In 1967, Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher started a small tuning firm called AMG — the ‘A’ and ‘M’ in the company’s name represented the their respective surnames, while ‘G’ stood for Grobaspach, Aufrecht’s birthplace — near the sleepy town of Affalterbach, near Stuttgart. The duo started out by building racing cars that were mostly based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE. In 1971, they hit big time when a fire red Benz SEL 6.8 AMG triumphed over storied rivals such as Alfa Romeo and Ford at the 24 Hours of Spa-Franchorchamps. And, yes, another star was born. In due course, and especially after many wins on various tracks across Europe, AMG became synonymous with Mercedes-Benz. Naturally, enthusiasts across the world wanted their Mercs to be tuned by AMG, and, in 1991, Mercedes acquired the tuning firm.
Today, AMG makes Benzes more powerful, more brutal and more desirable. In many ways, AMG is very nearly a carmaker in its own right and its significance to the mother company is borne out by the fact that about five years ago, it completely designed and developed the SLS AMG, a homage to the legendary Mercedes 30 SL ‘gullwing’. AMG is also famed for its ‘one man, one engine’ philosophy. Each of its technicians handle the complete assembly of an AMG engine and then affix their imprimatur — a signature plate affixed to the engine — before it is transferred to the testing and storage departments.
Last month, the company launched AMG Performance Centres in New Delhi and Bangalore. According to Mercedes, the centres will be equipped with dedicated teams of sales and service experts and customers will be able to access driver training courses and lifestyle events across the world. Most importantly, they will also be able to sit and chat with AMG’s experts and build the car of their fervid dreams. While AMG offers beasts such as the recently launched ML 63 edition, it also develops unique cars under its Performance Studio division.
If you want a totally bespoke experience, the Studio also does specific technical mods, from sports suspensions to wheel/tyre combos and interior appointments.