The Mercedes AMG line is manufactured by Mercedes-AMG GmbH, which is a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz. The company makes performance-oriented versions of many of the different Mercedes models, including the company’s sport utility vehicles. These models are easily identified by the AMG badge located on the back of each vehicle.
AMG was founded as a company in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. Originally AMG was a separate company from Mercedes. Aufrecht and Melcher modified various Mercedes models, increasing the cars’ overall performance so they could compete in professional races. The initials for the company came from the first letters of the founders’ last names, plus the first letter of Aufrecht’s birthplace in Germany.
Four years after the company’s inception, AMG gained worldwide notoriety. The 300 SEL 6.8 AMG was entered into a 24 hour race at the Spa-Francorchamps, a yearly endurance race held in Germany. The car finished first in its class and second overall in the race.
In 1991 the Daimler Corporation acquired 51 percent of AMG and began working on its first joint development of a vehicle. Two years later, the Mercedes C 36 AMG was released, becoming an instant hit with consumers. In 2005, the Daimler Corporation bought the remaining portion of AMG.
AMG models have features that are not found in the regular line of Mercedes vehicles. All AMG models come with distinct wheels that have the AMG insignia stamped on them. Carbon fiber parts are more common on AMG vehicles. AMG also outfits the vehicles with some body panels that are different from the regular Mercedes line, making the AMG models easier to distinguish at a glance. With a few exceptions, AMG models come with larger engines that produce more torque and horsepower than the engines used in the regular Mercedes lineup.
In addition to manufacturing high performance versions of Mercedes vehicles, AMG also works with the Italian performance car brand Pagani. More specifically, AMG makes a V12 high performance engine for the Zonda, which is a line supercars manufactured by Pagani.