here i am
2 014
handcrafted by racers
status
wild
year
gt
magazine
here
i
here i am
am
the
mercedes-amg gt
Mercedes -aMG gt
the car
here i am
the middle of nowhere
Mercedes -aMG gt
moment
of
truth
here i am
quiet please
Mercedes -aMG gt
3–2–1
here i am
rooooaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrr!
Mercedes -aMG gt
ultimate
performance
here i am
a
star
is
born
Mercedes -aMG gt
handcrafted
by
racers
here i am
this is it
Mercedes -aMG gt
“the gt
s ta n d s f o r
every thing
Interview
frank mühling
edwin Baaske
Photography
12
markus Bolsinger
to b i a s m o e r s
w e at a m g
u n d e r s ta n d
by ‘driving
performance’.”
13
mercedes- amg ceo tobia moers (48)
speaks in an interview about the fascinating
development of the gt,
his impatience leading up to the first test drive
and how he would describe
the new sports car to a customer
Mercedes -aMG gt
to b i a s m o e r s
“ when i drove the first
test kilometres on the racetrack in the gt,
all i could honestly
think was: we’ve done every thing right!”
tobias moers
Mercedes-aMG ceo
mr. moers, do you recall the
moment when you took the
internal decision to start the
mercedes-amg gt project?
Very well, in fact. We brought all the devel­
opment engineers to the table, i.e. AMG’s
combined development expertise. Then we
began a long, intensive and enormously pro­
ductive discussion on the characteristics our
new sports car should have. When we finally
got the go­ahead, it was bit like finding out
you’re going to be father – it was simply phe­
nomenal.
did this enthusiasm persist all
the way, until you were able to
see the first prototypes last
june?
Sure, although it certainly tested our patience.
We waited weeks for this first prototype. But
when the loading ramp slowly opened and the
Mercedes­AMG GT rolled into our develop­
ment workshop for the first time, we all got
goose bumps and I just couldn’t wait to drive
the first few metres in our new sports car.
Although, I should point out that I had already
driven our engine mule in 2012.
… as boss,
did you get the first shot?
That’s one of the privileges you enjoy in this
position. Yes, I was the first one to drive it.
And it was an unbelievable feeling, even the
first time ­ one that remains a very clear and
very happy memory.
why?
As the Chief Engineer back then, my pri­
mary focus was still on dynamics and han­
dling – at the end of the day, the new GT,
more than any other sports car, has to match
up to the AMG brand claim of “Driving
Performance”. The GT made a really strong
impression on me from the start – even
though the development team naturally still
had a lot of work to do. But I could already
feel, on those first few metres, that our deci­
sion to develop this thoroughbred sports car
in exactly this way was absolutely the right
one.
it’s because of the mercedes-amg
gt that you took the sls amg off
the market. it’s an icon, the
poster boy for the brand.
why did you do that?
Believe me; we debated for a long time about
when we would pull the SLS AMG from the
market. It was our fundamental strategy from
the beginning only to offer the SLS AMG for a
limited time. And it’s good that we took this
decision. We’re proud of the SLS AMG. It’s a
real success story, first and foremost because
the SLS AMG paved the way for AMG into the
sports car sector. And now we have the
Mercedes­AMG GT, which will drive our brand
a long way forward in the sports car sector.
It’s always important to me to look forward all
the time. So I’m more excited about what
comes now, how the GT will distinguish itself,
how the customers will react.
the Boss at the wheel Tobias Moers has covered countless kilometres on various test routes
in the new Mercedes-aMG GT.
you have positioned the
mercedes-amg gt below the sls
amg. normally, the approach is
always: higher, faster, farther
– i.e. onwards and upwards.
or was the sls the upper limit
for amg?
We simply asked ourselves the question:
Where do we want to go with our line­up?
How many cars do we want to sell per year
going forward? When it comes to volumes,
we still have room for growth. Therefore, it
wasn’t a question of creating something
even more exclusive than the SLS AMG,
which was and still is enormously important
as a beacon for the brand, but of conceiving
a vehicle with a lot of potential in the classic
sports car segment. The GT now provides us
with a far broader basis for success here.
And it fits amazingly well to Mercedes­AMG
– it’s a really authentic sports car.
15
driving performance The new GT will justify the aMG brand claim more than any other sports car.
16
but you can’t deny that the
sports car segment – in contrast
to suvs – is not currently
blessed with significant growth
when you look at it on a global
scale. where does mercedes-amg
find the courage nevertheless to
take on a project as ambitious as
the gt?
If you want to prove yourself as an authentic
sports car maker, you clearly also have to enter
this kind of highly competitive environment.
We are, of course, aware that this segment is
already occupied by some very strong compe­
tition – but we see that as sporting and are
certain that the GT will find and assert its po­
sition among them. We can actually say with
a great deal of confidence that we know the
kind of fascinating potential that our car
holds. It sets its own benchmarks. It’s an ex­
clamation mark for the brand!
what do you see as the usp of
your gt among this competition?
We have one very clear and distinctive USP:
The GT can do everything demanded of a
race­bred driving machine. It is an all­round­
er with an extremely sporting character. But
that doesn’t mean that the car isn’t comfort­
able and can’t be driven every day. Quite the
reverse. With the GT, we want to offer an ex­
citing, thoroughbred model in the sports car
segment. We have more than achieved this,
partly because the new AMG V8 biturbo is
simply sensational.
what was the fundamental
motivation for the development
of the mercedes-amg gt?
mercedes-benz would hardly
have demanded that amg launch
an attack on the sports car
segment.
The motivation naturally came from us –
from the passion for racing that drives AMG.
A small group of us thought about what we
wanted our next model to be. Even while we
were launching the SLS AMG Roadster, we
had begun to think about the next one. This
was augmented by the work on the new en­
gine.
as
an
authentic
sports
car
maker …
… you
have
to
enter
this
kind
of
highly
competitive
environment
what challenges caused you
sleepless nights during the
development process?
We wanted to create a sports car with a high
degree of everyday usability – fit for both
road and track. This leads to some conflict­
ing requirements that we then had to – and
did – resolve. That really is worth a few
sleepless nights.
you’ve covered quite a few test
kilometres yourself in the gt.
do you still recall the first lap
on the nordschleife?
Honestly, all I could think was: We’ve done
everything right!
is the gt also conceivable as a
variant such as the sls amg
electric drive – or even as a
hybrid sports car like some
competitors?
We have our eye on developments and are
keeping all our options open. In the long­
term we are, of course, also thinking about
performance­oriented hybrid technology in
order to keep driving down fuel consump­
tion and CO2 emissions.
knowing amg as we do, can we
expect further variants of the
mercedes-amg gt? are customers
already asking about a roadster
or a black series variant?
Yes, the demand for more models is constant
and has even exceeded my own expecta­
tions. One thing is certain: Customers can
look forward to GT news from Affalterbach.
We have a few things in the pipeline.
can we also expect a gt3 for
customer sport?
The car is so sporty and made for the race
track – I think it’s pretty self­evident that
we’ve already started development work on a
GT3 vehicle.
what did company founder
hans-werner aufrecht say about
the new gt?
Firstly, he congratulated the AMG team and
me. But, as former bosses are, he immediate­
ly asked me about future versions and gave
me some very clear instructions (laughs).
17
Mercedes -aMG gt
to b i a s m o e r s
the gt can do
every thing
demanded
today from
a racy driving
machine
what do you think people will
say about the mercedes-amg gt
30 years from now? what will it
stand for then?
In 30 years, the AMG GT and the SLS AMG
super sports car will stand for the break­
through of our brand in the sports car seg­
ment. Not least, the GT will make clear to our
customers and potential customers in
Germany, as well as the USA and China,
what it is the brand stands for.
mr dynamic
tobias moers
Mercedes-aMG ceo
Born 1966 in Freiburg
with aMG since 1994
Tobias Moers was appointed as an engineer
for aMG in 1994 by Hans-werner aufrecht.
He became Head of Total Vehicle development in 2002. every aMG bears Moers’ signature. His greatest works are the sLs aMG
super sports car and the new Mercedes-aMG
speaking of which, if put on the
spot, could you sell a mercedesamg gt to a customer?
Sure. As I said, I drove the GT myself during
its development. From the engine sound to
the steering­wheel vibration – I know a few
things I could tell a customer (laughs). •••
GT. Moers has been ceo of aMG since 2013
and continues to place particular emphasis
on the dynamics of his models – including
the Mercedes-aMG GT. another project close
to Tobias Moers’ heart is to make aMG the
most desirable performance brand in the
automotive sector.
combined fuel consumption: 9.6-9.3 l/100 km
combined co2 emissions: 224-216 g/km; efficiency class G
additional information on fuel consumption and co2 emissions can be found on page 128.
19
mercedes -amG gt
table
of
contents
20
001
022
028
030
036
042
044
056
A
New
Era
Mercedes-AMG Gt
Here I Am
Tobias Moers pushes the GT to the limit on a deserted salt lake
Back in time
Time travel through the history of Mercedes-AMG
the AMG cV
The most important Mercedes-AMG milestones
man
power
the Man with the Match Plan
Jochen Hermann is the Head of Total vehicle Engineering at AMG
man
power
Limits? there Are No Limits !
Christian Enderle is the man behind the GT’s innovative engine
