Archive for July 2008

Motor Trend Blog: 2008 Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Sport: Driving gently toward 2020

By Angus MacKenzie

I've been driving a Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Sport around Britain the past couple of weeks. It's a pleasant car: 17-inch AMG alloy wheels, bigger brakes all round, sports seats, and a swag of options, including something called the "Advanced Agility Package", which offers continuously variable rate shocks, paddle shifters for the five speed automatic transmission, sharper throttle response, and a sport mode button on the center console.

As equipped, this particular C220 CDI Sport stickers for about the same money as a base C350 Sport in Britain. But instead of the 268hp V-6 under the hood, there's a 170hp, 2.2-liter four cylinder turbodiesel. It's a solid engine, a little gruff at idle on occasion, but otherwise commendably smooth and quiet. With 295lb-ft on tap at just 2000rpm, it does a good job of shifting this 3494lb sedan - claimed 0-60mph time is under 8.5sec.

In sport mode the C220 CDI Sport is entertainingly brisk point-to-point, thanks to the more aggressive transmission calibration, though the ride deteriorates markedly, becoming noticeably jittery on anything other than the smoothest blacktop.

However, I've been more interested in the CDI bit than the Sport bit, and not just because I've been paying more than $10 for a gallon of fuel, or roughly 150 bucks for a full tank. The C220 CDI is a fascinating car because its claimed fuel consumption on the European combined cycle is precisely 42.8 miles per Imperial gallon. That's just a fraction over 35 miles per U.S. gallon, the fuel consumption Washington has mandated automakers must average by 2020.

Of course, there are significant differences between how the Europeans calculate city, highway and combined fuel consumption numbers, and how the Feds do it. But after more than 2500 miles on a mixture of freeways and country roads, suburban streets and log-jammed London, the C220 CDI has been averaging 33 to 35 miles per U.S. gallon. Our experience with the revised EPA mileage ratings introduced earlier this year suggests they are a much more accurate reflection of real world fuel consumption. So, on the evidence, the C220 CDI provides a glimpse of America's automotive future.

So, how does the future feel? In a word, gentle. Thrust builds differently in a diesel, even a relatively small capacity one. In the C220 CDI, the power peaks at just 3800rpm, and going much beyond 4000rpm is pointless. So it never sounds fast. After a while, you realize you're driving with a different, more relaxed rhythm -- always striving to maintain momentum; squeezing the throttle, rather than punching it; constantly mining the mother lode of torque. And suddenly, you find you're covering the ground just as quickly as you would in a regular gas-powered car.

Except you're getting way better mileage: On the freeways, humming along happily at 70-80mph, the C220 CDI returns close to 40mpg. Crawling through stop-start London traffic the equal of L.A.'s notorious 405 freeway crawl, or anywhere in Manhattan at 5pm on a weekday, it still manages 25mpg, automatic transmission, air conditioning, and all.

The Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI proves there's no question an average fuel consumption of 35mpg by 2020 is technically achievable in a reasonably sized sedan, albeit at a price (remember, this thing is basically C350 money). But it also suggests a lot of us are probably going to be driving very differently in 2020, too. With cars like this, our roads could become a much gentler place.

Link to the article >> HERE

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SPY:2011 Mercedes-Benz SLC supercar spotted

Finally, after such a long time with no info concerning the next Stuttgart supercar, we now get to see the first spy photos of a SLC prototype dressed in Merc clothes, not Dodge Viper.

And, guess what!The legendary Gullwing doors, that wrote history on the '50s 300 SL, are due to enter into production when the SLC is launched in 2010. Still heavily camouflaged, the future SLC appears to be a very dynamic car, judging by the largely dimensioned radiator grille and air intakes. It's still hard to tell the design of the headlights and tail lights from the whole body, but as you will see in the photos below, Christian Schulte may have got it right with the renderings he created. Or not?Is Huckfeldt once again right with his drawing?

The SLC won't use a mid-engine configuration, as previously predicted, but a front-engine one, thus contradicting those who had the SLC will follow Audi R8. For its SLR successor, Mercedes-Benz will cooperate with HWA and AMG;for the moment, the only certain power unit to be used under the bonnet of the SLC is the current 6.2 litres V8.

