50 Years of AMG — Vii
The future of high-performance unravelled
How do you encapsulate almost 50 years of high-performance engineering excellence with a century of heritage in a brand-new car that replaces a soulful tribute to an icon? An icon not just for Mercedes-Benz but for the automotive world in its totality. The SLS AMG paid tribute to the mind-bending 300SL Gullwing. And the Mercedes-AMG GT stepped in as its successor. And, now, Mercedes-AMG have presented the ultimate incarnation of the high-performance vehicle, combining the two worlds of Formula 1 racing and their road car programme, the Project One.
MERCEDES-AMG ‘PROJECT ONE’
Bringing F1 technology and engineering to the road is one thing, but making a road-legal F1 car? Now that’s something few manufacturers have attempted and fewer still have achieved.
With the Project One, Mercedes-AMG are giving their F1 car a new lease on life. The 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 petrol hybrid power-unit, including the motor generator units for heat and kinetic energy (MGU-H and MGU-K), and the electric drive system, all make it to the road car, albeit tuned for much longer life than just five race weekends. With about 750 PS from the combustion engine and about 240 kW (326 PS) from the electric motors driving the front wheels, the peak combined output is a stunning 1,000+ PS with the instant torque from the two electric motors (plus two electric motors, one 90-kW and one 120-kW, on the engine for turbo assist and power supplementation) providing for staggering acceleration times and a top speed exceeding 350 km/h. Unlike the Formula 1 engine which has a rev-limiter set at 15,000 rpm, the Project One’s power-unit red-lines at a lower 11,000 rpm, to take into account engine life and Super Plus fuel.
Furthermore, the engineers have managed to keep the weight of the mid-engined two-seater sports car down to around 1,300 kg. Only 275 will be made, and, we believe, are already spoken for.
AMG SPEDSHIFT MCT 9G-TRONIC
Marking a departure from transmissions of the past, the new ‘9SS’ Mercedes-AMG Speedshift multi-clutch transmission packs nine gear ratios that further optimise power delivery based on exactly what is required of the system at the time. The nine gears allow the engine to spin in a band ideally suited to deliver maximum efficiency — by shifting up early to keep it in higher overdrive gears, or to keep it smack dab in the middle of the power band. It can also downshift through several gears in an instant to provide a surge of acceleration; for instance, when a sudden quick overtaking manoeuvre needs to be performed. The new E 63 and S 63 put it to good use.
Ultimat e Po wer: Mercedes-AMG S-Class
The new range of Mercedes-AMG ‘63’ cars are arriving in a phased manner. The new M177 wet-sump BiTurbo V8 and the M178 dry-sump version have led to their introduction in the new E-Class and S-Class. With power output levels of the ‘63 S’ at 612 PS, the new V8 matches the old ‘65’ BiTurbo V12’s output. That engine, the M275, has been replaced with a heavily revised version of the M277, called the M279. In the new ‘65’ line of cars, it puts out 630 PS and an electronically governed 1,000 Nm of torque.
The new Mercedes-AMG S 63 puts out its prodigious 612 PS output from just 5,500 rpm, with the huge 900 Nm of peak torque coming in at just 2,750 rpm. When you have to haul two tonnes to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds or so, the engine responsible must meet some invariably high demands and expectations. AMG’s principle of ‘one man, one engine’ ensures that a high level of specialisation goes into the crafting of each powerplant, and, as is tradition, the plaque of the engine builder adorns the engine on its cover.
The BiTurbo V8, part of a modular engine family, allows for a scalable level of performance to suit all applications. Whether it’s a family sedan, a fullbodied estate, an SUV, or even a super-luxury drop-top convertible grand tourer, there is no shortage of power, no want for more, because the sheer might of the motor shines through, complemented in no small portion by AMG’s incredible suspension setup and tuning prowess.
AMG’s principle of ‘one man, one engine’ ensures a high level of specialisation
Schneller: Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+
The Mercedes E-Class is one of the brand’s best-selling models and for good reason. It balances luxury and high-performance with everyday practicality and extended usability, made further accessible with a choice of engines and a number of body styles. The saloon and the estate, however, deliver cross-continental touring ability in comfort, and also have a selection of extremely potent AMG powertrains to get the job done.
