Rolling thunder: our favourite Mercedes-AMG road cars

OMG AMG! As Mercedes-AMG unveils the new GT Black Series, we take a look at 30 of our favourite AMG models.

  • Hammer time – the history of AMG

    Hammer time – the history of AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Aufrecht Melcher Grossaspach, more commonly known as AMG, can trace its roots back to 1965. The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is the latest road and track weapon to wear the fabled badge. To celebrate its arrival, we’re taking a brief look at 30 of our favourite AMG cars of all time. Or should that be hammer time?

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  • Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

    Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

    © Mercedes-Benz

    It’s too soon to give the new 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series a place on the list of our favourite AMG cars, but the opening line of the news story shows promise. ‘The most powerful AMG V8 series engine of all time, the most expressive design, the most elaborate aerodynamics, the most intelligent material mix, the most distinctive dynamics.’ Need some figures? The 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbocharged engine produces a thunderous 730hp, which is enough to propel the Black Series to 62mph in just 3.2 seconds. Top speed? Just shy of 202mph.

  • AMG 300 SEL ‘Red Pig’

    AMG 300 SEL ‘Red Pig’

    © Mercedes-Benz

    And this is where it all began. Messrs Aufrecht and Melcher created the AMG Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8 in 1971 and it finished second overall at the 24 Hours of Spa. The ‘Red Pig’ was the first major milestone on the AMG journey. Driver Hans Heyer told The Telegraph: “It was an amazing car, enormous, with huge speed compared with the [Ford] Capris, but no brakes at all.”

  • Mercedes-Benz 300 E 5.6 AMG

    Mercedes-Benz 300 E 5.6 AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    AMG moved to its current home in Affalterbach in 1976 and, a decade later, created the 5.6-litre V8 300 E. Using the engine from the 560 SEC meant it could reach a top speed of over 190mph, hitting 60mph in less than five seconds. At the time it was the fastest production saloon car in the world. ‘Hammer’ by name, hammer by nature.

  • Mercedes-Benz 190 E AMG

    Mercedes-Benz 190 E AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    The Mercedes-Benz 190 E AMG is significant for being the first AMG model to be available through Mercedes-Benz dealerships and with a full manufacturer warranty. The ‘Baby Hammer’ could hit a top speed of 151mph, with power sourced from a 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine. Just 200 were built.

  • Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG

    Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    The Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG is even more significant than the ‘Baby Hammer’, because it was the first car to be jointly developed by Mercedes and AMG. Its 3.6-litre six-cylinder engine produced 280hp, which was enough for it to outperform the famous 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II.

  • Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG

    Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    The Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG is a rare beast. The precise number is unknown, but RM Sotheby’s says fewer than 50 were built. It was a tad heavy and very, very expensive, but who wouldn’t want a 7.3-litre V12 SL? With a fuel card, preferably. It shares its engine with the Pagani Zonda. You’ve probably got more chance of finding a Zonda at auction.

  • Mercedes-Benz S 70 AMG

    Mercedes-Benz S 70 AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Talking of rarities, how about the S 70 AMG? Only 112 of these Autobahnstormers were built, each one with a 525hp 7.0-litre V12 engine. Predictably, it came with all the traditional S-Class accompaniments, but the big news here is the 186mph top speed and those delightful colour-coded alloy wheels. Proper German menace.

  • Mercedes-Benz C 43 AMG

    Mercedes-Benz C 43 AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    The C 43 AMG of 1997 was a tad more affordable, but no less alluring. Available as a saloon or estate, it was powered by a V8 engine developing 306hp. It was also extremely discreet. You could cruise about in one of these and nobody would know you had a 306hp 4.3-litre V8 engine under the bonnet. One of the best Q cars of the late 90s? We think so.

  • Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

    Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

    © Patrick Ernzen 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

    The first of the Top Trumps-winning AMG cars. The CLK GTR was created for homologation purposes, to enable Mercedes-Benz to compete in the new FIA GT Championship. AMG had just four months to design, build and test a competitive car. The race version saw limited use, but around 300 people were queuing up to buy a road car. Many were disappointed, as only 26 were built (20 coupes and six roadsters).

  • Pagani Zonda C12

    Pagani Zonda C12

    © Pagani

    Yes, we know the Pagani Zonda doesn’t wear an AMG badge, but it has the beating heart of Affalterbach. Power was sourced from the same 7.3-litre V12 found in the earlier SL 73 AMG.

  • Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG

    Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    The year 2002 was a big one for Mercedes-AMG. Five new models were launched, including the E 55 AMG super-saloon, which represents a formidable used car bargain. We’ve just taken a look on the Auto Trader website. A budget of £10,000 is enough to bag an E 55 AMG, but good ones cost around £20,000. Not bad for a car with a 5.4-litre V8 engine.

  • Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

    Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Formula One technology and a hand-built supercharged AMG V8 engine. What’s not to like about the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren? Unveiled in 2003, the SLR McLaren featured echoes of the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’, with shades of the contemporary F1 team. Lewis Hamilton’s dad owns one, but it’s being sold at a forthcoming Silverstone Auctions sale.

  • Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG

    Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    It’s hardly a name that rolls off the tongue, but the Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG was capable of giving supercars a bloody nose. Top speed was knocking on 200mph and it would sprint to 60mph in 3.8 seconds. What a way to celebrate Bernd Schneider’s victory in the 2003 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) championship.

  • Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Black Series

    Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Black Series

    © Mercedes-Benz

    The new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series can trace its roots back to this car. The first Black Series car arrived in 2006, in the form of the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG. These track-focused special editions were designed for those who found ‘standard’ AMG products just a tad tame. In his review of the SLK 55 Black Series, our CJ Hubbard wondered whether it was more ‘Max Power’ than Mercedes-Benz.

  • Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Black Series

    Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Black Series

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Designed to take on the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, the CLK 63 AMG Black Series of 2007 was a brutal machine. Jeremy Clarkson bought one. And then complained about it. A lot.

  • Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Estate

    Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Estate

    © Mercedes-Benz

    There have been many Mercedes-AMG F1 safety cars over the years, but the C 63 AMG Estate is one of our favourites. Under the bonnet you’d find a hand-crafted 6.2-litre V8 engine. Nice.

  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

    Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    The gull-winged SLS was the first car developed entirely by AMG and was designed to be a successor to the SLR McLaren. It featured the same 6.2-litre engine you’d find in the C 63.

  • Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series

    Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series

    © Mercedes-Benz

    What an absolute legend of a car. Top speed limited to 199mph and a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds provide some clues as to this track warrior’s potential. It cost £250,000 when new. Not cheap, but then this thing does have a 670hp 6.0-litre V12 twin-turbocharged engine under the bonnet.

  • Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG

    Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    One of the world’s greatest limos treated to a full-fat AMG makeover. Where do we sign? Later, it would also be offered as a coupe.

  • Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupe

    Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupe

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Could this be one of the most accomplished AMG cars of all time? It was the last AMG C-class to have a naturally-aspirated engine, meaning superb throttle response.

  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

    Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

    © Mercedes-Benz

    How would sir like his SLS? Coupe, with the iconic gullwing doors? Or Roadster, to enjoy the magnificence of the 6.3-litre V8 engine? We’d take the latter, please.

  • Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG

    Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Mercedes-Benz has been accused of diluting the AMG brand in recent years, but the A 45 AMG proves it can also get it right. This was a hot hatch, AMG-style. Bonkers, but brilliant.

  • Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6

    Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Speaking of bonkers… We could have included the ‘normal’ G 63 AMG, but that would be foolish when there’s a 6×6 in existence.

  • Mercedes-AMG C 63 S AMG

    Mercedes-AMG C 63 S AMG

    © Mercedes-Benz

    For similar reasons, we’d probably opt for the estate version of the current C 63 S AMG. The modern version isn’t quite a match for its forebears, but it remains a formidable machine.

  • Mercedes-AMG GT S

    Mercedes-AMG GT S

    © Mercedes-Benz

    And then there’s the achingly good looking Mercedes-AMG GT S. It boasts a fantastic chassis and a soundtrack to rival that of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.

  • 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT R

    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT R

    © Mercedes-Benz

    In June 2016, none other than Lewis Hamilton helped Mercedes-AMG reveal a new 585hp AMG GT R. This is the AMG GT taking on the Porsche 911 GT3, with a stiffer chassis, rear-wheel steering and a huge wing. How does 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 197mph grab you?

  • Mercedes-AMG A 45 S

    Mercedes-AMG A 45 S

    © Mercedes-Benz

    We’ll conclude with a selection of our favourites from the modern crop of Mercedes-AMG models. You’re not short of choice. Visit the Mercedes-Benz website today and you’ll find no fewer than 32 different AMG cars. The A 45 S is brutal and bonkers, with a 421hp four-cylinder engine. A 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds and top speed of 168mph are crazy figures in a family hatchback.

  • Mercedes-AMG CLS 53

    Mercedes-AMG CLS 53

    © Mercedes-Benz

    An AMG for a new era? The CLS 53 is the first hybridised AMG – an acceptance that even performance cars need to develop a conscience. A 3.0-litre six-cylinder might seem a little tame in the context of its V8 and V12 forebears, but this thing will still hit 62mph in 4.5 seconds.

  • Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Estate

    Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Estate

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Thirty-two different AMG models? Eight AMG SUVs? Pah. The Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Estate is all the AMG you could ever need. There’s even room for the dog.

  • Mercedes-AMG G 63

    Mercedes-AMG G 63

    © Mercedes-Benz

    OK, if you must have an SUV, you should go all out with the G 63. In its most naked form, the Mercedes-AMG G 63 costs £146,500. Only the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is more expensive.

  • Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing AMG

    Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing AMG

    © Chester Ng 2014 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

    We can’t decide if it works or not, but the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing AMG doesn’t lack presence. The project was initiated following a request by the Royal Family of Brunei, with the transformation handled by AMG. Modifications include AMG wheels, leather-trimmed Recaro seats and air conditioning. This is one of 11 built. It sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction for €812,000 (£735,000).