Rendering by Huckfeldt

Renderings by Schulte Design

Renderings by Larson

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CAR Magazine:First Drives - Mercedes-Benz C 350 Estate Sport

What’s the point of the Mercedes-Benz C350 Estate Sport? Sure, it looks great and it’s got loads of power, but no way can a small estate (even a small Mercedes estate) be useful too. Surely you’d just buy an E-class if you wanted space. Wouldn’t you?

Should I just buy the salon, then?

Well, as it turns out, no - though I wouldn’t recommend a camping holiday for four in the C350 Estate. First, it’s thirsty (you’d rather have a C320 CDI if you’re heading for the south of France) and no, it’s not the most capacious estate around. But it’s still pretty useful.

I packed four fully-grown blokes and luggage for a long weekend into it. No complaints about legroom, plenty of boot space for the bags, coats and travelling paraphernalia (thrown over the back seat - we’d have struggled in the saloon). My passengers all appreciated the general level of finish, the air of refinement, seat comfort, and the ride. And there was plenty of entertainment for the driver too.

So the Sport in the name rings true, then?

Absolutely. The C-class is always fun to hustle and the C350 Estate has enough power to treat the weight of a full compliment of chaps and chattels with disdain. When a stretch down the M1 became too congested, we peeled off and headed across the Vale of Aylesbury, following the sat-nav’s shortest suggested route. Hit the Sport button and the dampers and throttle response tighten noticeably. You trade a slight edge to the ride for superbly sure-footed progress. Your passengers appreciate the swift progress and there’s no wallowing or rolling to upset them.

Meanwhile the gutsy V6 revs to the heavens and wails appreciatively. Of course, the diesel makes more sense economically, but it lacks the petrol engine’s tingle factor and red-line appeal.


Yes, it’s a lifestyle estate. And, yes, it’s hard to justify nearly £40k for it. But forget about the kind of lifestyle the ad agencies are always plugging: this isn’t a mountain-bikes-and-dirt-tracks kind of car. Neither is it really a family car (there’s acres more space in a Mondeo for half the price). But if your lifestyle involves the need for a swift, refined, compact, well-finished sports saloon with a premium badge, and you occasionally need to carry a healthy payload, this C-class is two cars in one.

CAR's rating:

Link to the original article >> HERE

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World premiere for coaches: the new Mercedes-Benz Travego with Active Brake Assist


* Active Brake Assist actively helps avoid rear-end collisions and can
save people's lives

* Front Collision Guard enhances passive safety

* PowerShift automated eight-speed manual transmission reduces fuel consumption

* Numerous innovations in the new Mercedes-Benz Travego

* Presentation at the 2008 International Commercial Vehicle Show (IAA)

Stuttgart, Germany, Jul 30, 2008 – The new generation of the Mercedes-Benz Travego takes front stage with a world premiere: for the first time the multiple-award-winning Active Brake Assist is being used in a coach. Known as an emergency-braking assistance system, when the risk of crashing into the rear of a slower vehicle ahead is acute, after giving graduated warnings this active safety system automatically brings about emergency braking if the driver shows no reaction.

Active Brake Assist is based on the proximity control system. It utilises proximity control's radar sensor, which with its three radar beams can recognise obstacles moving in front of the bus, within a defined range. The distance from and the speed relative to the vehicle in front are continuously registered and evaluated. If there is a risk of an accident and the traffic situation remains unchanged, first a graduated warning concept is applied and, after that, emergency braking.

Following the introduction of various active assistance systems like the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Lane Assistant, Continuous Braking Limiter, Brake Assist (BA) and proximity control, Active Brake Assist now marks a highpoint on the way to realising the vision of accident-free driving. It has successfully demonstrated its efficiency in Mercedes-Benz trucks in more than 350 million kilometres of customer operation.

