Mercedes-Benz AMG Sport models dead, become real AMG models

2 Series, BMW X4, Interesting | January 12th, 2016 by 13
2016 Mercedes Benz C450 AMG 4MATIC 201 876x535 750x500

Mercedes-Benz went down a similar path as BMW with its cars recently. Instead of making full-fledged AMG vehicles, Mercedes made AMG Sport modes, much like …

Mercedes-Benz went down a similar path as BMW with its cars recently. Instead of making full-fledged AMG vehicles, Mercedes made AMG Sport modes, much like BMW’s M Sport models. For example, the Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG is a standard C Class with some AMG tuned chassis bits, some cool trim and a shouty exhaust. But Mercedes didn’t call if a true AMG model. Now, however, that’s going to change and all of these AMG Sport models are moving up in the world.

So now the C450 AMG will be called the Mercedes-AMG C43 AMG and the Mercedes-AMG E43 and SLC43 will follow. These will be genuine Affalterbach-made models. This actually goes against AMG’s mantra a bit, the whole “One man, one engine” deal where each AMG engine is hand-built by one engineer and their name is engraved in a plate that’s slapped on the engine cover. The 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6 in these “43 AMG” won’t be built by hand by one engineer, but like every other Mercedes-Benz engine.

2016 Mercedes Benz C450 AMG 4MATIC 210 876x535 750x458

However, we’ve also seen a recent departure of BMW M’s standards a bit, as the new BMW M2 does not have a bespoke M engine, but one shared with non-M BMWs. We’ve also seen BMW with its continued M Sport models, such as the M235i, X4 M40i and possible upcoming M340i. It seems as if the Germans are noticing that many customers want those premium performance and motorsport-inspired badges, but can’t always afford them. So BMW and Mercedes are offering M and AMG cars for less money to a wider audience.

Many BMW fans dislike this direction for the Bavarian brand, as they feel it dilutes the pure motorsport image of the M Division, having its badges slapped on more plebeian cars. However, BMW’s M Division isn’t going to be nearly as diluted as Mercedes’ AMG. Mercedes is making these cars actual AMG models without them actually being AMG-developed vehicles. BMW isn’t claiming that these M Sport models are true M cars, but standard BMW cars with some M Division bits on them. Mercedes is promoting cars to AMG status without the proper AMG tech. That’s like giving James Bond double-0 status with only one kill. There’s just something wrong about it.

2016 BMW X4 M40i NAIAS 4 750x563

BMW X4 M40i

Although, one must admit that Mercedes will likely sell a ton of these cars, as it offers customers a new way to get into a proper AMG for a lower entry fee. Hopefully, BMW doesn’t get any ideas from watching Mercedes and make the M235i and X4 M40i proper M cars somehow. Although, this does start to show a trend in Germany where the brand’s are trying to get customers into their more performance-oriented model lines.

13 responses to “Mercedes-Benz AMG Sport models dead, become real AMG models”

  1. John says:

    There’s a typo in the article. I’ll let you find it.

  2. Kaisuke971 says:

    Remember when AMG was rare and exclusive ?

  3. Autopal says:

    The main goal of auto manufacturers, just like any other business, is to increase sales and profits. If this new trend will help them achieve that objective, and I have no doubt it will, then I don’t think we should be criticizing them. Who cares if a few AMG or M owners get upset? Obviously, the more M and AMG are sold, is the less exclusive the cars are, but, does that make the cars any worse? Does it make them any less thrilling? AMG and M owners should be proud of the success of their brand, and not worry about “brand dilution” It’s not a Bugatti or Koenigsegg for crying out loud, it’s a damn, mass produced automobile, luckily automobiles that are still fun to drive.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      Dude a non-handbuilt AMG engine is like a Porsche SUV. Oh wait…

    • LucyPup says:

