AMG boss Tobias Moers talk about the future of Mercedes' performance brand.
Mercedes is making and selling more and more AMG models these days. In 2016, the performance division sold 23,261 cars in the U.S., a 33-percent increase over 2015’s numbers. On the heels of that success, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers sees a bright future for the brand: more models, more power, and more prestige.
Perhaps the biggest boost for AMG in the last year was the introduction and proliferation of the 43 line. In the next few months, even more models will arrive in U.S. showrooms – we’ll have C43 (Sedan, Coupe, Convertible), E43, GLC43 (SUV and Coupe), GLE43 (SUV and Coupe), and SLC43. Moers recognizes the 43 line as the entry point into the AMG brand, and says that it allows other versions to be a bit more focused, or more hardcore.
“We can move higher with 63,” Moers notes, reaffirming that while a new series of six-cylinder-based AMG models are spreading across the brand’s lineup, the company is very, very strongly committed to its V8s.
But we aren’t just talking about the AMG 43 line, regarding six-cylinder power. With the new E-Class Coupe, we’ll see an AMG E50, using a new, biturbo inline-six, with output of over 400 horsepower. It’s unclear if other AMG 50 models will appear in the near term, especially since the E-Class Sedan (and Wagon overseas) already has E43 and E63 variants. But there are no plans to make an E63 Coupe, so E50 will serve as the top-end of the E Coupe range for now.
Elsewhere in the AMG world, Moers says he’s not worried about potential nomenclature confusion between 43 and 45, the latter of which is only used on A, CLA, and GLA models. Moers confirms there will be a successor to the AMG 45 cars, with four-cylinder power, though it’s unclear exactly when those will arrive.
At the very top end, Moers is committed to the AMG 65 range – “we’re going to have a future for the V12,” he says. But unlike the other AMG models, the 65 cars are more about luxury and prestige than anything else. The performance is there by default, but these models need to feel unique, special, and exclusive. People buy them because 65 is greater than 63, period.
Moers says Mercedes-AMG’s future success is “all about conquest,” and even with the addition of more and more models, he is “not scared about dilution of [the] brand.” Whereas BMW, for example, is keen to do M Sport trims and badges on its cars, Moers says Mercedes “will never do that” with AMG.