Powertrain Essentials
The facts about the drivetrain at a glance
What A Ride
A visually stunning road movie from the Nordschleife to Monte Carlo
Motorsport Essentials
AMG’s greatest successes on the racetrack
ta b l e o f c o n t e n t s
058
064
066
074
080
086
094
096
100
114
120
122
130
man
power
Life at the Limits
Markus Hofbauer ensures that the GT has top dynamics
Driving Essentials
The facts about the GT’s perfectly tuned suspension
Going Against the Flow
Germany’s coolest club, Uebel & Gefährlich, can’t be pigeonholed
man
power
the Brand creator
Mario Spitzner is the creative mind behind the AMG brand
Game On
The GT is digitally recreated down to the last detail in the hit racing game Driveclub
A Look Inside
Fashion icon Roshi Porkar on design, luxury and the exceptional as a statement
Interior Essentials
The inner values of the GT at a glance
cockpit with character
The interior design of the GT is distilled racing passion
No Mercy
The GT in the consummate endurance test from Lapland to South Africa
man
power
designer to the Stars
Mercedes-Benz head designer Gorden Wagener on the GT
Design Essentials
The most important facts about the design of the GT at a glance
It’s coming
The curtain rises for the GT world premiere
Key Facts
The core characteristics traits of the GT, the thoroughbred driving machine
21
Mercedes -aMG gt
back
1971
in
time
Red Sow
The alfa romeo GTa may be lighter,
but does not stand a chance
against the overwhelming power
Talking racing: Hans-werner aufrecht
of the aMG 300 seL 6.8.
and clemens schickentanz discuss
the best racing setup. Pit stop
during the 24 Hours of spa (right)
Text
22
In the end was the beginning
When Daimler­Benz gave up its motorsport
activities in 1964, test bench engineer Hans­
Werner Aufrecht saw little option other than
to continue to try and realise his dreams as
a sideline. “My big, personal ambition had
always been to play an active part in motor
racing.” It was an ambition shared by Erhard
Melcher, an engineer working alongside him
at Daimler­Benz. While at Daimler, he had
come to value Aufrecht as the “king of
performance“. Their different temperaments
were united by a common goal. And so it was
that, in 1966, they established their own
little company in the Swabian town of
Burgstall: AMG – the now legendary letters
stand for Aufrecht, Melcher and Grossaspach.
AMG continued to remain true to the ideals
of its founding fathers. Without their stead­
fast enthusiasm for motor racing and ability
to put exceptional engineering ideas into
practice, AMG would not exist today. The his­
tory of AMG is defined by absolute commit­
ment and a relentless drive for innovation.
In 1971 the “Red Sow” caused a sensation on
the circuit at Spa, drawing attention around
the world to the AMG logo. Further racing
cars and further victories would follow. In a
parallel development, AMG began to special­
ise in offering road­going vehicles based on
their racing cars to private customers in
search of a very special Mercedes ­ a success­
ful business model.
The enthusiastic response from performance­
hungry Mercedes fans and the great success
ultimately led to the company’s move to its
current location in Affalterbach in 1976.
This is where AMG ­ now an integral part of
Photography
mercedes-Benz
Daimler AG ­ designs and builds its own en­
gines, develops vehicles of its own from
scratch, such as the SLS AMG and the new
Mercedes­AMG GT, and serves as the com­
pany’s high­performance division, produc­
ing “hot” AMG variants of Mercedes­Benz
models. AMG has matured over many years
to become an exclusive brand offering a
broad range of high­performance vehicle
models. But the years have not impinged up­
on its intrinsic character. The brand claim
rightly promises “Driving Performance”, re­
flecting that abiding combination of innova­
tive spirit and competitive drive. This pas­
sion is also epitomised by the new Mercedes­
AMG GT: “handcrafted by racers”
– as its proud makers make clear. •••
1976
Moving
to
Affalterbach
hans Schilder
aMG finds a home in affalterbach the first small workshop gives little inkling
of the success that was to come.
a m g h e r i tag e
1986
Hammer
Mercedes-Benz 300 e 5.6 aMG, “The Hammer”. as the Us magazine
“car and driver” enthused: “(It) crushes them all in terms of comfort,
practicality and, most importantly, the absolutely unadulterated,
instantly available ability to rocket across the face of the earth.”
The 5.0-litre V8 engine
with a four-valve cylinder
head developed in-house
shows on the test bed
what a masterpiece it is.
1984
AMG V8
1988
190 race car
23
dTM 1988: Mercedes-Benz and aMG launch
an official racing partnership with the
aMG Mercedes 190 e 2.3-16, thus laying
the foundation for an unmatched motor
racing story.
1993
c 36 AMG
The first car to emerge from
the development collaboration
between Mercedes-Benz and
Mercedes-aMG: the c 36 aMG.
Mercedes -aMG gt
1998
cLK GtR
The prototype model aMG cLk-GTr,
which had been competing successfully
in motor racing since 1998, was
followed in 2002 by five examples
of the aMG cLk-GTr roadster.
1999
S 63 AMG Pullman
1999
Wedding
Jürgen erich schrempp, chairman
24
of the Board of Management
of daimlerchrysler aG, signs the
cooperation agreement with
aMG in 1999.
The s-class Pullman prestige saloon
is developed by aMG in close
cooperation with Mercedes-Benz.
2001
SL 55 AMG
working away under the bonnet of the sL 55 aMG
is a V8 engine producing 368 kw (500 hp),
winner of the “engine of the year” award - if so desired,
the roadster can drive at more than 300 km/h.
a m g h e r i tag e
2006
G 55 AMG
2006
6.3 -litre V8
one man, one engine – a hand-signed metal
plate documents the fact that each engine is
fully assembled by just one specialist worker.
The G 55 aMG holds special status as a character performer in the off-road
driving scene, offering as it does 368 kw (500 hp) of tractive power.
25
2009
SLS AMG
developed 100 percent in
affalterbach: The new
gullwing model, the sLs aMG,
casts its spell on all
sports car enthusiasts.
Mercedes -aMG gt
2011
Electrifying
The sLs aMG roadster joins the elite category of high-performance cabriolets. The sLs aMG e-ceLL,
the first super sports car to feature an electric drive system, opens up a new dimension of motoring.
Mercedes-aMG enters the exclusive sport of customer racing with the sLs aMG GT3.
Fast Forward
26
2012
2014
Formula 1
champions
Through a partnership with the engine manufacturer Mercedes aMG High Performance
Powertrains, aMG has now arrived among the premier league of motorsports.
2013
AMG A- class
at the Formula one Grand Prix in sochi, Lewis
Hamilton and nico rosberg win the contructors’ world
The first four-cylinder engine to be “made by aMG” gives the a-class
championship with a double victory for the Mercedes
power and spirit and attracts new customers to the aMG brand.
aMG Petronas F1 team.
a m g h e r i tag e
27
driving Performance par excellence: Mercedes-aMG GT –
the new arrival in a new era for the sports car.
2014
Mercedes-AMG Gt
Mercedes -aMG gt
From engineering
consultancy
to high-performance
brand
1964
1965
Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher
meet at Daimler
A Mercedes-Benz 300 SE prepared by Aufrecht
and Melcher wins ten races in the
German Touring Car Championship ( DTM )
1967
Aufrecht and Melcher establish the engineering
consultancy AMG (Aufrecht, Melcher, Grossaspach )
in Grossaspach, Melcher’s home town
28
1976
1971
Following a class victory and second place
overall in the 24-hour race at Spa,
AMG becomes a household name overnight
AMG and its dozen or so employees move from Burgstall
to the company’s current location in Affalterbach
1986
1984
Melcher develops a cylinder head featuring state- of-the-art
four-valve technology for the 5.0 -litre V8 in the Mercedes- Benz
500 SEC, thus making AMG an engine manufacturer
AMG offers a mid -size saloon with an output of 265 kW
(360 hp) and a top speed of 303 km/h in the guise of the
300E. The car is known as “the Hammer” in the US,
where it comes to epitomise AMG
1990
A cooperation agreement defines
the closer collaboration bet ween
AMG and Daimler- Benz
1988
AMG constructs the first Mercedes-Benz 190 E
racing car and manages its deployment
in the German Touring Car Championship ( DTM ) .
AMG becomes an official partner
in Mercedes- Benz motorsport activities
amg milestones
1996
1991
AMG develops and manufactures sportily configured
Mercedes- Benz cars, known as complete vehicles, which are
sold through the official Mercedes- Benz dealer network
AMG provides the official Formula 1 Safet y car for
the first time, a c 36 AMG, thus establishing a tradition :
to this day, the Safet y Cars and Medical Cars in this
elite field are all provided by Mercedes-AMG
2005
1999
Mercedes-AMG is now owned
51 percent by daimlerchrysler
Mercedes-AMG becomes a wholly- owned subsidiary of Daimler AG.
From this point on, AMG will be involved with new Mercedes- Benz
products right from the start, playing a decisive role
in the planning of new models
2009
2006
The first engine to be developed and produced
entirely by Mercedes-AMG is the now
legendary 6.3 -litre V8
Mercedes-AMG presents the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the first model to be
completely developed by the company in - house. The Affalterbach - based company
has thus reached a new stage of its evolution : AMG is now officially
the performance brand for Mercedes- Benz Cars
2011
The SLS AMG Roadster joins the elite category of high - performance
cabriolets. The SLS AMG E- cELL, the first super sports car
to feature an electric drive system, opens up a new dimension
of motoring. Mercedes- AMG enters the exclusive sport of
customer racing with the SLS AMG Gt3
2012
Mercedes-AMG becomes active in Formula 1
through the company “Mercedes AMG
High Performance Powertrains”
2014
2013
The Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG and cLA 45 AMG
models are the first current AMG
models to feature four- cylinder engines
the new Mercedes-AMG Gt celebrates its world premiere
in Affalterbach. A new era has begun
29
mercedes -amG gt


