Daimler sold 98,235 AMG-badged vehicles in 2016 and it will easily pass the hundred thousand mark this year. This report gives an overview of the current Mercedes-AMG global model range, while also looking ahead to what’s due for release well into the 2020s. 

Sedans, hatchbacks, estate, coupés and cabriolets

The Mercedes-AMG range starts with the A-Class. The A 45 4MATIC had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2013 and went on sale in Germany three months later. A 265kW (360hp) turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine was developed especially for this model. This unit, which was codenamed M 133, was not built at AMG’s Affalterbach works, but rather at Daimler’s four-cylinder assembly plant at Kölleda. M 133 is also the powerplant for the CLA 45 AMG and GLA 45 AMG models. It was upgraded from mid-2015 production.

Like other AMG vehicles, the A 45 has its suspension, powertrain and other components fitted by AMG at Affalterbach after delivery from the A-Class plant at Rastatt. What had been the Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG changed names to Mercedes-AMG A 45 at the time of the mid-life facelift. Power also rose to 280kW (381PS) so as to be higher than that of its rival, the 270kW Audi RS 3 Sportback. Torque is now 475Nm. The revised and renamed car had its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2015.

The next generation model is due for release in 2019. To be based on the MFA2 architecture, it is expected to have a 294kW (400PS) version of the turbo 2.0-litre engine. It might well change names to A 50 AMG. This would continue to be a rival for the Audi RS 3 Sportback. However, there might also be a lower-power version, to be called A 40 AMG, which would be a competitor for the S3 Sportback. The power output would be in the range of 320-350PS.

As there is no AMG version of the B-Class, the next largest model is the CLA 45. This small sedan had its global debut at Auto Shanghai in April 2013. This car originally had the same 265kW (360hp) turbocharged 2.0-litre M 133 engine as the A 45 AMG and GLA 45 AMG.

In July 2015, Daimler announced some changes for this model. As expected it was renamed Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC (formerly, it was Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG). It now has the more powerful engine from the facelifted and renamed Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC, together with an improved seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The name change applies to the sedan and the Shooting Brake.

A CLA 45 successor model is due out in mid-2020 and like the A 45, it will use the updated version of the MFA architecture. Production should remain at Kecskemét in Hungary. 

Next rung up on the ladder is the C-Class. Here, there are multiple AMG variants. The C 63 sedan and wagon were revealed at the Paris motor show in October 2014. The base cars are powered by a 350kW (476hp) biturbo 3,982cc V8, but there is also a 375kW (510hp) S version of both sedan and wagon. The sedan’s German market introduction was in February 2015 with the estate following two months later. 

The C 63 Coupé had its world premiere at the Frankfurt IAA in September 2015 and went on sale in Germany six months later. It is available with the same two engines as the sedan and wagon. The same applies to the C 63 Cabriolet and C 63 S Cabriolet. These two convertibles were world premieres at the New York auto show in March 2016.

The C 43 4MATIC Coupé, meanwhile, had its public debut at March 2016’s Geneva motor show. Unlike the V8-engined C 63, this model is powered by a 270kW/367hp 3.0-litre biturbo V6. The standard transmission is a nine-speed automatic.

Facelifts for all these cars are due later in 2017 and replacements in 2021. 

One size up from the C-Class are the AMG versions of the E-Class. The first one is the E 43 4MATIC. This sedan had its world premiere at the New York auto show in March 2016. Sales got underway six months later. It is powered by a 295kW/401hp 3.0-litre biturbo V6 engine. Torque is 520Nm, the standard transmission is a nine-speed automatic and the car has pneumatic suspension. The E 43 4MATIC Estate was announced in June 2016.

The E 63 4MATIC and E 63 S 4MATIC were announced in October 2016 ahead of their debuts at the Los Angeles auto show. Both are powered by a biturbo 4.0-litre V8. Power and torque outputs are 420kW (571hp) and 750Nm for the E 63 and 450kW (612hp) and 850Nm for the S. The only transmission for both is Mercedes-Benz’s own Speedshift nine-speed automatic. The E 63 and E 63 S were in European dealerships from March 2017 and go on sale in the US from mid-year for the 2018 model year.

