performance brand has been at home on the race track for decades – from its position as the most successful brand in the history of the DTM, through to its global commitment to customer motorsport at the highest level with the SLS AMG GT3. Having secured 26 victories and the FIA GT3 European championship, the SLS AMG GT3 was the most successful newcomer in the 2011 motorsports season. When it comes to Formula 1, AMG has been an official partner for 17 years, and has been helping to ensure that safety is maintained on the racing circuits by providing the Official F1™ Safety Car and the Official F1™ Medical Car since 1996. And since the start of 2012 the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher has also been lining up on the starting grid too.