AMG is turning 50 this year and there’s a lot to celebrate with Mercedes-Benz’s performance division.
The company has an intriguing history and while it might be fun to share the details of AMG’s rise, we can guarantee that a look at some of the company’s past creations would be far more exciting. Here are 10 of the coolest AMG cars to ever exist.
Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.8
Nicknamed the Red Sow or Red Pig, this was the car that helped AMG show its dominance in the world of performance. Simply put, the folks took an S-Class, jammed a 423-horsepower V8 under the hood and went racing. Taking on pure-bred race cars, the Red Sow ended up winning first in its class and second overall at the 24 Hours of Spa.
Mercedes 300E 6.0 “The Hammer”
The 1987 Mercedes 300 E-Class also had a cool AMG variant nicknamed The Hammer. Frequently seen in all black, this car packed a big 6.0-liter motor that made 380 horsepower and got the car to highway speeds in five seconds, which was impressive for the time. Nowadays, it’d be beaten by the new CLA 45 AMG, but it still looks much more menacing.
Mitsubishi Galant AMG
Who said all AMGs have to be Mercedes cars? Back before Daimler took a full stake in AMG, it made a special version of two Mitsubishis: the Debonair luxucruiser and the Galant. The Galant is definitely the cooler of the two cars, with a greater assortment of upgrades including suspension and engine tuning.
Mercedes R63 AMG
We don’t know what compelled AMG to make a hotter version of the R-Class minivan, but in a way, we’re glad they did it. Only available for the 2007 model year, this car packed a whopping 503 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, which allowed the seven-seater to hit highway speeds in 4.6 seconds. That’s insane.
Mercedes SLK 55 AMG
On the other end of the spectrum, AMG also stuffed big engines into small cars. The SLK 55 AMG is a tiny little convertible, but with a 5.5-liter V8, it had serious performance and road presence. Thanks to the 415 hp sent to the rear wheels, this car could hit 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds.
Mercedes SL 73 AMG
A rare droptop, the SL 73 AMG featured a 7.3-liter V12 engine that made 518 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, which were astounding numbers for 1999. This V12 engine still lives on nowadays in Pagani products, which are considerably lighter than Mercedes’ luxury convertible.
Mercedes CLK GTR AMG
It should go without saying that AMG’s true passion was race cars. The CLK GTR AMG competed in the FIA GT Championship against the likes of McLaren and Porsche. It fared pretty well considering it won two team championships and two drivers championships, but the maniacs at AMG also made a road car version of this racer.
Mercedes CLK DTM AMG and CLK 63 AMG Black Series
The CLK coupe and convertible existed from 1997 to 2009, and the coolest versions of these cars were the two special edition AMG versions. First up in 2004 and 2006 was the limited edition CLK DTM AMG, which celebrated Mercedes-AMG’s success in the German Touring Car Championship. Just 100 of these cars existed, and they all used 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engines that made 580 horsepower (more than the current AMG GT R), allowed a zero-to-60-mph sprint of about 3.8 seconds, and a top speed of 200 mph.
That car was followed up by the CLK 63 AMG Black Series, which was also a limited run model between 2007 and 2009. It’s a bit more normal looking when compared to the CLK DTM, but it still has some impressive performance figures. A 6.2-liter V8 lives under the hood delivering 500 horsepower to the rear wheels. It was limited to 186 mph and sprinted to 60 mph in 4 seconds.
Mercedes SLS AMG
The SLS AMG is considered to be the first vehicle to be built in-house by AMG. The long hood, short deck, and gullwing doors are all designed to pay homage to Mercedes’ iconic 300 SL Gullwing. The SLS AMG was pretty much assembled by hand, with its chassis and aluminum body shell produced by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, while its engine was hand built by AMG in Affalterbach, Germany. Its naturally aspirated V8 made a whopping 563 horsepower and the seven-speed dual clutch transmission allowed the car to hit highway speeds in 3.7 seconds. It was succeeded by the AMG GT.
Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6
Is the G63 AMG 6×6 the most bonkers car that AMG has ever made? I mean, come on! It has six wheels. Using portal axles to give the truck additional ground clearance, this is a seriously capable off-road vehicle. Offered from 2013 to 2015, it was an instant hit for the company. It helped that it wasn’t a slouch either, with a 5.5-liter twin turbo V8 making 536 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. The truck also featured five electronic locking differentials and had a compressor that could help deflate or inflate the tires in order to improve capability on different surfaces. It cost a whopping $615,000.
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