Due to the funny way that the human mind is wired, we persistently aspire to exceed convention and stand out from the crowd – a trait that has led us into becoming a dominant species on this earth. This constant hunger to be different has been a reliable catalyst for innovation – the USA went to the moon because, well, no one else had before! Everybody wants to be Superman, not Clark Kent. People want to travel to Monaco or Tahiti instead of a small town in Sweden. Aversion from anything mundane or conventional hasn’t been so evident ever until now. But as amazing as it seems, there are establishments whose sole mandate and purpose of existence is to defy ordinary and blaze a trail in the world. It becomes even more unfathomable when such establishments have been achieving this feat for half a century. When it comes to cars we aspire to own, no car brand can match up to our love for AMG.
The AMG brand, established in 1967 as an engine manufacturer and developer, is seen as one of the coolest brands in the market and it has been like that since its emergence into racing in 1971 when they entered an enormous Mercedes-Benz 300SEL saloon in the European Touring Car Championship. AMG’s natural affinity to standing out was evident from the outset as they fitted the 300SEL nicknamed the “Red Sow” or “Red Pig” with a gigantic 313kW 6.8 litre V8 and from the beginning, there were questions as to why they opted to take such an imposing machine racing when they’re competitors had both smaller and lighter cars. Despite the dubious setup, the Red Pig finished 2nd in its first race at the 24 Hours of Spa race. It stood out from the rest of the field as it growled around the track, sliding around as it had more power than it could live with. Even though its racing life was cut short due to regulation changes, its growl still echoes in AMG V8s of today.
- The “Red Pig” was big and heavy but it had enough power to take on other racers
The #AMGgrowl is now 50 years old but remains one of the few things that get better with age – the Fountain of Youth is sponsored by AMG, right? There are two things that everybody loves: Nasty C and V8s. No argument about it! When you hear the rumbling sound of an odd firing AMG V8, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as the growl pierces through your ears – an oddly pleasant experience. As the revs simmer back down towards calmer states, the pops and crackles through the exhaust ensure to leave no doubt in your mind of the performance capabilities of an AMG tuned vehicle. It’s the kind of experience that would make your day and remind you of how much more there is to live for – the #AMGgrowl will make you feel alive! All AMGs feel (or rather sound) like Mercedes-Benz sells you the engine and exhaust, and include everything else for free. AMG engines are renowned for their good power and linear torque delivery – yes, even the turbocharged ones. They’re not even hilariously impractical or fuel gulping. At cruising speeds you get reasonable fuel economy and a feint bass from the exhaust which is well insulated by the cabin of the vehicle – that’s Mercedes-Benz quality for you. However, when your adrenaline starts to rush and your accelerator foot gets heavier, the mighty V8 announces its presence to you or anyone else within a 500m radius as the growl fills the air and ignites our animal instinct. All the other cars bow as the AMG announces its arrival with a V8 roar – this is the AMG song.
- Herein lies the Mercedes SLS AMG – one of the greatest sounding AMGs to date. Ignore the gullwing doors for now and focus on the noise it makes
There have been many AMG models that have left those lucky enough to experience them in awe, such as the aforementioned 300SEL 6.8, the W124 300E AMG “Hammer” and the SL73 AMG (which, by the way, were all bywords for madness), but none have been greater than the C63 and E63. Although these models don’t represent the true meaning of performance, I think AMG can be pat themselves on the back for these two. AMG started out as a tuning company that specialised in Mercedes-Benz models and as time went by and business began booming, Mercedes inevitably adopted them as their in-house tuning company. With that being mentioned, AMG was then the perfect company to turn the C-Class and E-Class into real head turners and they did this the only way they know how – going mad with the idea! Let’s take the W204 Mercedes-Benz C-Class and W212 Mercedes-Benz E-Class for example. AMG took their greatest engine the 6.2 litre V8 dubbed M156 and stuck it into the front of these two cars, tweaked the styling to increase desirability and stuck their name to the back of it. The result? Masterpiece(s). The beauty of these two cars is that they added raw performance to a regular Mercedes-Benz without compromising the luxury aspect of the car. This then made it an instant hit for people who were looking for the best of both worlds. The beauty of this project is how it took unattainable performance and brought it to the masses in a manageable package – it was one of the first times that a non-supercar achieved power figures more than 500 horsepower (373 KW) and the W204 C63 AMG went on to become the best-selling AMG model, until the introduction of the A45 and CLA45.
- Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG Hammer looks like it was designed by the mafia for the mafia
- The C63 is the vehicle of choice for the young and sensible thrill seeker
- The E63 AMG is the best Father’s Day gift
AMG in 2017
Due to the increasing pressure from emission regulations, the legendary M156 and M159 (the one in the SLS AMG) famous for their rich V8 sound and power delivery, had to be dropped to make way for smaller and turbocharged engines – however the AMG GT3 race car still uses the M159. But in this transition, the #AMGgrowl was not lost and it is certainly still with us. Case in point: the C63, E63 4MATIC and the AMG GT sports car. All three of these cars utilise the new 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8, and before their release, many “experts” said that new AMGs won’t sound very good – they forgot that this is AMG and providng people wrong is what they specialise in.
The #AMGgrowl is still very much with us and now comes with benefits of added fuel efficiency from the turbos and greater power figures. The AMGs still make you gawk as the new design language is their best yet. Those gawks turn into silence as you’re left speechless by the apocalyptic exhaust – you’ve just experienced the #AMGgrowl.
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