The new-generation Travego also offers an innovation in the area of passive safety: the Front Collision Guard (FCG) is a unique passive-safety system to protect the driver and tour guide in a head-on crash, and also can prevent a car from riding under the bus. In the front section the bus framework consists of crash elements which dissipate energy in a specific manner in the event of an impact. In addition, the driver's position in the new Travego (including the steering. pedals and seat) is now arranged on a solid frame section which can be displaced in its entirety towards the rear in a severe frontal impact, enlarging the survival space by crucial centimetres.

Another highlight is the new Mercedes PowerShift transmission. This is the first automated manual transmission developed specifically for buses. This new eight-speed transmission significantly reduces fuel consumption and enhances safety and efficiency. The environment profits, too, because the CO2 emissions which are the subject of so much discussion are directly dependent on the level of fuel consumption.

Further new features which the driver can expect in his workplace in the Travego: the new cornering light function, the new rain/light sensor, LED lights as marker lamps over the windscreen, and an entirely new cockpit designed even more with the driver in mind.

The new-generation Travego will be presented to the general public at the 2008 International Commercial Vehicle Show (IAA) from 25 September to 2 October, 2008 in Hall 14/15.

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Video from Auto Motor und Sport:SLR Speedster spied

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Motor Trend - First Drive: 2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK350

Mixed Messager: Sorting through the multiple personalities of the newest Baby Benz.

By Frank Markus

It can get 30-plus mpg or dash to 60 mph in 6.5 sec. Its Agility Control suspension corners racetrack flat, yet its undercarriage can be armored for ramming over rough stuff. It's targeted at Sex-in-the-City women, but it wears sharp, angular styling that apes the butch GL-class. Does this fuel-crisis trucklet suffer multiple-personality disorder?

Globally, yes, but there will be some exorcisms before the GLK arrives in January. The off-road package is out due to lack of interest on our shores (similar packages are dropped on ML and GL too). Officials claim the package bestows Land-Rover LR2-equivalent capability, from a combination of a Downhill-Speed Regulation system that uses engine braking and the ABS gear to creep down hills at any programmed speed from 2-11 mph. An off-road switch changes the transmission, ABS, stability control, and engine control maps to better suit loose surfaces, and underbody armor made of fiberglass-reinforced thermoplastics provide protection and keep the hangy-downy bits from snagging on rocks. The COMAND system display shows steering angle, altimeter and compass info in this mode. Sad to say, the two diesel engines are also banished-the 34-mpg 2.1L twin-turbo four and the 30-mpg 3.0L variable-nozzle turbo V-6. That'll leave us with a 22-mpg 3.5L gas V-6 spinning a seven-speed and 4Matic all-wheel drive (rear drive follows a few months later) wearing the fanciest walnut trim, standard dual sunroofs, and 19- or 20-in. wheels.

We may not miss the off-road gear-4Matic's fixed 45/55 front/rear torque split, traction control, and 7.9-in. of ground clearance will get us where we're going, and the big wheels, fat tires, and taut suspenders are antithetical to billy-goating. We will miss the diesels unless brisk demand for BlueTec MLs and GLs earn one of them a reprieve. Cross your fingers for the teched-out four, featuring piezoelectric injectors squirting fuel at over 29,000 psi, dual overhead camshafts driven by gears from the back of the block, and sequential turbos-a small one that spools up quickly at low revs, and a big one for higher speeds. The GLK220 CDI only trails the GLK350 by only 2.0 sec to 60 mph, and by achieving 50-percent-better fuel consumption its owners could recover their $1000-$2000 option price during a typical lease, even if today's diesel-fuel pricing persists.

Link to the original article >> HERE

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VIDEO from Edmunds:2010 E 63 AMG spotted at Nurburgring

New spy photos with the future E 63 AMG have surfaced on Edmunds. Along them, journalists have also uploaded an exclusive video with this mean machine while it was running at Nurburgring.

Although it was thought that the 2010 E 63 AMG will continue to use the 6.2 litres naturally aspirated V8, insider claim that the unit will be a completely new one. The cc displacement will be smaller than the current 6.2 litres(5.0 litres seems adequate), but it will use the turbocharging(single or twin turbo) in order to squeeze every last drop of power and ensure a highly-dynamic ride. The output will be of at least 500 BHP, not to mention that the engine will certainly offer plenty amount of torque.

