Mercedes Plans Cheaper AMG Performance CarsDorothee Tschampa
Mercedes-Benz plans to at least double deliveries of AMG performance cars over the next three years by adding vehicles that are more affordable.
With the new AMG Sport line, the unit plans to make cars with souped-up engines, all-wheel drive and special brake and suspension components at prices lower than traditional offerings like a $222,000 version of the Mercedes S-Class. The first two AMG Sport models, based on the C-Class sedan and coupe variant of the GLE sport-utility vehicle, will be presented in January at the Detroit Motor Show.
“True sport-car technology will be more accessible and will therefore appeal to an even broader range of customers,” Tobias Moers, AMG’s chief, said today at an event at its headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany.
Boosted by the new line and the 115,430-euro ($144,000) GT sports car, the Daimler AG unit targets sales of more than 64,400 vehicles by 2017, compared with 32,200 last year. The bigger presence of sporty AMG models is part of Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche’s efforts to freshen the image of Mercedes in a bid to overtake BMW as the world’s largest luxury-car brand by the end of the decade.
AMG makes performance editions of Mercedes production cars, traditionally equipping them with engines that are signed by the technician that built them. The unit expects to exceed 40,000 deliveries this year, Moers said today.
AMG, which competes with BMW’s M line and Audi’s RS performance vehicles, reached its previous delivery target four years early after expanding its lineup to include compacts like the $47,450 CLA45 AMG sedan. In the coming years, AMG expects its Sport line to account for as much as 40 percent of its sales.
The AMG GT is the second vehicle developed entirely by the Mercedes performance unit after the SLS gull-wing supercar. The GT, a two-seater sports car, is equipped with a 462-horsepower V8 engine that powers the car to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour in as little as 4 seconds, beating the base version of the Porsche 911. AMG plans to add more versions of the car beyond the base GT and more powerful GT S variants.