AMG may just be the world’s most-successful enthusiast sports car brand right now.
Once known as a slightly esoteric tuning company, AMG has benefitted from a sustained period of investment by its owner Mercedes to the point where it’s likely to push through 80k sales this year, as well as being closely associated with a highly likely third F1 championship win under the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 banner.
It’s hard to find any other performance brand with this volume of sales - Porsche excepted - now spread across 48 individual models, with more to come.
"Today this range is unrivalled and, yes, we could do more than 48 models in future," said Ola Kallenius, Mercedes’ sales and marketing boss.
Kallenius used to run AMG in one of its important recent development phases, helping propel him towards Merc’s top job when current incumbent Dieter Zetsche retires.
There’s definitely confidence oozing out of AMG, right now, which is run by the highly-effective Tobias Moers; at the Paris motor show unveiling of the AMG GT Roadster and high-performance 577bhp GT C coupe, Mercedes Board members were lining-up to speak alongside Moers, including outgoing R&D boss Thomas Weber, who will be replaced at the end of this year by Kallenius.
There is no surer sign of confidence than the announcement of a headline-grabbing hypercar, in AMG’s case with the unique proposition of a 1000bhp road-legal hybrid-powertrain said to be lifted straight out of the GP-winning F1 car.
Today AMG’s success is built on two pillars: the performance versions of mainstream Mercedes cars and the Mercedes-AMG GT supercar, the 450bhp-plus two-seater priced from £95k and aimed at high-end Porsche 911 models.
The GT range is being rapidly expanded with a new Roadster model and a performance C model – C for ‘clearly visible genes’, apparently.
Taking a leaf out of Porsche’s ‘how to’ book on launching multiple Porsche 911 variants, the GT range is bewildering complex with at least four different engine outputs from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, two body styles and two different rear-axle configurations: standard and wide-track.
AMG is coy about sales and production of the GT, but numbers from industry analysts JATO suggest the GT is doing very well, but has a long way to go to match the Porsche 911.