The looks of the E 63 AMG can't be very well discerned under the layers of camouflage, but we can see that the front apron is a bit modified, with new air intakes, a new bumper and headlights with a more angry stance, while in the rear of the car, the number of exhaust pipes will be the already known one:4. The new AMG won't hit the streets until 2010, with public debut possibly in late 2009.

For the promised video, click >> HERE

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W212:New interior shots

After the exterior spy photos of yesterday, today we found 2 new spy photos showing hints of the dashboard of the new W212.

After the exterior spy photos of yesterday, today we found 2 new spy photos showing hints of the dashboard of the new W212. As previously seen in other 'inside' shots, the future E will cultivate the angular lines seen on the C and GLK dashboards, but the overall design will certainly be much more exclusive and elegant, with lots of fine wood trim, metal and high-quality, soft plastic and rubber materials. The defining piece of the dash, the COMAND APS display, will be mounted in the upper part of the center console, as seen on the W221 S-Klasse.

Via >> LeftLaneNews

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CLC Dream Test Drive

Mercedes-Benz has created, in cooperation with Team6 and Weapon7, a new game that features its recently revealed CLC-Klasse model. The game is available for free download at the following link: . The idea is simple:you have a customizable CLC, which you will use in order to compete with other opponents down the London streets. The CLC Dream Test Drive game also offers the possibility of online-mode gaming, so you're final result after one race will be counted and then shown in a standings list located on The winner in the standings will get the chance to go behind the steering wheel of a real CLC-Klasse at a test drive that will be held in Brooklands, Surrey. Knowing these, the only things you have to do now is download the game and get started!Enjoy!

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Mercedes-Benz IPTV Weekly Show 29.07.2008

Direct Link >> Through Berlin with Kim and Eva

Direct Link >> Economical driving

Direct Link >> Backstage: Quincy Jones

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SPY:S-Klasse test prototypes caught in the U.S.

Today was the day dedicated to spy photos. After the E and the CLK, it's time to see how are things going with the testing of the facelifted S-Klasse, due for launch next year as a 2010 model.

Weeks ago, we presented you photos of a pre-series version of the 2010 S 65 AMG model tested in USA (see article >> HERE), and now it is the turn of the non-AMG S-Klasse to show up in spy photos. We don't comment further on the change in aesthetics for the 2010 S, as we've already done it in previous articles(see articles >> 1 & 2). Let's then focus on the technical specs. First of all, the refreshed S-Klasse will become greener with the introduction of new, ecological power units, like the S 400 HYBRID and the S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID. The unit under the bonnet of the S 400 HYBRID will consist of a petrol V6, capable of developing 275 BHP, and a hybrid module, that together will raise the output up to 295 BHP, while the maximum torque will gravitate around 376 Nm. S 400 HYBRID should be able to reach 100 km/h within 7.3 seconds, while the top speed will be electronically governed at 250 km/h. This model will also be fitted with start/stop function and with a clever stuff that will pump energy back into the lithium-ion battery when the car brakes. The combined fuel consumption is leveled at 6.57 litres/100 km, whereas the CO2 emmision will score a good number:190 g/km. Passing on to S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID, it will use a 2.1 litres twin turbo 4-cyl. inline diesel unit coupled with a hybrid module, developing together 221 BHP and a staggering 560 Nm max. torque. The performance numbers are not as good as in the case of the S 400 HYBRID:241 km/h and 8.4 seconds to reach 100 km/h. However, the combined fuel consumption numbers are far better, meaning just 4.49 litres/100 km. The CO2 emmision is close to the 140 g/km level:142 g/km. The AdBlue solution will decrease the amount of NOx emmitted by up to 80 percent, so the S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID is clearly a very clean car. Ecologically speaking. Mercedes-Benz are also talking about a S 400 BLUETEC HYBRID version, but expect it to come to reality only after 2010. Until then, the MB engineers are busy developing a new, more powerful hybrid module, that should produce 60 HP, compared to the current 19-20 HP.