text
hans Schilder
photography
markus BolSinger
30
mercedes-Benz
with the

 
manpower . Jochen Hermann
31
man
power
         
      
       
       
        
       
mercedes - amG gt
32
exquiSite Body-in-white technology space frame with almost 90 percent aluminium.
name
occupation
as a child what did you want to be?
j
Jochen Hermann was always good with a
ball, as he is happy to demonstrate on a rough football
field close to the autumnal slopes of the Swabian Alb.
The 46 year­old likes to attribute his ball skills to re­
gional traditions. Jochen Hermann grew up in the in par­
ticularly fertile football environment of the Swabian
town of Geislingen – an experience that had a lifelong
impact. Jürgen Klinsmann comes from there, as does
Hoffenheim trainer Markus Gisdol and former profes­
sional players Karl Allgöwer and Klaus Perfetto – all
successful footballers with whom Hermann spent a lot of
time on the pitch during his youth.
“Our experience on the pitch brought out our passion,
dedication and ambition,” says Jochen Hermann, describ­
ing the common characteristics of the footie pals that
were shaped in the 1970s on the football pitches of the
Swabian provinces. These are characteristics that still
drive AMG’s Head of Total Vehicle Development to this
day – not least in the creation of the GT. “I had to keep a
lot of balls in the air at the same time for that,” smiles
the qualified aeronautics and aerospace engineer, draw­
ing parallels to football. He developed the talent of
analysing complex technical systems, understanding
them and allowing them to mature as a young scientist
working with German space­shuttle astronaut Ernst
Messerschmid at Stuttgart University. He then perfected
this skill for a further year in the US aerospace industry,
before moving back to his familiar Swabian surround­
ings because of the cars that come from the area. “I
didn’t really want to build satellites. I prefer cool cars,”
admits Hermann, revealing his true passion for the big­
gest name in engineering from the land of his birth.
heartBeat the heart of the Gt has eight cylinders.
“during the creation of the gt,
i had to keep a lot of balls in the air
at the same time”
It was a goal he had already realised with Daimler,
where, as Head of Development Driver Assistance Sys­
tems and Active Safety, he also worked extensively on
advanced automotive topics such as autonomous driving
and augmented reality. However, his move at the end of
2013 to performance brand AMG in Affalterbach as Head
of Development Total Vehicle, taking over responsibility
for the Mercedes­AMG GT, presented a whole new and
exciting challenge. “With the GT, AMG is entering a
completely new, top­level sports car segment, where we
will have to and want to measure up to some extremely
tough competition,” says Hermann. “I am absolutely cer­
tain that we will inspire sports car enthusiasts all over
the world.”
When the development of the GT began three years ago,
the objectives were clear: “The GT should combine AMG
race­track performance with typical Mercedes everyday
usability.” The AMG engineers were able to make use of
their experience with systems and processes from the
first vehicle developed in­house by AMG, the SLS. Never­
theless, all they actually transferred over to the GT were
concepts from the body­in­white components of the SLS.
They fundamentally redesigned the transmission, torque
tube and axle components, incorporating technologies
such as the transmission with ECO START / STOP func­
tion and gliding mode. This makes the GT a completely
new, standalone vehicle with phenomenal performance,
yet considerably improved everyday usability compared
with the SLS.
passion
dedication
ambition
manpower . Jochen Hermann
running gear the driving feel in the Gt is both
what drives you?
highly dynamic and comfortable.
what do you like best about the gt?
your motto?
the gt combines
sporting character
and
long-distance comfort
in one vehicle
The body­in­white and the bodyshell of the GT feature
some exquisite technology. The former is is based on a
weight­optimised space frame, consisting more than 90
percent of aluminium. Mercedes­AMG designed the body­
shell using an intelligent material mix. The body, includ­
ing the greenhouse, is made from aluminium, the tail­
gate from steel and the front deck from magnesium. As a
result, the body­in­white weighs just 231 kilograms,
marking a best­in­class for the sports car segment.
The aluminium space frame is incredibly rigid, with a
high level of flexural and torsional stiffness, providing
the optimum prerequisites for agile and precisely de­
fined handling characteristics. The outstanding features
of the body­in­white include excellent passive safety –
with class­leading results in crash tests.
The AMG engineers also conceived this structural layout
specifically to accommodate the proven front mid­engine
concept with transaxle. This means the front mid­engine
is connected to the transmission at the rear via a torque
tube inside which the transaxle rotates. “Together with
the intelligent aluminium lightweight design, this re­
sults in optimum weight distribution and thus the basis
for a ride that is both comfortable and extremely dynam­
ic,” sums up Hermann, pointing out one particular detail
of the running gear. “The rear axle dampers are very
directly actuated, meaning that wheel movements can be
extremely well controlled.”
After multiple development iterations, the first prototype
finally took to the roads around Affalterbach in June
2013. Around 100 further prototypes were ultimately
built during the development period, although the test
phase was primarily about ensuring the individual ele­
ments were perfectly tuned to one another. Around 50
test engineers covered hundreds of thousands of kilo­
metres in the GT on test tracks and public roads all
over the world. “We drove 33,696 kilometres on the
Nürburgring’s legendary Nordschleife alone,” explains
Jochen Hermann. “Many details and much of the fine
tuning were successively optimised until the GT was
able to convince us with its performance on both the
race track and in everyday use on open roads.” Hermann
was at the wheel himself for around 10,000 kilometres
of the test drives worldwide – showing just how enthusi­
astic this man is about the GT.
The outcome in the words of Jochen Hermann: “The GT
combines sporting character and long­distance comfort
in one vehicle.” The flexible character of a sports car that
is also fully usable in everyday life is underscored by the
likes of the powerful 4.0­litre V8 engine and the many
assistance systems such as COLLISION PREVENTION
ASSIST PLUS, ADAPTIVE BRAKE and ATTENTION
ASSIST. Hermann continues, “AMG customers simply
aren’t Sunday drivers. They want to make the best use of
their car in every situation – and the GT offers the per­
fect qualities for this. The GT’s brand claim describes it
very well: ‘Handcrafted by Racers’.” •••
35

text
frank mühling
photography
heiko simayer
36
mercedes-Benz
There are


ManPower . christian enderle
37
Man
Power
      
       
       
         
  
