In 1990, the Evolution II version of the 190E 2.5-16 appeared, and in 1991, AMG-Mercedes took the constructor's championship, while driver Klaus Ludwig took the driver's crown for AMG. Even more significant and thanks largely to the successful partnership between Mercedes-Benz and AMG in motorsport, the two companies signed an agreement where AMG products could be sold and serviced at Mercedes-Benz dealerships. By 1991, AMG was assigned the task of developing the racing version of the Evolution II and sharing the technology with other Mercedes-Benz DTM teams. The DTM was at its peak, with an audience of more than 153 million, and in 1992, AMG-Mercedes and Klaus Ludwig repeated as constructor and driver's champions. The 190E's last appearance in the DTM was in 1993, and it retired as the winner of 50 of the series championship races. AMG went on to further success with its CLK GTR, taking four racing championships in 1997 and 1998, and winning four driver's titles in the DTM beginning in 2000.
A bigger part of the businessThe 1990 dealership sales and servicing agreement between AMG and Mercedes-Benz meant big changes for the small company in Affalterbach. In 1990, a third factory opened and the workforce increased to 400. In 1993, the first co-developed vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG, was launched with a 280-bhp six-cylinder engine. The C36 AMG was a big success with more than 5,000 cars delivered between 1993 and 1997. In 1996, the Mercedes-Benz E50 AMG with a 347-bhp V8 was introduced and went on to sell 3,000 cars in 1996 and 1997. The 354-bhp E55 superseded the E50 in 1997 and eventually sold more than 12,000 cars. Racing was good for AMG's image, but selling road cars made money.
In 1999, AMG, the tuner that had started in an old sawmill in a backwater town in southern Germany, was purchased by DaimlerChrysler AG. The result has been a huge expansion in product offerings as AMG became Mercedes-Benz's official high-performance brand. An AMG version of nearly every product is available, including cabriolets, coupes, roadsters, sedans, and sport utility vehicles, and they are available in nearly every market in the world. Today, with more than 700 employees, AMG is responsible for all of the development processes of the more than 20,000 cars it sells yearly, including the chassis, engine and powertrain, suspension, brakes, electronics, aerodynamics and interior. In short, it starts with the shell of an existing Mercedes-Benz model, but the rest is all AMG. At the heart of every vehicle is the core of AMG's expertise: the engine.
Back where we startedAMG has proven to be adept at creating a high-performance version of nearly every one of its parent company's engines. For example, currently there is a 5.5-liter supercharged V8 engine making 517 bhp and a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 that produces 612 bhp. And there is certainly no shortage of standard production engine configurations in the Mercedes-Benz family to continue to modify. Why then did AMG feel the need to create an all-new 6.2L? Maybe if we look at some of the engine's details things will become clearer.
Longtime engine geeks (you'd be surprised at the number of them and you know who you are) will recognize the name Bernd Ramler as the man who single-handedly designed the Porsche V10 engine for the Carrera GT. Before his brief stint at Porsche, however, he was with AMG and designed the cylinder heads used with such devastating success in the DTM racing series.
When AMG decided to design an all-new engine, it hired Ramler back from Porsche to take over the development of the new all-aluminum V8 that had already been started at Affalterbach. The engine follows the modern practice of using a relatively short engine block, bolted to a rigid bedplate to which the crankshaft is bolted. The cylinder walls are coated with a new LDS process, a twin-wire arc plasma spray that ensures a low friction, long-wearing surface. A relatively small-sectioned oil pan, contoured for each vehicle application, completes the bottom end. The bore is 102.2mm and the stroke is 94.6mm, resulting in a total displacement of 6,208cc. This is a relatively large bore for a modern high-revving engine, but Ramler reckons that a 100mm bore, although not ideal for exhaust emissions, is just about perfect for motorsports usage. The short stroke means that plenty of engine speed is available, even with the large-diameter pistons, but the engine is actually limited to around 7200 rpm by the speed capability of the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission.
The four-valve-per-cylinder head design follows Ramler's proven configuration from the DTM racing series. The valves are at a very narrow angle, and the intake and exhaust ports are nearly vertical. Both intake and exhaust timing are continuously variable. The intake manifold is also variable and is made from magnesium. Two parallel intake flaps in the plenum increase airflow and enhance performance over the more usual single butterfly valve. Compression ratio is an extremely high 11.3:1, meaning unleaded premium is all that an AMG owner will ever buy at the pumps. The engine management system regulates fuel pressure between 3.8 and 5.0 bar (55-71 psi), depending upon power requirements and outside temperature, to provide quicker engine response.