If one thinks performance saloons, it is impossible that the BMW's M-performance and Mercedes' AMG would not come to mind. Of the two, it is safe to say that the latter has produced the more hardcore performance cars. To many, 'AMG' brings to mind, fire-breathing V8s, and now even V6s and Inline-4s.
Well, the AMG brand has turned 50 years old, and as part of the celebrations, they have launched the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe in India. Well, the GLC is certainly more car and clearly has more performance than anybody had expected at that price.
AMG was founded as a racing engine forge in 1967 under the name AMG Motorenbau und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH by former Mercedes-Benz engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. It may sound difficult to pronounce, well it is difficult to do so, but it simply means AMG Engine Production and Development, Ltd. AMG was derived from Aufrecht, Melcher and, Grobaspach, Aufrecht's birth town.
The founders of AMG were engineers at the Mercedes-Benz factory before they founded their own performance brand. AMG started off as a company which made Mercedes-Benz cars go fast. Over the decades, the ownership of the company changed, and now they Mercedes' own in-house tuning arm with around 1600 employees of their own. But their working style has never changed.
They still build their engines by hand, and each engineer is assigned one engine, to be completely assembled all on his/her own, but their engines are becoming more powerful than ever before. Even today, AMG does the same thing they started off doing - making Mercedes-Benz cars go faster than ever before, and their success speaks volumes.
AMG sold almost 70,000 units in 2015, setting a new record. Just the next year, in 2016 AMG sold almost 1,00,000 vehicles. Now, you have to remember that this is not a mainstream car manufacturer, and these sales figures are great for a performance brand.
At the launch of the GLC 43 AMG Coupe, Roland Folger, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes Benz India said, "AMG, three letters that define, exemplify and evoke the racing DNA amidst ardent driving performance aficionados around the world. Mercedes-Benz is celebrating 50 years of AMG globally, and AMG has sprinted from 0-50 years in a gasp of breath!"
In the course of this half century, Mercedes-AMG has further consolidated its position as an extremely successful sports car brand with its genes on a race track. Personally, I feel one of Mercedes-AMG's key contributions to the world of performance motoring has been the incessant transfer of technology from race-track to series production cars, resulting in developing some of the most emotionally appealing and performance oriented vehicles."
As Mr Folger said, AMG has been implementing racing technology in road-going cars for a long time now, and the most recent example of the same is the GLC 43 AMG Coupe itself. Mercedes-AMG has been into Formula One racing for a while now, and is one of the top teams. Formula One is often termed as the pinnacle of motorsports, and as a result of the R&D, the engineers gain technical knowledge.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe that anyone with Rs 74.80 lakh can now buy, as a result of this technology transfer now features a NANOSLIDE coating on the cylinder liners, which is also being used in the Formula 1 engines of MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS.
The red-coloured AMG 300 SEL made the AMG brand well-known almost overnight in 1971, and the plant at Affalterbach (It's current location) was founded in 1976. 2009 marked the beginning of a new chapter for the AMG, when the SLS AMG, the first car to be developed entirely in-house by AMG, was revealed. The AMG GT, their second car to be developed in-house was unveiled in 2014.
AMG has an ever-growing presence in India too, with exclusive AMG Performance Centres located in 5 metros including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune. Roland Folger, at the launch of the GLC 43 AMG Coupe said that two more AMG Performance Centres would soon come up at Chennai and Kochi, letting the performance sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz boast of a strong retail network presence in the country.
Few brands can create a legacy like the one that AMG has. It is the constant pursuit of reliable performance that has placed AMG where it is today. We do know that the world is headed into a hybrid and electric car filled abyss, but we hope that a few brands stick to fire-breathing, high-revving engines producing a glorious soundtrack. AMG is right at the top of the list of those brands.