The E 63 4MATIC Estate and E 63 S 4MATIC Estate were world premieres at the Geneva motor show in March 2017.

An E 50 is expected to be added to the AMG-Mercedes E-Class range later in 2017. These cars will be powered by a 350kW turbocharged version of one of Daimler’s new in-line six-cylinder petrol engines. There should be facelifts for all body styles and a replacement range in 2023.

The C218 CLS-Class is also offered in Mercedes-AMG form as both a sedan and a Shooting Brake (estate). AMG’s second generation CLS sedan was launched in late 2011. The car had its world premiere at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2010. As is more or less the norm with Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes-AMG vehicles, the engine’s size is not indicated by the CLS 63 badge. Rather than having a capacity capacity of 6.3 litres, instead it is a turbocharged 5.5-litre V8. This was available from launch in 386kW (525hp) or 410kW (557hp) CLS 63 S forms.

A wagon or ‘shooting brake’ bodystyle would follow “in 2012”, Daimler stated in November 2010. Images of the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake were released in July 2012, just after the standard car was revealed as a prototype at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in late June. The CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake then had its world premiere in production form at the German Grand Prix in July 2012. It went on sale in Germany three months later with the same engine options as the sedan.

An updated CLS 63 premiered at the Detroit motor show in January 2013. The 5.5-litre turbo V8 from that point on produced 410kW (557hp) in standard form, or 430kW (585hp) in the CLS 63 AMG 4MATIC S. There was a facelift in 2014 and no further changes are anticipated. The next generation sedan may be revealed as soon as the Frankfurt IAA in September.

C219, the replacement for the CLS 63, is likely to be powered by a biturbo V8. Due in showrooms during the first half of 2018, it could change names to CLE 63. Due to the ever rising number of SUVs, the Shooting Brake may not have a successor. The architecture will be MRA.

To be positioned above the CLS successor and not to be confused with the GT Coupé (see below), a four-door sports fastback is due to be added to the range in 2019. A preview appeared at the 2017 Geneva motor show. This was the Mercedes-AMG GT concept, a low slung four-door, four-seater coupé, pictured above. The car should be released with a turbocharged petrol V8 engine but a plug-in hybrid powertrain will follow. The model name is not yet known but GT4 has been suggested.

Mercedes-AMG’s largest sedans are versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG had its world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2013. There were originally three cars: S 63 AMG, S 63 AMG L (long wheelbase) and S 63 AMG L 4MATIC, all powered by a 430kW (585hp) 5,461cc turbo V8. The S 63 AMG L was only available in the UK and certain other RHD markets.

The more powerful S 65 AMG had its world premiere at the LA and Tokyo motor shows in November 2013. Styling changes over the S 63 included additional chrome-effect trim on the grille, shiny mesh on the front bumper, different multi-spoke alloy rims, plus ‘V12 Biturbo’ badges. Its engine was, and is, a 463kW (680hp) 5,980cc biturbo V12.

In April 2015, the cars’ names changed to Mercedes-AMG S 63 and S 65, from the original Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG and S 65 AMG.

So as not to destroy the tyres, the S 65’s monumental torque output of 1,000Nm is only available from fourth gear upwards. In first, second and third, the output is electronically governed to 700Nm.

A facelifted S-Class range premiered at the Shanghai motor show in April 2017, as did updated versions of the S 63 and S 65. Mechanically, the S 65 did not change but the S 63 received a new model name, a new engine and the rear-wheel drive versions were discontinued. It is now the S 63 4MATIC+ and the engine is no longer a turbocharged 5.5-litre V8. It was replaced by a 20kW more powerful 4.0-litre turbo V8. The output is 450kW (612PS) and a nine-speed automatic has replaced the former seven-speed gearbox. The S 65 continues with its V12 engine and remains rear-wheel drive only.

The next generation of the Mercedes-AMG S-Class should appear in late 2020 with build remaining at Sindelfingen.

A two-door version of the S 63 had its premiere at the New York auto show in April 2014. The Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG Coupé was powered by the same engine as the pre-facelift sedan equivalent: a 430kW (585hp) 5,461cc biturbo V8. The S 65 AMG Coupé then had its debut four months later at the Moscow show. As for the sedan, the 5,980cc biturbo V12 produces 463kW (630hp) and 1,000Nm.