mercedes -amG GT
38
hot inside v intake air on the outside and turbochargers on the inside create a compact engine package.
name
occupation
as a child what did you want to be?
T
The yellow modern classic drifts
past just a few centimetres from the concrete wall. The
tyres squeal, the engine screams and yells at the top of its
voice. Christian Enderle watches as his son Julian grapples
the wheel with a look of deep concentration on his face.
“Drifting is hard,” says his father. “It’s all about precise
control of an instable driving condition. Lightning fast re­
actions, the right viewing techniques and a good seat­of­
the­pants feel – you can only be really good if you can
bring all that together.”
Christian Enderle enjoys this day at the Hockenheim­
ring. He wanders unrecognised through the pits, chats
with the participants, smiles happily. Nobody here knows
that, as Head of Development Engine and Drivetrain at
o
n
e
M
a
n
Mercedes­AMG, the 56 year­old is in charge of almost
300 employees. For the last three years, his son Julian has
been driving in the IDS drifting championship. Enderle
senior enjoys helping the 24 year­old with technical is­
sues, partly because it all reminds him of his own youth.
“When I was at school and university, I tinkered around
on my cars, too, constantly in search of a few extra low­
cost horsepower,” smiles the native of Recklinghausen in
the Ruhr Valley, who graduated from the renowned
RWTH Aachen University in 1984.
For Christian Enderle, wandering around amongst these
potent used cars with highly tuned engines and fat tyres
is an ideal counterbalance to his responsible job with
Mercedes­AMG in Affalterbach. The M178 has only just
been completed – the 4.0­litre V8 birturbo engine for the
new Mercedes­AMG GT. “It all started with the infamous
white sheet of paper. All we carried over from our
four­cylinder turbo engine was the bore/stroke ratio.
Everything else is new. We built several hundred engines
for testing – all by hand.” The sports car engine, which
generates up to 375 kW (510 hp), is the first ever to com­
bine dry sump lubrication with a hot inside V. “This ena­
bles us to mount the engine even lower and further be­
hind the front axle,” explains Enderle, “something we
simulated back in the digital development phase.” The
even lower centre­of­gravity and the ideal weight distri­
bution of 47 to 53 percent between front and rear axle
optimises the vehicle’s handling, balance and lateral
dynamics. Even more significant is the relocation of the
turbochargers from outside the engine banks to between
torque tuBe with transaxle shaft running inside, connecting the engine to the gearbox.
them, as this also benefits response characteristics, fuel
consumption and exhaust emissions. In the 1990s,
Christian Enderle worked with his team at Daimler on a
V10 engine with five­valve technology. “Unfortunately,
that project never made it into series production,” he
says, beaming like a little boy. “Here at AMG, I get to put
all of my experience into practice.” And the pace is fre­
netic. “Tobias Moers is a really dynamic boss. He is al­
ways driving the team to new performance highs. The
simple will to develop and bring to market the very best
is something you can sense in everybody every single
day. I’ve never experienced such a strong spirit before.”
When Enderle was asked towards the end of 2012 if he
would like to be the new Head of Engine and Drivetrain,
he had exactly one night to think about it. “I didn’t sleep
at all that night. I was really happy with my job in
Sindelfingen. But when I was sitting at breakfast, I real­
ised the decision was inevitable.” Has he ever regretted
it? “Not for a second,” grins Enderle, turning his atten­
tion back to his boy’s drifting.
All the things he takes from this day at the drifting chal­
lenge on the Hockenheimring give Enderle the chance to
“clear his mind”, while at the same time delivering new
food for thought. “It’s impressive to see how the young
people give their absolute best on such a low budget and
throw such energy into improvisation. That’s quite a
contrast to my daily, completely structured work in
Affalterbach.” Talking shop, delving into details, offering a
tip here or there – the AMG man is obviously having fun.
The AMG engine boss regularly draws further input from
o
n
e
e
n
G
i
n
e
his counterpart in Brixworth, England ­ Andy Cowell, the
Managing Director of Mercedes AMG High Performance
Powertrains (HPP). “The interaction with Andy is really
important. It’s not by accident that our AMG lettering is
on the Formula 1 cars driven by Lewis Hamilton and
Nico Rosberg. We are always examining which Formula
1 technologies can be transferred to series production at
Mercedes­AMG.”
Christian Enderle sees the drivability of the complete
drivetrain as a good example of the knowledge and tech­
nology transfer. As in Formula 1, this topic was crucial
during the development and fine­tuning of the Mercedes­
AMG GT. “The response characteristics of the biturbo en­
gine were extremely important to us. Our benchmark in
this case was the M156, the big naturally aspirated V8
in the SLS AMG. Our applications engineers did a great
job developing the linear power delivery.” The interac­
tion of the engine and the dual­clutch gearbox, which
was completely redesigned for use in the new GT, com­
manded the full attention of the development engineers.
Safe in the knowledge that his team mastered these
challenges with enormous dedication, Christian Enderle
is able to enjoy his day off and focus on his 24 year­old
son, who returns to the pits following a drifting ses­
sion. Sweaty and pumped with adrenalin, he removes
his helmet and opens the bonnet. Father and son
stick their heads over the hot, humming inline six and
engage in some animated petrol talk. “So far, we have
invested 10,000 euros in this hobby, including the car,”
ManPower . christian enderle
what drives you?
transaxle the gearbox sits on the rear
axle for perfect weight distribution.
what do you like best about the gt?
your motto?
says Enderle of his son’s inexpensive involvement in mo­
torsport. “For me, it’s an ideal opportunity to spend time
with my grown­up son.” The used car’s engine has al­
ready been revised in the workshop at home – naturally,
under the expert eye of the AMG engineer. “I’m pleased
that Julian is interested in this. Having completed his
first set of studies, he has now begun a second course in
automotive technology at Esslingen College.”
Just like the highly developed technology under the bon­
nets of current and future AMG cars, there are plenty of
high­revving V8 engines with 600 hp in the pits behind
the Mercedes grandstand. If you look closely, you can
see some surprising approaches. “I’ve seen a Japanese
six­cylinder turbo transplanted beneath the bonnet of a
German coupé,” says Enderle, admiring the improvisa­
tion skills of these hobby engineers. “And nothing is left
to chance when it comes to engine cooling. The engines
of these drift vehicles are always running right up
against the rev limiter. And there’s barely any headwind
to cool them down.”
Enderle also sees parallels here to his work on the GT,
because thermal management was a big issue on the
M178, too. “The two turbos in the cylinder V generate a
lot of heat, so my team had to spend a great deal of time
on this topic.” First in simulations, then on the test
stands and finally, of course, on all possible test tracks.
A special cooling channel is responsible for dealing with
the high thermal loads on the turbochargers. A powerful
fan blows cool air into it when the car is stationary.
The indirect air­water intercooler for the intake air was
also in the specification, as was the water cooling circuit
and the cooling of engine and transmission oil. Enderle
does not attempt to conceal that, during the development
process, the occasional plastic part met with an untimely
heat­related demise, “That’s why we do our jobs. During
the test phase, we just have to go beyond certain limits.
Otherwise, we wouldn’t get anywhere.”
T
e
a
M
w
o
r
k
The driveline expert sees the trend towards turbocharged
petrol engines as logical. “My team already created a
benchmark engine in terms of power, torque and fuel
consumption when they designed the M157. This 2.0­litre
turbo engine is the most powerful production four­cylin­
der in the world. Now we have the M178 for the GT and
its close technical sibling the M177 for the C 63 AMG.
Anyone familiar with AMG knows that we can bring effi­
ciency perfectly in tune with fascination.”
Coming back to the much­quoted technology transfer
from motorsport to production, Enderle is unequivocal,
“In Formula 1, our 1.6­litre V6 turbo engine is the most
powerful and most fuel efficient engine there is. AMG
can learn a lot from this. The trend towards the turbo­
charger is clearly identifiable, be it in production or motor­
sport. I think there will be movements in this direction
in the DTM, too.” •••
scan the Qr code and
dry sump luBrication lowers the centre of gravity
learn more about the
and enables high lateral acceleration.
mercedes-amG Gt.
41
mercedes -amG GT
the
dNA of AMG
Powertrain Essentials
42
The definition of what an AMG sports car layout looks like
was established by the SLS AMG : a V8 power pack as a front
mid - engine, set well behind the front axle and mounted low
down, a seven -speed dual- clutch transmission in a transaxle
layout at the rear axle, both rigidly connected via a torque
tube. A slight rear emphasis to the weight distribution and a
low centre of gravit y – that is what sets the GT apart. AMG’s
t ypical sports car DNA results in a powertrain resolutely designed for dynamic performance. The world’s first sports car
engine with internally mounted turbochargers (hot inside V )
and dry sump lubrication is built by hand at AMG in two power
variants – as the GT with 340 kW (462 hp) and as the GT S with
375 kW (510 hp) .
The interface between the powertrain and the driven rear
wheels is supplied by a locking differential. It is integrated
into the transmission housing and improves traction, hand ling and safet y in equal measure. On the GT, the differential
lock is mechanical, on the GT S electronic.
PowerTr ain essenTials
Euro 6
The state- of-the-art V8 Biturbo fulfils the stringent Euro 6
emissions standard, including the regulations for
maximum particulate emissions not applicable until 2016
462 hp
The GT S Top Model delivers no less than
375 KW and 650 Newton metres
The GT delivers 340 kW and 600
Newton metres of torque
7 Gears
And up to five drive programmes are on
offer from the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7 -speed
sports transmission
83.0 × 92.0 MM
The bore/stroke ratio guarantees
high - rev ving pleasure
12 Litres
510 hp
twice as Hard
The cylinder walls feature NANOSLIDE ®
technology, which makes them twice as hard as
conventional cast- iron liners
250 Litres
The M178’s dry sump lubrication consists
of an oil suction pump, a pressure pump and
a twelve- litre external oil tank
100-200 bar
The oil suction pump in the dry
sump lubrication system circulates
up to 250 litres per minute
The electronically controlled fuel supply system
is fully variable, with a fuel pressure of
between 100 and 200 Bar
420 Litres
The water pump shifts a
maximum of 420 litres per minute
0.001 Seconds
is the reaction rime of the
dynamic engine and transmission mounts
186,000
The turbochargers reach
a maximum speed of 186,000 rpm
209 kG
With a dry weight of 209 kg,
the AMG eight- cylinder is the lightest
V8 engine in its class
43
Mercedes -aMG GT
The Mercedes- aMG GT doesn’T jusT wanT
To be adMired, iT wanTs To be driven.
we were Gl ad To obliGe and Took iT
on a unique Tour
– froM The
nordschleife,
ThrouGh The
44
eau rouGe,
whaT
r oa d M ov i e
over The
GoTThard Pass,
uP The
col de Turini
– and down To
MonTe carlo.
a ride
45
The GT loved iT …
Text
adam Baumgärtner
Photography
markus Bolsinger
heiko simayer
Mercedes -aMG GT
it’s all in the genes
of course the navigation system of the GT is familiar
with the nürburgring nordschleife.
w
46
Wet feet. For several minutes now I
have been rooted to the spot in the grass next
to the track, a cold night wind seeps through
the material of my racing suit and turns the
thin film of sweat on my back clammy. The
fingers of my right hand clasp the heavy hel­
met. Any moment, now I will feel the dew
settling on me, I will have reached the same
temperature as the dark hills around me, my
heart will start to beat slower and slower.
By the, I will have reached the profound
rhythm of the Eifel. Volcanoes, millions of
years old, cold, black, still. Eternity in the in­
frasound frequency range. Overgrown with
green forest, hedges and heather, covered by
herbs and grass and undegrowth.
Chlorophyll country. Exhale.
nürburGrinG
Actually I should move on, the matt silver
Mercedes­AMG GT is supposed to be in Monte
Carlo by tomorrow evening, and I am the
driver. But the Eifel, this Wild West of
Germany, has hypnotised me. No wonder, I am
after all standing in a place where a 21 km
crack runs through the dense vegetation of
the low mountain range. This here is the epi­
centre of the Eifel, and has been since 1927.
It is often claimed that the Nürburgring was
built at the time to create jobs in the dirt­
poor region between the Ardennes and the
Rhine, between the Lower Rhine region and
the Mosel River. Which may well be true.
But I believe the Nürburgring has always
been in the Eifel and only needed to be chis­
elled out. Anyone who has once seen, let
alone driven this sinister roller coaster with
its scornful turns, dizzying jumps and
treacherous topography, suspects that an
entire human lifetime has been dug into
the character of this track: coming into
being and passing, anger and peace, joy and
sorrow. One lap on the Nürburgring – we are
talking about what is still left of the old
man­eating Nürburgring in the form of the
“Nordschleife” – replaces years of maturing.
The “Ring” makes men and women, and spits
out boys and girls without so much as a
second thought.
I stare at the cloudless night sky, a comet de­