The E 63 and E 63 S, both offered with AMG-tuned 4MAT IC+ intelligent all-wheeldrive, deliver outstanding power with even heftier torque outputs, making short work of both speed and distance. Not only do they get up to speed quickly, their potency ensures miles are munched and dismissed with unbelievable ease. With 571 PS and 750 Nm, the E 63 doesn’t seem to be anything to be taken lightly. If that wasn’t enough, the E 63 S, with its 612 PS and 850 Nm, makes you question the need for a sports car or even, in fact, a supercar. With a sub-four-second 0-100 km/h dash, even for a big estate, there is absolutely nothing on the power front that will ever feel lacking by any imaginable measure.
Everyday Thrill: Mercedes-AMG C 63 S
Pack your bags, load the b oot, fire up the V8! The AMG C 63 S presents itself as the answer to all the questions you’ve asked and haven’t yet asked. It’s not offered with the 6,208-cc M159 behemoth of an engine any more. Even so, the new BiTurbo M177 4.0-litre masterful V8 makes 510 PS; a lot more than the 457 offered by the baritone big-bore. Yes, there were more editions — the 507 and the Black Series Coupé — and they’re confined to the glorious past. The new C 63 S more than makes up with its huge power and massive, effortless torque — 700 Nm of it — available low down. Unlike the E-Class, the C is rear-wheel-drive, and with AMG’s Dynamic Select drive modes, it means you can have a civilised unstoppable tourer in ‘Comfort’ mode, or a blaring, track-ready beast in ‘Sport+’. Fancy a combination of traits? The ‘Individual’ drive mode lets you configure the desired response of each aspect of input.
Next-level: Mercedes-AMG GT Concept
Following the success of the two-door Mercedes-AMG GT line, the potential for a four-door coupé grand touring car was too much to ignore. Enter the third autonomously developed AMG model: the GT Concept. This four-door grand tourer not only makes AMG performance accessible for more passengers, but combines the incredible V8 with an electric driveline for a high-performance hybrid. In its last level of development, it is capable of 600 kW (815 PS), a 0-100 km/h time of less than three seconds, as well as impressive driving range. The ‘EQ Power+’ badging points to the future of electrification; also seen on the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 race cars.
AMG Performance Centres
Making high performance more accessible to potential buyers is as important as giving budding enthusiasts an opportunity to witness first-hand the wonders of modern engineering. Those who are awe-struck today will become buyers tomorrow. AMG Performance Centres are spread across the globe, with more than 400 centres across 40 countries. India has seven Performance Centres. With an immersive experience promised from interactive modules, customers and enthusiasts are treated to the distinctive sounds and features of the various AMG models on offer.
There is absolutely nothing on the power front that will ever feel lacking by any imaginable measure
Following the return of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team to the sport, the Silver Arrows became a dominant force in the 2014 season, claiming three back-to-back double titles — drivers’ and constructors’ — leaving the rest behind by some margin.
This year, with Rosberg retiring from F1, the team sees a Finn partnering the three-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton. Outstanding as his performances were in the Williams-Mercedes car over the past few seasons, Valtteri Bottas was a clear choice.
The season’s progression has seen the excitement in the championship taken to another level. Their Italian rivals have upped their game and pose a proper challenge. However, both Mercedes-AMG drivers, Hamilton and Bottas, remain championship challengers. Hamilton also surpassed the all-time record for the most number of pole positions when he captured his 69th pole position at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza in stunning fashion, going on to win the race and take the lead in the world championship.
There have got to be far too many intense moments for Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda as the season progresses increasingly in their favour.
( Below) One of the very first AMG Performance Centres in Germany
Right) AMG Performance Centre in Chennai showcases the GT R
( Above) E 63 S blurs the line between everyday saloon and supercar
( Below) 510-PS V8 C 63 S is truly an everyday sports saloon
( Above) AMG Speedshift nine-speed ’box optimises power delivery to suit efficiency or acceleration Business saloon or power-sliding monster at the flip of a switch ( Left) S 63 balances superluxury touring with aggressive performance
( Above) Hybrid F1 power-unit consists of one 750-PS petrol engine and four electric motors for a 1,000+ PS peak output
Lewis Hamilton is a strong contender to win the 2017 world driver’s title
( Above) F1’s hybrid tech is now being directly used on road cars