These cars’ names were changed to Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupé and S 65 Coupe during 2015, while the Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet was added to the range during the second quarter of 2016. This derivative had its global debut at January 2016’s Detroit auto show. The S 65 Cabriolet joined the S 63 Cabriolet, the latter having had its global debut at the Frankfurt IAA in September 2015.

The next news for the Mercedes-AMG versions of the S-Class Coupé and Cabriolet will be mid-life facelifts. At the same time, the S 63 should become the S 63 4MATIC+ as per what happened to the sedan in April this year. The next generation Mercedes-AMG S-Class Coupé and Cabriolet should arrive in 2023.

SUVs

The GLC 63 4MATIC, a high performance version of the GLC-Class, went on sale across Europe and elsewhere from late 2015. It is powered by the same 4.0-litre biturbo V8 that powers the C 63 AMG but it has four-wheel drive.

Another version of AMG’s GLC-Class is the GLC 43 4MATIC. This one is powered by a 270 kW (367 hp) 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine. Its public debut was at the New York auto show in March 2016, deliveries in relevant markets commencing from three months later.

Two additional variants premiered at the New York auto show in April 2017: the GLC 63 4MATIC+ and the GLC 63 S 4MATIC+. Each has a 4.0-litre biturbo V8 under the bonnet. The + has outputs of 350kW and 650Nm, while the S + produces 375kW and 700Nm.

The GLC Coupé which has its own body but is otherwise all but identical to the GLC in terms of powertrains, is built on the same line as the GLC at a plant in Bremen. 

The GLC 43 Coupé 4MATIC was announced in March 2016 and has the same biturbo V6 as the GLC 43. It went on sale in relevant markets from the fourth quarter of 2016. The car’s public debut was at the Paris motor show in September 2016.

As noted above, two additional versions of the GLC 63 debuted at the New York auto show in April. At the same event, Mercedes-AMG also revealed equivalent variants for the low-roof SUV line-up: GLC 63 4MATIC+ Coupé and GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ Coupé. They have the same engines as the 63 4MATIC+ and 63 4MATIC S+.

A facelifted range should be on sale in 2020. The second generation GLC and GLC Coupé are expected in 2023/2024 and should use an update of the existing model’s MRA architecture. 

In the segment above the GLC sits what is now sold as the GLE. This, the former ML 63 AMG, had its global debut at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2011. It went on sale from February 2012. The engine was a turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 that in standard form produced 518hp. A performance package saw the output rise to 550hp. The transmission was a seven-speed Speedshift Plus automatic.

A facelifted model had its world premiere at the New York auto show in April 2015. It also changed names to Mercedes-AMG GLE 63.

The model range consists of the following variants:

  • GLE 63 4MATIC (410kW/557hp)
  • GLE 63 S 4MATIC (430kW/585hp)

One size higher than the GLE is the GLS. Just as the ML became the GLE to link it to the E-Class, so the GL became the GLS to make buyers think of it as the S-Class of Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

The second generation of the GL-Class was the first to have an AMG variant. It was announced in May 2012. Powering the GL 63 AMG was a 410kW (557bhp/550hp) 5.5-litre turbo V8. Drive was to all all wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes-Benz began selling this model in November 2012. Its world premiere had been at the Moscow motor show three months previously.

As part of a mid-life facelift, this model had its name changed to Mercedes-AMG GLS 63. It is now powered by a 430kW/585hp biturbo V8. Worldwide sales commenced in March 2016.

The AMG version of X167, the second generation GLS-Class, is scheduled to go on sale from mid-2018. Likely to be called either GLS 63 or GLS 65, it will use the MHA architecture. There should also be an extended wheelbase body style and a high-priced Mercedes-Maybach variant. Daimler is extremely keen to take as many sales as it can from the Range Rover so will style and price the new GLS accordingly. Whether or not Audi and BMW will respond with theoretical RS Q7 and X7 M variants remains open to speculation.