scends through the Milky Way, nothing but
blackness all around. But a few metres be­
hind me the asphalt glows: a narrow strip on
which motor racing history was made, but
on which also virtually every sporty car of
the past 50 years was developed. Road tests
on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring are
part of the standard programme of the auto­
mobile manufacturers. If a car doesn’t work
here, it’s shredder fodder. If it shines here,
it’ll be a king all over the world.
Supposedly, some manufacturers have tried
to recreate parts of this track in their back­
yard – but ultimately they all returned here.
Because the Eifel cannot be put in a box. Its
magic, its weather, its melancholy and its
cheerful gloom are what make it the secret
force, the formative element of the “Ring”. If
you have always wondered where the end of
the world was – it is here. At the Nürburgring.
The Machine
All of a sudden there’s fog. Like a thin veil, it
creeps through the hills in the grey of dawn.
I am getting chilled to the bone and start
shivering all over. I quickly walk over to the
GT sitting there on the asphalt, the head­
lamps cutting strips of light into the dark,
the cockpit gauges glowing likes eyes. I open
the door, drop inside, briefly inhale the
earthy scent of leather and a hint of hot brake
discs, and then start the four­litre twin­turbo
V8. The engine fires up, throaty and growl­
ing at first, then bellowing sharply – this
driving machine is not afraid of the Ring. Its
ancestors have already pulverised the leagues
of competition here, Mercedes­Benz Silver
Arrows, AMG power touring cars – the GT is
a veritable centre of competence on wheels.
nürBurgring automobile racing history has been written here since 1927.
fluorescenT
daw n
The rinG
21 k i l o M e T r e s
chiPs
for
breakfas T
in
s Pa - f r a n c o r c h a M P s
r oa d M ov i e
For a brief moment the GT compresses at the
lowest point with the weight of a battleship,
I pound into the wall with frightening speed ­
Our Father who art in Heaven. Up is down
and left is right, and the car is quasi unsteer­
able between entry and exit point. But this
time I got it right. I end up exactly the width
of one finger from the right­side kerb of the
right­hand corner on the hill, I have control
over the car again.
We have felt our way around the track in the
dark, faster and faster through the lightless
tunnel, the cliffs and black holes of the track
ahead in the dazzling bright light of the
headlamps. The GT is now raging over the
Döttinger Höhe section, at the end of the fin­
ishing straight we escape the fog through a
hole in the fence. I throw the helmet on the
passenger’s seat, hastily take off my gloves
and accelerate hard. The acceleration is so
vehement that I have to lift off the throttle
briefly: vertigo courtesy of a temporary lack
of blood in the brain. I take a deep breath,
stabilise the blood pressure and then attack
again.
I plough through the Eifel, shoot through un­
familiar territory, cross sleepy villages with
the first grey of dawn. At some point the
landscape becomes more charming, black and
white cows graze on the meadows, and the
names of towns suddenly have the soft lilt of
the French language.
But if you clenched for just a millisecond, it
won’t end well at all. Then you find yourself
pointing up a nasty steep hill with your en­
gine speed in the basement and compact
cars with more courageous drivers and 200
fewer horsepower start knocking from be­
hind. No, not even your Mercedes­AMG GT
will help you then. And you also won’t sail
over the crest at the highest point and carry
afterburner speed to the straight that fol­
lows. Au revoir, Francorchamps. Au revoir,
Eau Rouge. I set off on the long way south.
the eye of the needle
europe’s arguably most famous corner lies on the
circuit de spa-Francorchamps – the eau rouge.
eau rouGe, This
ulTra -fasT
Panic kink,
This
G-force hell
circuiT de sPa-francorchaMPs
I enjoy the day’s first cup of coffee at the
counter of a small Belgian snack bar, then I
roll in anticipation to Europe’s arguably
most famous corner: the name of this super­
fast bend, this G­force hell, is “Eau Rouge”.
You’ll find it on the race track of Spa­
Francorchamps. Here, too, modern safety re­
quirements have domesticated a once feared
classic race track – but the Eau Rouge has
remained the eye of the needle through
which big hearts go to racing driver heaven
and where timid souls are destined to fail
miserably.
Acceleration discharge past the modern pit
lane, hard braking, crisply through an epi­
cally wide corner. As you dive down along
the old pit lane, it seems as if you can almost
hear the uninhibited, bloodthirsty screech­
ing of the crowd – and then the track kinks
to the left, a veritable wall towers in front of
you. And then there is this spot, no wider
than a hand, that you have to hit in order to
take the Eau Rouge flat out. I’m not sure if
I have hit it now.
eating the miles Between Belgium and
southern France lies straight-ahead country: autobahn,
autostrada, autoroute.
in The MariTiMe alPs
One day later, I cross the border from Italy
into France in the Mercedes­AMG GT. I am
tired, exhausted, but saturated with the im­
pressions from the trans­European ride that
lies behind me: after leaving Belgium, I hit
the German autobahn and am totally amazed
by how serenely and superbly the GT mas­
ters even long stages of the journey for
hours on end. Crossed over into Switzerland
near Basel and dropped into bed near
Andermatt with the last ray of sunlight.
Over the Gotthard Pass to Airolo at dawn,
where the Eifel fog caught up with me again
and joined forces with the clouds at the top
of the pass to form a damp, sticky element.
Cold and tranquillity, high up below the sky.
Down to Airolo, winding bend after winding
bend in the sure­footed GT over the centu­
ries­old cobblestones of the old pass road.
Lugano, Milano, the endless boring motor­
way stretches through northern Italy’s Po
Valley under a bleak sky obscured by low
stratus clouds. Then along the ocean, tun­
nels and bridges next to grey waters. By the
time I’m close to Monte Carlo, I am tired of
autobahns, autostradas, and autoroutes. Near
Menton I turn north and follow the D2566
road into the interior. The GT climbs higher
and higher, works his way into the valleys of
the Maritime Alps with effortless elegance.
The car moves like a beast of prey, resolute­
ly, simply magnificently. Behind Sospel, I fi­
nally see road signs pointing to the Col de
Turini, the pass of desire of the Monte Carlo
Rally.
49
Mercedes -aMG GT
MorninG cold aT The sT. GoTThard
In the Mercedes-aMG GT, the journey leads unblinkingly over the ancient cobblestones down to airolo.
50
The GT is an uncoMProMisinG driver’s car
Tired and exhausted, but saturated with impressions from the fantastic trans-european ride.
enjoyinG The view
It is only with the heart that one can see clearly: rugged mountain setting at the Gotthard Pass, magnificent solitude –
and somewhere the sun is shining an ice-cold blue
Precise
cuT
on
The
racinG
line
aT
The
col
de
Turini
Mercedes -aMG GT
Black and white or faded 1960s Kodachrome
images flicker through my mind: turtleneck
sweaters, bell­bottom trousers, sunglasses,
full­throttle jet set, uninhibited pedal­to­the­
metal rally heroes. In the early 1960s,
Mercedes­Benz triumphed here in a 220 SE,
and shortly afterwards the Monte became a
catalyst for desire that still inspires entire ral­
ly generations to this very day, even though
the hot years seem to be a thing of the past.
secreT
race Track
ProGraMMe,
The GT can
no lonGer be
sToPPed
The GT casually snarls through the winding
bends below the top of the pass. But by the
time I reach the sign telling me that I made
it to the top, I am deeply disappointed: the
Col de Turini is drab and boring, an insignif­
icant junction in the hinterland. Well then,
down to the glitz of Monte Carlo after all.
The end of the long road from up north to
the Mediterranean is approaching quickly.
52
MonTe carlo
On arriving in Menton, I don’t steer the GT
directly west on the autoroute, but choose
the back entrance to Monaco: I join the D22
road to Sainte­Agnés. The small mountain
village picturesquely clings to the rocks and
is another regular landing spot for the rally.
The GT rolls hesitantly across the large fore­
court where three cardinal directions meet,
the deep guttural growl of the V8 drifts
through the valley basin. I would love to
stop in one of the nice little cafés up in the
town, but the GT keeps moving on. I con­
tinue on the D22 to the Col de la Madone, the
road narrows, lavender and gorse are grow­
ing over its edges. The mountain throws
rocks at us, below the pinnacles the GT scur­
ries grimly past, hisses through dark tun­
nels and cuts along the racing line with the
precision of a scalpel. Then the road spits us
out again. Below Peille, the GT explodes back
onto the D53; from here on out we drop down
to the sea.
Breather The col de la Madone bites its way
adventurously through the cliffs of the Maritime alps.
full throttle from here on
one of the most famous rally perspectives:
the view from the col de la Madone route
I catch the first glimpse of Monte Carlo near
La Turbie: an army of apartment blocks that
crowd into the narrow bay, stacked on top of
each other and one after another, a quarry of
structures, a giant’s box of building blocks.
Monte Carlo keeps changing from year to
year. Every time you think there is absolute­
ly no way to fit another skyscraper onto the
hotly contested square centimetres, another
apartment block will have sprung up by the
time you return, guaranteed.
The legendary Formula One track cuts
through the heart of the city jungle. If the
Grand Prix didn’t exist, the real estate mo­
guls of the city would certainly have come
up with a plan to replace the streets of the
city with buildings. The Grand Prix puts its
mark on Monaco. It gives stability to this
over­the­top town between Prozac and cham­
pagne, anti­depressants and fashion, obses­
sion and exuberance. And it gives it pride
and class. Hard to imagine what it would be
like if racing would no longer be possible
here. But today, I point the GT down the cor­
niches, the Cinemascope panorama turns
above the city, and then I pound into the
surging urban traffic.
to sainte-agnés.
in
The
My Thical
land
of
The
MonTe carlo
r a l ly
Mercedes -aMG GT
ecstasy in the cockpit Mercedes-aMG GT
Grand Prix
At some point, the GT and I end up at the
Casino, but keep rolling on to Mirabeau:
somewhere in the machine, a secret race track
programme seems to start up; the GT can no
longer be stopped. Greedily, it glides through
the famous Grand Hotel hairpin turn, then
the rumbling of the V8 reverberates through
the tunnel down by the sea. Chicane, accel­
erate, fish vans, motor scooters, greengrocers
chewing on cigar stumps, then the sweep from
the swimming pool to Rascasse.
meets hairpin turn at the Grand Hotel.
54
chicane,
acceleraTe,
fish vans –
Then The sweeP
froM The
swiMMinG Pool
To rascasse
the race is over
I enjoy a little life on the cote d’azur.
Only now do we awake from our state of
hypnosis, the race is over. We are here. Sadly,
I let the GT roll left to a stop at the marina,
and actually find a place to park near the gi­
gantic luxury yachts – engine off. I remain
at the wheel as if stuck to the seat. The entire
journey flickers through my synapses for a
few delicious and highly intense moments.
Then my battery is empty. I get out, take a deep
breath. Up in the mountains a few patches of
fog are seeping over the ridges, moving
south, over the sea. Then they dissipate. •••
lasT
exiT
Monaco
mercedes -amG GT
The Pulse
of
A Brand
Motorsport Essentials
56
It was enthusiasm for motorsport that led to the birth of
AMG. Since then, this passion for racing has shaped the core
of this unique brand and been the engine of its innovation.
AMG blasted onto the scene in 1971. The small tuning company
shocked the lightweight competition at the 24- hour race in Spa,
Belgium, with a heav y, bright red, modified luxury saloon. It
was an unexpected class victory by a Mercedes- Benz 300 SEL
6.8 – affectionately named the “red sow” – that made the AMG
brand world famous overnight. Ever since, racing without
AMG would be unimaginable. The list of DTM winners is packed
with AMG driver champions and brand titles ; for the last 18
years, AMG has supplied the safet y and medical cars for
Formula 1 and was the engine manufacturer that provided the
power for Mercedes’ superb title victory in the 2014 Formula 1
season.
moTorsporT essenTials
dtm
1971
Breakthrough on the race track – class victory
at the 24- hour race in Spa for the
Mercedes- Benz 300 SEL 6.8 modified by AMG
Mercedes- Benz has participated in
the DTM with race touring cars
since 1994. As early as 1988, private teams rolled to
the starting grid of the DTM in the 190 E 2.3 -16
9
F1 champs
Mercedes AMG Petronas secures the
Formula 1 constructor Title in 2014
13
DTM driver titles
brand championships in the DTM
just 128 days
With 5 championships, Mercedes-AMG driver
Bernd Schneider is the most successful
driver in the history of the DTM
AMG builds the Mercedes- Benz CLK- GTR in just 128 days
and immediately wins the brand new FIA GT Championship
with Bernd Schneider in 1997
gT3
5
all 11
All 11 races in the FIA GT Championship are won by a CLK- GTR ;
the AMG - Mercedes team wins the driver and constructor titles
With the SLS AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG offers private customer
teams an uncompromising racing version of the gullwing for sprint
and endurance racing in compliance with the FIA GT3 regulations
2013
since 2012
Engine manufacturer Mercedes AMG High Performance
Powertrains has been represented in Formula 1
with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team since 2012
The SLS AMG GT3 is the first Mercedes- Benz vehicle to win the
legendary 24- Hour Race on the Nürburgring. The same year brings
overall victories at the 24- Hour Races in Spa Francorchamps, Dubai
and Barcelona and the 12 - Hour Races in Bathurst and Abu Dhabi
57
Mercedes -AMG gt