      I agree w/ much of what you are saying, but I would like to believe at some level, that manufacturers act and believe that sales and profits are the result of first making a great product. I think there are still enough true believers (engineers and developers, product managers like BMW M’s Van Meel for example) to ensure that that is still the case. And as for ‘being fun to drive’, for true M or AMG, or Porsche enthusiasts, going to the track is about the only way to exploit your cars’ capability now that they are so well-engineered. I’m old enough to have been able to ‘drive the backroads at fabulous speeds without seeing another car all night’, before I even had a drivers license. (Same goes for parking and making out with my girl and never being bothered!) It’s pretty stupid to even attempt to push the limits of our cars nowadays, there are WAY too many drivers on the road now; too many ‘left lane bandits’, too many lawyers and stupid people who believe them (sorry to the scrupulous JD’s out there). For the non-M’s and non’AMG’s, etc, speeding in their driveway (and looking good doing it) might be the best thrill they’ll ever really have.

  4. Anthony Hai says:

    It’s kind of sad that these once great manufacturers gave into marketing too easily, my E63S wagon will be my last AMG product purchased.

    • Autopal says:

      Sounds to me like you purchased the E63 for the wrong reason. If your purchase was because of the combination of tremendous performance and utility of a wagon, then fine, you should be very happy. If you are unhappy than AMG is trying to make as much money and sell as much vehicles as they can, and worried about “status” then that’s too bad. I guess u won’t be buying a BMW or an Audi as well. For every person like yourself who refuse to buy an AMG because the brand is being “diluted” there may be 5 who will happily buy because it’s more affordable, so sorry man, it will be your loss, not AMGs

      • Anthony Hai says:

        I knew damn well why I purchased the wagon, my wife and kid love it, it’s practical, and it’s rare. By all means, Mercedes-AMG can make as much money as they want, doing their best to keep shareholders happy, but to us the enthusiastic purists, it’s something morally wrong. Yes, we had enjoyed our exclusivity for quite sometime, maybe it’s time to let the poorer ones, like yourself, get a taste of what AMG tuning is like. And you are wrong about me and BMW’s, I do own a couple of their purists desired M models, but I guess you won’t understand. Hopefully you will know what a true AMG car and an M product feels and drives like soon. :)

        • Autopal says:

          I can buy any damn thing I want, and as my screen name suggest, I’m a auto enthusiast with extensive experience with high performance cars. Yes, my daily driver is a C450, but it’s because I didn’t want to drive the M3 here in western Canada where we have 6 months of harsh winter. AMG will still have the hard core “one man, one engine” vehicles for those who wants them, but if you think it’s morally wrong for a company to make some of its products more affordable, then, thats where we differ. I guess there are lots of folkes like yourself that is more concerned about exclusivity, and wont buy the car for soley its outrageous performance, well so be it

          • Anthony Hai says:

            No pun intended. All I’m saying is, coming from owning the first proper V8 C43 AMG back in 98, then an 06 E55, to my wife’s 13 CLS 63, and my 16 E63S wagon, I feel betrayed by AMG for slapping the badge on cars without their hand crafted engines. Anyway, the C450 is a fantastic car no doubt, but calling it an AMG C43 down the road, is something my believes can’t cope with. :)

          • Spiderman says:

            You do know that the current C450/C43 AMG easily outperforms ur “proper” 98’s C43 right? That old NA V8 only produces 302hp, vs the new turbo V6 produces 360hp! Not to mention, the old C43 in the 90s were sold for $56K fully equipped; the new C43 is close to $70K fully equipped. And the hand built part? Oh please.. all cars were hand built once.

          • Anthony Hai says:

            So all you trying to say is new and more expensive stuff must be better than old? In most cases, yes, but in this case, I want to see how well the new C450/43 will age 10 years from now, as new Mercedes are put together using recycled material. My 98 C43 with 120k miles ages pretty well, everything still feels as it was brand new.

        • InHartWeTrust says:

          lol, this guys sounds like a pretentious $75K millionaire.

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