Today, appending A, M and G to a Mercedes-Benz is a badge of honor of sorts. The emblem speaks of a higher performance that sets it above the rest of the Mercedes line up.
That special badge for factory-tuned Mercs, however, is celebrating a special anniversary: this month, Mercedes-AMG marks 25 years since the first successful collaboration that resulted in the C 36 AMG in 1993.
Contrary to popular belief, the AMG badge wasn't actually initially exclusive to Mercedes-Benz. The brand started out as a tuning house founded by Hans Verner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher in 1967. That's what the letters stand for: A and M for Aufrecht and Melcher, and the G for the town of Grossaspach where they lived.
After years of successfully working together on the German touring car series known as DTM, Mercedes and AMG came out with the C 36 AMG at the 1993 Frankfurt auto show. The 280 horsepower C 36 AMG based on the W202 kickstarted the AMG revolution for Mercedes-Benz, showing the performance potential that can be achieved if specialists worked on the engine, the chassis, and the suspension.
That same year, Mercedes and AMG rolled out the AMG versions of the W124 E-Class saloon and the R 129 SL-Class. The E 60 AMG and SL 60 AMG were both powered by a 6.0 liter V8 and developed 381 horsepower.
Since 2005, AMG has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler and continues development of high performance variations of their models, all of which are now known as Mercedes-AMG.