Text
adam Baumgärtner
Photography
heiko simayer
58
mercedes-Benz
at t h e

m a n p o w e r . m a r k u s H O F B aU e r
59
man
power
      
     
       
      
      

Mercedes -AMG gt
60
reduction of unsprung masses Wishbones, steering knuckles and wheel mounts made from forged aluminium.
name
age
suspension geometry and a V2 that only has the very
basics in common with the legendary chopper giant from
Milwaukee. It is high­revving, punchy, brutal. Markus
Hofbauer lets the Buell tilt slightly from side to side,
“I love how the torquey engine accelerates powerfully out
of the tightest corners and responds without the slightest
hesitation – that’s essential for a sporty ride, be it with
motorbikes or cars.”
as a child what did you want to be?
m
Markus Hofbauer kneels down and strokes
the rear tyre of his Buell XB12 almost tenderly.
Completely smooth rubber, zero miles. “They’ve just been
put on,” smiles Hofbauer. “The new Metzeler tyres are
rather cumbersome to drive when cold. But as soon as
they’re up to temperature, they generate phenomenal
grip and run really smoothly. It’s amazing.” The develop­
ment engineer in charge of handling integration for the
Mercedes­AMG GT straightens up, grabs the compact
motorcycle by the handlebars and lifts the machine with
the 1200 cc V2 from its side stand. Ingenious motorbike
magician Erik Buell has done an amazing job: stiff mono­
coque frame, oil tank in the swinging fork, ultra­steep
Markus Hofbauer rode his first laps at the age of eleven
on a Honda Monkey, since when he has been utterly ad­
dicted to racing. Nevertheless, cups and trophies are dis­
played only sporadically in the sitting room at home, on
account of his typical Swabian modesty. The fact that
Hofbauer is faster during development drives on the in­
famous Nürburgring Nordschleife than many racing pro­
fessionals is also something we only find out from proud
colleagues and impressed bosses. In conversation, the 48
year­old plays down his special skills as a racer, “I’m an
engineer, not a professional race driver.”
Markus Hofbauer prefers to talk about his time working
on the DTM in the mid nineties. “In 1994, I was the vehi­
cle manager for the AMG­Mercedes driven by Ellen Lohr
and for Jan Magnussen’s car in 1995. Just a few days
there is all it takes to learn things that would take
months to achieve off the track. Or maybe even never,”
says Hofbauer, with a look that implies he is unmoved
by these stories. Yet, you can tell immediately that the
impassive expression hides a raging spirit. Markus
Hofbauer has an absolute passion for the extremes of speed
and performance.
predictaBility at the limits of tyre grip shock absorber connected directly to the rear wheel mount.
They say that truly great race drivers are the ones that
manage, alongside driving, to take the technology serious­
ly and to work hard with the engineers – 80 percent race
driver, 20 percent technician. Markus Hofbauer is exact­
ly the opposite – 80 percent engineer, 20 percent racer –
a potent combination. The experienced vehicle develop­
ment engineer was brought back on board at Mercedes­
AMG for the SLS AMG Black Series, not least because
the powers that be wanted the as­yet undeveloped GT
sports car to be a raging success, too: best­in­class, with
exceptional dynamics and handling. It was a job for
Hofbauer.
“Mercedes­AMG in 2012,” says Hofbauer with a smile,
“was far removed from the company I had worked for in
the nineties. Then as now, AMG was extremely success­
ful in racing. But AMG now also built these amazing
performance vehicles. Because I loved my old job so
much, I didn’t know at the time if I had taken the right
“my job is
to get to the root
of problems in
order to eliminate
them.”
markus hofBauer
Lead engineer for Handling integration
on the Mercedes-AMG GT
decision to come back to AMG. But the GT was hugely
tempting.” Hofbauer says he decided to try it for a few
months and see how it went. If it wasn’t right for him, he
could still leave. He has to laugh now and shakes his
head – what an absurd idea in retrospect. “I’m really
proud of the GT,” says Hofbauer. “It was hard work for all
of us, but the car sits perfectly. And that’s exactly what
they brought me here to do.”
For a moment, Hofbauer seems bothered by his self­
confident phrasing. He pauses for a moment before ex­
plaining, “During the creation of the SLS AMG, it simply
became evident that you need holistic thinking for total
vehicle development.” A great many parameters are at
play in dynamics and handling: the springs, dampers,
anti­roll bars, the associated bearings and mounts, the
kinematics of the axles themselves, weight distribution
and aerodynamics, steering and tyres and even the
driveability of the powertrain. “You have to pull all the
pieces together to achieve an excellent result.” Having
pushed the Buell into the courtyard, Hofbauer grabs his
motorcycle helmet, jacket and gloves and swings himself
onto the saddle. Before donning his helmet, he adds,
“Imagine a problem comes up during the development of
a car. Naturally, everybody wants to do what they can to
solve it and to help as much as possible from their point
of view. But what can happen then is very contra­produc­
tive. Instead of addressing the cause of the problem, the
issue is simply covered up. Perhaps the car feels dull
and unwilling, so the steering engineers make the steer­
ing extra keen and sharp in response. But the problem
may have been one of weight distribution – so what you
m a n p o w e r . m a r k u s H O F B aU e r
what drives you?
taming physics
The electronically regulated rear axle differential lock.
what qualities do you most value in yourself?
your motto?
80 percent engineer,
20 percent racer
– a potent
combination
have now is a car with poor balance and jittery steering.”
Markus puts on his helmet and his final comment comes
somewhat muffled through the visor while he clicks the
fastener at his neck, “My job is to get to the root of prob­
lems, to eliminate them.” A brief push on the ignition
button. “Let’s go!” The Buell rumbles off with a thunder­
ing bass.
Following a trip through the hills of the Swabian Alb,
the two­wheeler ends up back in the garage and we take
a seat on the sunny terrace behind the building. Markus
Hofbauer returns once again to the technology of the GT:
“The platform and the double­wishbone front axle are de­
rived largely from the SLS AMG – they were simply the
best for the job. However, at the rear axle, we wanted to
significantly optimise vibration and unwanted shifting
of wheel load.” A brief look at questioning faces and
Hofbauer grins, “You do that to achieve a high degree of
neutrality and defined, predictable reactions at the limits
of tyre grip. Finely tuned feedback means traction and
thus forward propulsion.”
It seems we’re pondering too much for Hofbauer’s liking.
He launches into another explanation, “Good performance
is never brutal. It is more about precision and silky
smoothness. The driver doesn’t need uncompromising,
harsh feedback. He doesn’t need to be informed about
every single hair on the road, i.e. sheer quantities of feed­
back ...” Hofbauer lets the last sentence sink in for a mo­
ment, before continuing with energetic gesticulation, “He
has to receive exactly the right quality of feedback from
the car in order to be able to move it quickly and safely.”
The concentrated gaze of the AMG engineer falls on a
row of racing helmets gracing a shelf, before quickly pur­
suing his point once more, “In many racing classes, a
car’s output will actually be dialled back in certain situa­
tions to improve its driveability, thus enabling the driver
to hold it more consistently at the limits, which ultimate­
ly makes the car faster.” A similar principle applies to the
development of the running gear. A car that is nervous
and jumpy delivers a fast aha effect. But only profession­
al racing drivers are able to extract that potential for
minutes on end. In everyday driving or in an endurance
race, for instance, the negative effects are considerably
more noticeable. The philosophy of the Mercedes­AMG GT
is therefore not characterised by sharp extremes, but by
complete homogeneity.” Got it Mr. Race Engineer, we nod
enthusiastically. Markus Hofbauer’s expression relaxes –
handling integration achieved! •••
scan the Qr code and
learn more about the
Mercedes-AMG GT.
63
mercedes -amG GT
The Mix
Makes
The Difference
Driving Essentials
64
A powerful engine alone is not enough to make a car fast.
Alongside engine and transmission, significant factors in clude suspension and steering, as well as the stiffness of the
bodyshell and weight distribution, not to mention tyres,
brakes and aerodynamics. Be it response characteristics, shift
speed, steering feedback, brake pressure point or stabilit y in
fast corners – everything is interconnected and makes the
work of development engineers incredibly complex.
Integrated regulation and fine-tuning of the mechanical and
electronic systems is the key to success in the Mercedes-AMG
GT. A great deal of emphasis was placed on this during con ception, development and testing, because only through skilful detail work combined with the systematic networking of
all relevant subject areas leads to the achievement of the
ultimate aim – a fascinating sports- car feel, characterised by
clear feedback and outstanding precision. Finally, the cockpit ergonomics have to be right. The driver must feel at ease
and have faith in his/her car – only then is it gloriously easy
to drive really fast.
drivinG essenTials
47/53 %
weight distribution
40%
Between the front and rear axle – this beneficial,
slightly rear- biased set- up delivers incredibly
agile handling and permits high cornering speeds
The Ceramic - composite brake discs in the GT are
40 % lighter than conventional brake discs
402 mm
5.1 kg
3.08
kg
5
The front brake discs of the
High - performance ceramic - composite
brake system measure
402 millimetres
One rear brake disc on the High - performance ceramic - composite
brake system weighs just 5.1 kilograms
is the weight per hp of the GT S