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SPY:new photos depicting the 2009 CLK-Klasse

After a very long hault, in which we were practically flooded with a total bunch of spy shots with the forthcoming 2010 E-Klasse, we now get to see fresh photos with a CLK prototype that undergoes a rigurous testing programme. This time, it seems that the CLK test car has lost a bit of its camouflage, revealing some crucial details of the exterior design.

The coupe will opt again for twin headlights, as already known, that will have a more angular shape. The radiator grille will have 2 horizontal slats and a big Mercedes-Benz logo in the middle. It appears that it will also be somehow separated from the rest of the body with the help of a chromed line around it, as in the case of the C 63 AMG grille. Going backwards, the design of the coupe flows evenly, without being disturbed by weird and unnecessary artistic exercises a la Bangle, for example. The side mirrors will be borrowed from the SL-Klasse, while the tail lights will mimic those from the future E-Klasse. Expect to see the well-known Mercedes-Benz coupe elegance, with CL-Klasse influence, when you will admire the car from its sides. Auto journalists state that the next CLK-Klasse will arrive in showrooms in early 2009, with the cabrio version to be unveiled later in 2009. Let's see if the rumours that Mercedes-Benz will premiere the CLK at the 2008 edition of the Mondial de l'Automobile Paris are to become true.

If you would like to know more about the 2009 CLK please follow the links located below:

1. Engine line-up for the 2009 CLK-Klasse

2. Overall presentation

3. Technical advances

N.B.:The last link directs to an article about the 2010 E-Klasse. The main reason for that is the information about the innovative systems to be found in the next generation E-Klasse, that will also be used for the 2009 CLK-Klasse.

Via >> LeftLaneNews

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Mercedes-Benz-Blog TRIVIA: 300 SEL AMG - 6.3 & 6.8

Two technical diamonds that will forever remain in the prestigious Mercedes-Benz motoring history. They are the expression of the passion for ultimate driving and adrenalin rush, in an era when power outputs going beyond 250 BHP were seen as total miracles. AMG engineers managed to create the perfect balance between a high-luxury sedan and a sporty coupe, without ruining the number of doors. Although the 300 SEL distinguished itself in the '60s and '70s with its pretty massive and powerful silhouette, the 6.3 & 6.8 AMG models developed during this period proved again to the entire world that the Stuttgart-based carmaker could easily overcome weight and dimension issues and build a very agile, fun-to-drive and quick sports saloon.

Actually, the whole 300 SEL AMG business began in 1966 as a private venture between Erich Waxenberger, a company engineer, and Paul Bracq, the designer of this 4 wheel beauty. The result:the world's first "Super Saloon", nicknamed "Q-Car". The 300 SEL 6.3 AMG boasts a 6.3 litres V8 engine with fuel injection, derived from the standard 300 SEL 6.3 power unit with 184 kW/250 hp output. For the AMG version, there was a choice of three engines with different outputs:206 kW/280 hp, 221 kW/300 hp or 235 kW/320 hp, capable of achieveing 51 mkg maximum torque. These V8 units were linked to a 4 speed automatic gearbox. Other technical specifications include:air suspension, automatic choke, ventilated disc brakes on all four wheels, power windows, central locking, power steering. The road performance of the 300 SEL 6.3 AMG was absolutely stunning:the acceleration up to the 100 km/h took just 6.3 seconds, so way below the feared 8 seconds limit, whereas the max. speed reached 235 km/h for the 320 hp model.

AMG engineers continued to improve the basic 6.3 litres V8 unit, and they came up later, in 1971, with the racing version of it, which was installed on the legendary 300 SEL 6.8 AMG, famous for its breakthrough victory in the 24 h race, held at Spa in Belgium. The engine displacement went up by 0.5 litres, reaching 6.8 litres. Further on, the new unit received 'sharper' camshafts, larger intake valves and modified rocker arms and pistons that enabled a power boost up to 315 kW/428 hp and a maximum torque of 62 mkg. 265 km/h was the maximum speed to be achieved by the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG. But 6.8 was not enough, so the things went higher, up to 6.9 litres. With these special engine fitted, the 300 SEL AMG could reach 100 km/h in only 4.2 seconds, 200 km/h in 12 seconds and could cover a quarter mile in only 14 seconds. However, the odds were against this special model:new racing regulations that imposed a max. displacement to be used of only 5.0 litres, plus the absence of adequate tyres ment a short life for the 6.9, not to mention the 6.8. What is quite funny is the fact that a prototype of a 300 SEL 6.9 AMG still exists in Finland and it is, as the owner states, in a very good shape.