At the top of the Mercedes-AMG SUV tree is the G-Class. This ancient body-on-frame 4×4 started life as a military vehicle. It entered series production in 1979. After not a lot of activity in its lifecycle, the G had a facelift in April 2012. Two then-new AMG derivatives, the G 63 and G 65, were also debuts at that month’s Beijing motor show. These succeeded the Mercedes-Benz G 55 AMG.

The G 63 AMG was originally powered by a 400kW/544hp 5,461cc biturbo V8, while the G 65 AMG had a 450kW/612hp 5,980cc biturbo V12.

The ultimate G-Class was announced in March 2013 but didn’t enter production until August 2014. This was the G 63 AMG 6×6, a spin off from a project for the Australian Army, though those vehicles had diesel engines. Powering the G 63 AMG 6×6 was a 400kW (544hp) turbo V8. Drive went to all three axles via five diff locks and portal axles. Also standard were 37-inch tyres and one metre of river-fording clearance. The wheelbase was also stretched, to 3,120mm. The six by six was 5,875mm long and weighed 3,775kg.

A 4×4 version of the 6×6 was revealed to the media in February 2015, officially as a concept but it entered production in April 2015, as a replacement for the 6×6, production of which ended earlier that month after some 100 vehicles had been made. The G 500 4×4² is powered by a biturbo 4.0-litre V8. It is however a Mercedes-Benz, not a Mercedes-AMG.

A facelifted G-Class range was announced in May 2015, along with Euro 6-compliant engines and retuned suspension. The two Mercedes-AMG variants gained revised engines as follows:

  • AMG G 63 now delivers 420kW/571hp (i.e. an extra 20kW/27hp) with torque of 760Nm (5,461cc biturbo petrol V8)
  • AMG G 65 now delivers 463kW/630hp (i.e. an extra 13kW18hp) with torque of 1,000Nm (5,980cc biturbo petrol V12)

A new G-Class will be revealed later this year, reportedly at the Frankfurt IAA, and there will of course be new Mercedes-AMG variants. The big change will be the switch to an aluminium frame. Six-cylinder, V8 and V12 engines are again expected. The new model should be styled to look like an updated version of the original, but it will be lower and wider. Production is likely to once more be carried out in Austria by Magna Steyr.

Sports cars

The current AMG version of the current SLC-Class had its world premiere at January 2016’s Detroit auto show, alongside the facelifted and renamed SLC-Class. Prior to this, these models had been the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG and the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class. The Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 replaced the SLK 55.

This shape SLK-Class had its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2011. The SLK 55 AMG was powered by a 310kW (422hp) normally aspirated 5,461cc V8. This engine, codenamed, M152, was new for the car. Fuel saving features included stop-start and cylinder cut-off. The standard transmission was a seven-speed automatic.

This then-new model went on sale across Europe from January 2012. The facelift, new engine and name change to Mercedes-AMG SLK 43 happened in 2016.

The SLC 43 is powered by a 270kW/367hp 2,996cc biturbo V6 petrol engine. Torque output is 520Nm and the only transmission is Mercedes-Benz’s own 9G-TRONIC nine-speed torque converter automatic.

The R173 SLC-Class should be built alongside the next generation SL-Class at Sindelfingen after relocating from the Bremen plant. Like the next SL, the future SLC will be based on Daimler’s MSA components set. There are, however, other reports which now state the R173 project has been delayed or even cancelled. This is or would be due to the major contraction of the segment in which the SLC competes – another casualty of the global boom in SUVs.

The current shape Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG version of the SL-Class had its global debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2012. 

The SL 63 went on sale across Europe from May 2012. The standard car’s 5.5-litre V8 produced 537hp, but an upgrade to 564hp was available. In April 2014, the former Performance Package was made standard so that power then rose to 430kW (585hp). The sole transmission remains a seven-speed Speedshift MCT.

The SL 65 AMG had its global debut at the New York auto show in April 2012. This car retained the V12 engine of the old shape model but power rose to 621bhp and the transmission switched from a five-speed unit to a seven-speeder.

Facelifted cars which had their world premieres at November 2015’s LA auto show. As well as the styling changes, the names changed from Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 63 and 65 to Mercedes-AMG SL 63 and 65.

