The man responsible for some incredible AMG cars is moving to Aston Martin.
When Daimler took over AMG to form Mercedes-AMG GmbH in 1993, Tobias Moers came aboard and took on various development roles. In 2002, he headed the overall vehicle development of all AMG vehicles and started an incredible rollout of Mercedes-AMG vehicles over the following years. Recently, the news dropped that Moers is moving to Aston Martin, a company Mercedes-AMG has ties to. The tuning arm provides engines for Aston, and Daimler has a 5% stake in the British automaker. This move to replace Andy Palmer with Moers just after the company has been bailed out by billionaire Lawrence Stroll looks like a strong move. In Aston's announcement, it pointed out that, under Moers, AMG "doubled its product portfolio and quadrupled the number of AMG units sold."
Under Moers, the AMG division has developed a much different focus than BMW's M division when it comes to performance. While BMW M cars tend to be the sports car equivalent of scalpels, AMG cars are sledgehammers in the power department while retaining relaxed handling and comfort levels. Some stand out, however, and we've compiled the nine best AMGs of the Tobias Moers era.
AMG watched its German competition surpass the E55 in its earlier W210 generation. But when AMG dropped the supercharged 5.4-liter V8 into the E55, it created a monster of what's known as a super saloon in Europe. The 2002 BMW M5 had a 4.9-liter V8 making 394 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. The 2002 E55 AMG dropped with 469 hp and a stomach-churning 516 lb-ft of torque. The only real giveaways that the E55 isn't a standard E-Class are the AMG wheels, quad exhaust outlets, lower stance, and some badging. Mercedes claimed it as the fastest sedan in the world and wasn't wrong if straight-line speed were the only measurement. The 2002 E55 had a 0-100 mph time of just 9.8 seconds, and its in-gear acceleration was simply brutish.
Mercedes started a racing partnership with AMG back in 1988. One of its most successful race cars was the W209 CLK AMG that Bernd Schneider drove to DTM championship victory in 2003. Mercedes-AMG built 180 road cars based around the touring car racer (100 coupes and 80 convertibles). Unfortunately for Americans, all 100 of the 574-hp supercharged 5.5-liter V8 powered and finely honed coupes were sold in the UK and Europe. Along with the muscular engine, the DTM AMG had a finely tuned chassis and suspension, aggressive bulging bodywork, and the ability to hit 199 mph.
One of AMG's craziest cars demanded genuine respect for its power from even the most skilled drivers. At this point, AMG had developed the legendary 6.2-liter V8. In the CLK 63 Black Series, it made 500 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Power was controlled by a SpeedShift 7G-Tronic transmission and a limited-slip differential. On the outside, the wider fenders, diffuser, and spoiler were made of carbon-fiber. It rode on manually adjustable suspension and 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped with Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires. Inside, the back seats were removed to save weight. The CLK 63 Black Series was extraordinary as it didn't take itself too seriously as a performance machine and did everything it could to shake the rear end loose under acceleration. That made it one of the most fun and raucous AMGs of its time.
In 2007, the minivan was still an important and profitable part of automakers' lineups. The market didn't want an absurdly fast minivan, but AMG did. The engineers crammed in a 503-hp 6.2-liter V8 engine into an R-Class, and then most likely laughed their asses off as they put it together. Mercedes called the R-Class a sports tourer, but nobody bought that, but not many people bought the minivan that could make 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds either. In the US, it was a special order only item and Mercedes expected to sell around 200 here. However, we know now that less than 100 were sold, possibly as low as 30.
The SLS AMG was the first fully-fledged AMG product and designed and built as the spiritual successor to the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. Under the hood was Mercedes-AMG's own naturally aspirated M159 engine generating 563 hp and 479 lb-ft. Later on, in Black Series spec, that power went up to 622 hp with a slight drop in torque. According to Tobias Moers, the SLS AMG was faster on the track than its predecessor, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. That means it wasn't all about straight-line speed and cool gullwing doors. The SLS AMG could hit 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, corner like a cat on a thick carpet, and looked good as it did so. The fact that it marked the era of bona fide AMG models is simply the cherry on top.
In AMG's history of maniacal tuning exploits, the G63 AMG 6x6 stands in a class of its own. The four-wheeled G-Wagons tuned by AMG a crazy, but the 6x6 pokes its tongue out at absurdity. Its highlights include three axles, five locking differentials, and a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 536 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque. Each of the six wheels has 37-inch tires that can have their tires inflated and deflated from an air compressor controlled from the cab. If all that isn't extreme enough, the price tag when new was around $500,000.
Formula 1 driver David Coulthard helped develop Mercedes-AMG's first scratch built car. For the second, Lewis Hamilton was brought in. The GT's exterior design follows on from the SLS AMG but drops the Gullwing doors. Underneath, the GT's space-frame chassis is 93% aluminum, with the front made using magnesium. The engine is front-mid mounted, and that engine is AMG's 4.0-liter M178 twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It uses a "hot V" configuration for the turbos, and dry-sump lubrication. The first iteration landed with 456 hp and 443 lb-ft. It was followed by a more powerful GT S model, while the GT3 and GT4 racing models use a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 producing 622 hp in GT3 trim.
The AMG GT rivals the Porsche 911 in performance, and the GT R Pro set a stunning time of 7 minutes 4.632 seconds around the Nurburgring in 2018.
We don't get many Mercedes-built wagons in the US, but the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon is an absolute peach. It's big, comfortable, impeccably constructed, and technologically savvy. The current generation also features a 603 hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 hooked to a nine-speed transmission feeding power to all four wheels. Because it's AMG and all-wheel-drive, the super wagon needs the ability to go sideways in a cloud of smoke; hence there's a drift mode included. It's got supercar speed and agility, but AMG lunacy is also baked into the family wagon.
We're still waiting for the Mercedes-AMG ONE to land, but it has been in the making for years. When it does drop, the Formula 1-derived hypercar will have a 1.6-liter V6 hybrid engine from the Mercedes F1 car with an eight-speed semi-automatic transmission. That doesn't sound too exciting until you understand it will push 1,021 hp to all four wheels. If that's not impressive enough, electric motors spin the engine's turbos, eliminating turbo lag and reducing acceleration time. As a result, we're looking at a 0-60 mph time of 2.7 seconds. That's slower than a Bugatti Chiron but with a lot fewer cylinders and will be aimed more at the track than miles and miles of straight road. While Moers may not see the ONE reach the road, there can be no doubting that the part he played in turning F1 technology into a street-legal machine is nothing short of extraordinary.