The driver can choose from 5 different
AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programmes
to influence the characteristics of
the GT according to preference
3
There are 3 settings available
for the 3 -stage ESP ®
65
going
against
the
flow
Mercedes -AMG gt
66
Text
germany’s most l aid-back club
is not located in berlin.
the “uebel & gefährlich” (“nast y
and dangerous”) in hamburg is an
institution that cannot be pigeonholed - and nor does it want to be.
that is precisely its
unbeatable recipe for success
katja ruge
Photography
thomas lötZ
u e b e l & g e fä h r l i c h
67
i
It is two thirty at night. The queue
of people in the shadow of the enormous,
dark concrete air­raid bunker is 200 metres
long. Nobody wants to go home. They all
want to get high up in the old flak tower be­
fore the night is over. To the fourth floor.
Where the bass is sending its pulsating
four­four rhythm into the pit of each stom­
ach. Where people are smiling and moving
to the driving, energetic electro­sound being
played by the two DJs on the stage. That is
where they all want to be. They want to be
part of the action, be part of Germany´s most
laid­back club.
“Uebel & Gefährlich” is in many respects an
unusual place. It is rough, and very differ­
ent. It is political. It is dream and reality. It
is not like the city it calls home: Hamburg.
The “gateway to the world”, a city which is
hierarchically so well­ordered that the bank­
ers reside around the Alster lake, the hip­
sters in St. Pauli and families in Eimsbüttel.
The “Uebel” cannot be pigeon­holed. It
ploughs its own furrow. It is a place for in­
dy­rock, disco, techno and hip­hop music,
but also for children’s ballet and literature.
The Uebel & Gefährlich has been described
as a “world club”. Its fans simply call it the
“Uebel”. It is tantamount to a brand. While
the “Uebel” certainly has visitors, it above
all has fans. Stefanie Hochmuth, for example.
spinning & staging The Uebel crew
pulls off the evening transformation from live concert
venue into club in an hour and a half.
“uebel & gefährlich” isn’t your
average pl ace. it is rough, it is different.
it is political.
it is dream and realit y.
u e b e l & g e fä h r l i c h
Stefanie has built a career in the “Uebel”,
one that is not untypical. Having left her
previous job in ocean­cruising she joined
the club as a trainee, prolonged her stay,
worked extremely hard and soon proved so
convincing that after five months, club foun­
der Tino Hanekamp laconically revealed im­
pending changes as they were replenishing
the drinks refrigerator in the backstage area
together. Stefanie dedicated herself to the
Uebel, giving up her job as the drummer for
indy­rock band “Die Heiterkeit”. While her
colleague Felix Mörl handles events and
bookings, Stefanie is now responsible for
day­to­day management and production.
How does one successfully run a very unusual
music club?
“We don’t define success by the money, by
the number of banknotes we count,” says
Stefanie. “It’s the family feeling – and I don’t
mean some form of modern hippie culture.”
She means the special spirit that makes the
Uebel unique. Not only for those who work
there, but also for the guests and artists. The
well­known DJ Laurent Garnier appears
there once a year, for example. “He likes the
club because of its friendliness,” says Felix
Mörl. “And that is based on the fact that we
have no hierarchies.” As idealistic as that
might sound, it is quite simply true and no­
ticeable. As long as you are not racist, sexist,
homophobic or don’t discriminate against
people in any way, you are welcome at the
Uebel & Gefährlich. What’s more, the basic
democratic principles for guests also apply
to the artists. “Even if a band comes here in
the evening having sold only 50 tickets – we
take care of them the same as we would if
we had a full house, and always a friendly
attitude,” says Stefanie.
69
70
Both Felix and Stefanie work an 80­hour
week, and occasionally up to 100 in peak pe­
riods. More than 300 events need to be
planned, coordinated and held each year. If
Stefanie, Felix and all the other staff were
not completely dedicated to their jobs, the
Uebel would not exist. It would merely be
just another soulless club like so many oth­
ers in this city, in Germany and around the
world. As superfluous as casting shows on
commercial television, or an off­the­rack
sports car produced without passion. Or like
the establishment that previously occupied
the space in which the Uebel, founded in
2006, operates. In “J’s”, an overly suntanned
fellow named Michael Ammer organised
loud parties with lots of girls, vodka and
champagne for Hamburg TV and film celeb­
rities and those who liked to be seen with
them. One evening in 2000 a hand grenade
deposited in the VIP area of J’s exploded,
severely injuring several people. And that
was that.
The continued existence of the Uebel is
threatened by other, more content­related
dangers. When the agency acting for a win­
ner of the Eurovision Song Contest enquired
whether it would be possible for her to give a
public concert in the club, for instance, it
was met with a friendly but firm refusal.
This was to prevent a reputation carefully
established over almost a decade from being
ruined in one evening of mainstream cul­
ture. But as circumspect and careful as the
people at the Uebel might be, their worst
fears nearly came true quite recently.
the massive fl ak tower iv was constructed
during the second world war
to serve as a bunker for the public and
protect hamburg from air raids.
Mercedes -AMG gt
successful & creative
The crowd in front of Uebel is huge. contributing
factors aren’t just the great dJs, bands and guests,
but also the unique soul of the place.
A music TV station had booked the Uebel for
a show and the TV people brought a biscuit
manufacturer along as a sponsor on the un­
derstanding that there would be no overt
branding in the fourth­floor venue. But when
Stefanie came down to the bunker’s main
entrance, she got quite a shock: “It looked
like some kind of theme park, with brightly
coloured posters hung everywhere, and then
I saw a 2­metre biscuit welcoming the guests
with a handshake. I certainly learned my lesson,”
says Stefanie, “we’ll never, ever allow that to
happen again.”
Naturally the special status of the club is al­
so in some measure due to the building it oc­
cupies. The massive flak tower IV was con­
structed during the Second World War to
serve as an air­raid bunker for the public
and to protect the city of Hamburg with the
anti­aircraft guns mounted on it. Today the
Uebel staff often take the artists up to the
top of the tower before their appearances, as
the view from there is stunning. A panora­
ma that includes the harbour, the river Elbe,
the Alster lake, the Michaelis church and
the Elb­Philharmonia concert hall notorious
for its explosively escalating construction
costs.
When the English artist Peter Doherty, un­
fortunately more famous for his excesses
and ex­girlfriend Kate Moss than for his ex­
cellent guitar music, was treated to this pan­
orama for the first time, he was visibly im­
pressed, not only by the view, but by the
building’s history in particular. In the lift on
the way down Doherty, the son of a British
officer, asked Stefanie, “Your grandpa wasn’t
a Nazi, was he?” – “No, my grandpa was a
staunch communist,” she answered. “I grew
up in East Germany.” As did her bookings
colleague Felix and the illustrious founder of
the club, Tino Hanekamp, who has published
his nightlife experiences in a bestselling
book turned into a successful stage­play per­
formed by the renowned “Deutsches Schau­
spielhaus” theatre.
Hanekamp’s guiding principle has always
been to stick resolutely to individuality and
uniqueness. And in the Uebel this is not only
reflected in the treatment of guests, artists
and the programme of events, but also at a
level that is a very decisive factor for a music
club. “We go completely against the flow
with our sound,” says Sunny, who is respon­
sible for the acoustics in the Uebel. Whereas
digitally controlled systems have long been
used exclusively in other venues, the Uebel’s
event programme self­confidently proclaims:
“We stay analogue”.
vintage & vistas in Uebel they swear
by the analogue sound — and the incomparable views
of st. Pauli and the rest of the city.
only the moment is important. the moment
where time and space are one, and the people
lose themselves in the sound. the moment
when every thing inside here seems to stand still.
u e b e l & g e fä h r l i c h
The sound system is of an older vintage, a
classic D&B from Backnang near Stuttgart.
Sunny not only ensures that the club has the
right sound, he also accompanies the two
Hamburg bands Tocotronic and Blumfeld on
tour as a sound mixer. “The sound in the
Uebel is simply warmer, more earthy.” And
the additional oomph needed on DJ evenings
comes from the two 18­inch infrabass speak­
ers installed beneath the stage. In an adja­
cent room, the Uebel also has a sound studio
with a large number of analogue synthe­
sisers, a fully wired­up studio which has
meanwhile gained such a reputation that not
only numerous top people from the interna­
tional techno­scene, but also the English pop
band Hurts have come to Hamburg to record
individual album tracks in the studio.
Back in the club, the dancefloor is packed.
The bass is pounding to a different rhythm
now, but the evening has not yet reached its
climax and the night will be a long one. The
last guests will not leave until around six or
six­thirty a.m., when a new morning has al­
ready broken outside. Felix Mörl has with­
drawn to the terrace to enjoy a bit of fresh
air. Once again, the air conditioning system
down in the Uebel is working to absolute ca­
pacity. Felix, tell me what you live for. “The
moment,” says Felix, looking across at St.
Pauli by night. “You know, only the moment
is important. The moment where time and
space are one, and the people lose them­
selves in the sound. The moment when
everything inside here seems to stand still.
And everything outside is of no importance
whatsoever.” •••
73
Mercedes -AMG gt