The next SL-Class should enter production at Sindelfingen early in 2019. Coded R232, it will be based on Daimler’s Modular Sports Architecture (MSA). The Mercedes-AMG variants should be on sale later that year.

Some sources believe that the eighth generation SL will be a 2+2 and therefore a challenger to the Porsche 911. And also that for the first time since the fourth generation model, that there will be a separate coupe model. There are also rumours claiming that these cars are being engineered by AMG, not Mercedes-Benz and that the GT is to be the basis of the next generation SL. R232 is said to be breaking with tradition by being made into a supercar rather than a grand tourer.

The GT is a front-engined rival for the Maserati GranTurismo and Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe R. It is also the effective replacement for the SLS AMG GT, production of which ceased in June 2014 after a final run of 350 cars. Unlike the SLS, no plug-in variant is expected. The 4.0-litre engine’s capacity was decided upon so as to get the car below a tax threshold in the Chinese market.

The Mercedes-AMG GT is powered by a biturbo 3,982cc V8 codenamed M178. Turbochargers are supplied by BorgWarner. This engine is being rolled out across the AMG model range, steadily replacing M159, the naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8. M178 has the same bore x stroke (83.0mm x 92.0mm) as the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine in the A 45 4MATIC, CLA 45 4MATIC and GLA 45 4MATIC. In the GT, drive is to the rear wheels only via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

The GT was revealed to the media in September 2014, with its public debut following a month later at the Paris motor show. Originally, there were two variants – the 462hp GT and the 510hp GT S. The car’s aluminium chassis structure is claimed to weigh 231kg. The GT measures 4,546mm in length, 1,939mm in width and 1,289mm in height. Weight is quoted as 1,540kg. In GT S form it can accelerate from rest to 62mph in 3.8 seconds (AMG GT: 4.0 secs) and can hit 193mph (189mph). Cars arrived in LHD market dealerships in March 2015. Cars for the US and the UK followed one month later.

The GT R had its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2016. This has a 430kW (585hp) version of the 4.0-litre engine.

The GT has silver brake calipers while the GT S has red ones and those of the GT R are yellow. The base GT also has MB-Tex seat coverings (vinyl), while the S has Nappa leather.

The convertible had its world premiere at the 2016 Paris motor show. At that point there were then five variants of the GT and GT C, each powered by a version of the 4.0-litre biturbo V8:

  • GT (340kW/462hp & 600Nm)
  • GT S (375kW/510hp & 650Nm)
  • GT R (430kW/585hp & 700Nm)
  • GT Roadster (350kW/476hp & 630Nm)
  • GT C Roadster (410kW/557hp & 680Nm)

The GT Roadster, GT C Roadster and R became available to order from November 2016 with the first deliveries following from the northern hemisphere spring of 2017.

A facelifted range was revealed at the Detroit auto show in January 2017, plus an additional variant, the GT C Coupé.

The engine line-up was also modified to coincide with the arrival of the facelifted cars. The GT entry-level model now puts out 350kW (476hp), i.e. 10kW (14hp) more than before. In addition, with 630Nm, the basic version now delivers an extra 30Nm of torque. The same figures apply to the GT Roadster from its market launch.

The output for the GT S rises by 9kW (12hp) to 384kW (522hp), with the peak torque climbing by 20Nm to 670Nm. The C variants of the Coupé and Roadster have 410kW (557hp) and 680Nm peak torque. The top of the line is the AMG GT R with 430kW (585hp) and 700Nm. 

In North America, the revised range is new for the 2018 model year. There should be a range facelift in 2019 and successor model series in 2023.

A so-called ‘Hypercar‘ is on the way. This mid-engined model does not yet have a name but it was announced by Daimler’s Thomas Weber as being under development during an event on the eve of the 2016 Paris motor show. It will compete in the same segment where the Porsche 918 Spyder and LaFerrari were successful. To be branded as an AMG, not a Mercedes-AMG, it will be a hybrid and use Formula 1 technology. The public debut will be at the Frankfurt IAA in September.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

Additional data on vehicle lifetime and future product plans, such as model codenames, are available in PLDB from QUBE.