If you proceed below, you will be able to read the most important bits of press releases which I have found and which are related to 300 SEL AMG models.



Taken from:'Press Kit-40 Years of AMG, AMG milestones: Successes on the track and outstanding technological achievements on the road', published on May 08, 2007, at Los Angeles, USA

* 300 SEL 6.8 AMG: a racing saloon with a unique history

A fire red paint finish, imposing tyres and a mighty eight-cylinder engine under the bonnet – it could only be the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG. Even today, motorsport aficionados still rave about the victory at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps 36 years ago. Piloted by Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz, the racing saloon took its place on the start grid of the classic long-distance race in the Ardennes in Belgium alongside established rivals from Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford and Opel. Nobody had thought it possible, but the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG crossed the line in second place on its very first outing, winning its class in the process. As a result, the company from Affalterbach which had been founded in 1967 became famous overnight – and the AMG legend was born out on the race track. The Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 - at that time the fast German-built car in series production - provided the technical platform for the AMG racing car. With its V8 engine mustering 184 kW/250 hp from a displacement of 6.3 litres and a peak torque of 51 mkg, the Stuttgart-built luxury saloon was deemed to be the scourge of the sports car fraternity. In the racing version, AMG implemented a host of measures including expanding the displacement to 6.8 litres and fitting "sharper" camshafts, larger intake valves, as well as modified rocker arms and pistons to boost output to 315 kW/428 hp and torque to 62 mkg. This enabled a top speed of 265 km/h on the race track, compared to the standard-production saloon's 221 km/h. However, this spectacular racing car was denied any further success following a change to the regulations which imposed a maximum capacity of 5.0 litres on cars in the European Touring Car Cup from 1972 – too little for the large-displacement, naturally aspirated AMG V8 engine.

* 300 SEL 6.3 AMG: Luxurious sports saloon developing up to 235 kW/320 hp

The achievement of the racy "6.8" in Spa-Francorchamps had a definite impact on day-to-day business at AMG. With the German and international press still lavishing praise on the red touring car racer, power-hungry Mercedes customers were already requesting that AMG tune their 300 SEL 6.3. Despite the fact that the saloon had maintained its status as the fastest German car in series production ever since it was unveiled in 1968, squeezing even more power from the standard 184‑kW/250-hp eight-cylinder unit was an effortless task for AMG. There was a choice of three power ratings: 206 kW/280 hp, 221 kW/300 hp or 235 kW/320 hp. The engine's displacement of 6289 cc was left unchanged, instead the untapped potential of the Mercedes engine was harnessed by the traditional means of machining the cylinder head, fitting new camshafts and modifying the intake and exhaust ducting to turn it into a true AMG V8. The 235-kW/320-hp version of the 300 SEL 6.3 AMG accelerated from 0 - 100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds and attained a top speed of 235 km/h (standard model: 8.0 s; 221 km/h). This allowed the racy AMG Mercedes to truly hold its own with any sports car. AMG fitted a newly developed sports suspension to handle the heightened performance capabilities.


Taken from:'Press Kit: 35 years of Mercedes-AMG, The history of AMG: 35 years of Mercedes-Benz high-performance vehicles and production-car track success', published on Oct 10, 2002, at Affalterbach, Germany

The breakthrough in 1971 with class victory in the 24 Hours of Spa

In its early years, AMG concentrated on building racing cars based on the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE and competing in European touring car races. And the company didn’t have to wait long to taste success, their first real breakthrough arriving in 1971. A Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 modified by AMG took a surprise class victory in the 24-hour race at Spa in Belgium, finishing in second place overall. Sharing the driving duties in the racing saloon that day was the partnership of Hans Heyer and Clemes Schickendanz.

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