The history of Mercedes-Benz AMG - picture special

The history of Mercedes-Benz AMG – picture special

More Black Series models followed, including the wondrous Mercedes-AMG CLK63 Black and the less impressive SL65 Black, but these were merely preparatory to AMG’s greatest achievement to date. When McLaren got the gig to develop the SLR, some at AMG were a little piqued and thought that they could have managed such a project themselves. Their time soon came and, in the SLS, produced the first bespoke AMG car, a machine that was cheaper and better to drive than the SLR and which also reintroduced gullwing doors and, in the SLS AMG E-Cell, the first all-electric supercar. A roadster with less eye-catching doors and an even more hardcore SLS Black edition would follow.

More obscure side projects would also see the light of day around this time, not least the Mercedes-AMG R63. A luxury MPV fitted with a 6.2-litre V8 producing 503bhp was an unprecedented combination, but despite being capable of 0-62mph in just 4.6sec, it found few homes and would be discontinued after a single year on sale.

AMG would then turn its attention to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback, transforming it into an all-wheel drive mega hatch with the pace to rival class leaders including the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi RS3. The A45 AMG would would be the most powerful hatchback on sale during its lifetime, yet managed to retain drivability after extracting as much as 376bhp from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

With its arrival, there were AMG versions of nearly every Mercedes passenger car on sale save the B-Class, every one with a motor assembled according to AMG’s ‘one man, one engine’ philosophy. The SLS would be replaced by the Mercedes-AMG GT, only the second car AMG developed entirely in-house, which went on to see multiple variants including the track-focused AMG GT R and AMG GT R Pro, the folding roof GT Roadster, and the GT3 and GT4 professional race cars. The ultimate incarnation was the AMG GT Black Series.

2016 would see the introduction of the SLC43, the first in what would become a series of 3.0-litre V6 powerplants fettled by AMG, filling a gap in the entry-level below the flagship 63 models. Two years later, hybrid assistance would make its debut in the CLS53, E53 Coupé and E53 Cabriolet. An integrated starter/generator boosted the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six cylinder to north of 420bhp.