Text
Bastian fuhrmann
Photography
heiko simayer
74
mercedes-Benz

of
manpower . Mario sPiTzner
75
man
power
       
       
      
      
Mercedes -AMG gt
world premiere in affalterBach
in black: daimler leadership with nico rosberg.
in solarbeam: the new GT.
f
76
“For the sports car segment, the Mercedes­
AMG GT is something of a makeover,” says Mario
Spitzner. “‘There’s a new sheriff in town.’ That was our
private — but very fitting — claim for the Mercedes­AMG
GT.” He and his team skilfully transmuted the philoso­
phy behind the Mercedes­AMG GT into images and mes­
sages. The native Swabian has been with AMG since
1990 and has been responsible since then for the global
branding and marketing of the performance brand of
Mercedes­Benz: AMG. The marketing department in
Affalterbach is actively involved in vehicle development
from an early stage. “Right from the early design phase.
After all, we’re our customers’ most powerful lobby!”
Spitzner says. “In doing so, we engage in a close consult­
ation process with core markets in order to integrate
market­specific requirements into the vehicle concept
early on.”
Mario Spitzner has a personal rapport with AMG enthu­
siasts the world over, establishing longstanding relation­
ships with his contacts. And should it happen that he
doesn’t hear the phone ringing or an e­mail arriving,
he’s most likely wearing a helmet and enjoying his MV
Augusta Brutale 1090 RR. Spitzner discovered his love of
motorcycles through his father. “My father always was a
motorcycle fan and I could hear him coming before I
could see him coming,” recalls the biker, who has now
become a passionate motorcyclist himself. Someone who
every now and again needs top speed to slow down — yet
someone who is concerned with safety above all else.
Spitzner shifts gears with lightning speed, looks over at
the new Mercedes­AMG GT and grins: “But when you
double the number of wheels, for me only one brand
measures up: AMG.”
the
„handcrafted
by racers“
campaign
and
cl aim
were
created
in
cooperation
with
mercedes-benz
manpower . mario spitzner
anything But self-image neurosis
The GT campaign image in the look & feel of AMG and Mercedes-Benz.
the
world
has
waited for
this gt
For the marketing expert, these three letters have be­
come a passion that began in the summer of 1971 and
never truly let go of him. “As a teenager I saw the great
success of the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG in Spa on the news —
and became a committed AMG fan from then on,” recalls
Spitzner. “You have to imagine it. That was a four­door
saloon, an S­Class, that won first place in its class!”
Following his first job with Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG,
then a period of study in America and an interim posi­
tion at a sporting goods company, Mario Spitzner wound
up at his favourite company in the end. Spitzner says,
“From my very first day, things with AMG have always
gone in only one direction: up. That’s very gratifying, of
course, but at the same time it’s also a big responsibility
since it is necessary to safeguard such positive volume
growth over the long term.”
With the introduction of the Mercedes­AMG GT as its
brand champion, Mercedes­AMG is securing this
self­professed corporate objective in a particularly dy­
namic way. “The response following the world premiere
of the GT has been huge, not only in the media, but also
primarily with — potential — customers,” says Spitzner.
“handcrafted By racers”
is the crux of the GT.
scan the Qr code and
learn more about the
Mercedes-AMG GT.
77
Mercedes -AMG gt
78
from protot ype
run to model
cut-out
The Mercedes-AMG GT campaign is a multimedia
spectacle without equal.
manpower . Mario sPiTzner
there
is
a
new
sheriff
in
town
A show of customer trust that those in Affalterbach
know to prize and to protect. As with the “one man, one
engine” principle: Highly specialized AMG technicians
assemble “their” AMG engine entirely by hand, thus giv­
ing it a “soul”.
For the introduction of the Mercedes­AMG GT, the highly
motivated team around Mario Spitzner developed com­
munication methods to bring the “driving machine” to
the starting line with as much impact as possible. Such
as the prototype’s journey through the centre of the
trendy city of Barcelona, wrapped in a poison green film
with black, blazing flames – allowing them to test the
first “audience” reactions. Shortly afterwards, came a
stunning online clip in which the Mercedes­AMG GT
lets its bright green shroud fall away on a parched salt
lake in Bonneville, Utah and completely beguiles with its
yellow­hued Solarbeam finish. Only at the end does the
man meets machine
As soon as four wheels are in play, for him there are only three letters.
driver raise his helmet and none other than Tobias
Moers, CEO of Mercedes­AMG, appears behind the
wheel. And finally, the innovatively designed web special,
where you can dive deeper into the wonderful world
of GT: Four stages — divided into innovation, handling,
performance and design — cast light on the Mercedes­
AMG GT from all sides. A multimedia presentation that
leaves just one last desire at the end: When can I finally
get hold of it? When can I finally drive it?
On 9 September 2014, it was finally time. The Mercedes­
AMG GT was officially introduced during its world
premiere at the Mercedes­AMG headquarters in
Affalterbach. For now the culmination of a minutely
planned and perfectly implemented campaign by com­
munication experts. •••
one man one engine.
one gt
scan the Qr code and
learn more about the
Mercedes-AMG GT.
79
mercedes -amG gt
the real world is not enough
for a mercedes- amg gt.
timed to coincide with the official
release of the thoroughbred driving
machine comes a meticulously
recreated replica ,
game
driveclub
all ready to download in one of
the hottest racing games
currently around. completely
virtual – and something
for anyone who has ever
coveted a car like this
text
clemens gleich
photography
heiko Simayer
Sony
on
mercedes - amG gt
82
Joyrider in driveclub, sports car dreams
it’s quite true
become virtual reality.
Isn’t it? As youngsters, we all dreamt of
these super­fast, thoroughly classy racing
cars. And we made up for a lack of cash with
which to purchase our dream car with our
passion, our love for these exceptional cars.
As kids, we enjoyed the thrill of collecting
Matchbox cars or of taking charge of the
controller for an exciting race round the
Scalextric track at home. It‘s all rather dif­
ferent today.
These days, the developers of video games
invest a tremendous amount of time and
money into making the virtual race circuit
at home a place where the kids of today can
afford to drive the objects of their automo­
tive desire under convincingly real condi­
tions. In “Driveclub“, a racing game for the
PlayStation 4, the Mercedes­AMG GT is not
just the first car that can be additionally
downloaded, it has been recreated in such
meticulous detail that it can hardly be differ­
entiated from the original. In order to rein­
force this effect still further, the virtual copy
will also not be available until shortly after
the start of sales of the GT out in the real
world (8 October 2014).
the
(not quite perfect)
hit
Responsibility for the sophisticated transpo­
sition of the GT into the virtual world was in
the hands of true experts in their field, the
game developers at Evolution Studios, near
Liverpool in England. The studio has been
part of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
since 2007 and, just a year ago, marked the
launch of the fourth­generation PlayStation
with a real hit: Driveclub. But the team at
Evolution Studios were far from being satis­
fied with what they had produced.
“It looked okay”, says Design Director Paul
Rustchynsky, “but there was a lack of depth
to the game.” Which was not really surpris­
ing, considering Evolution Studios had start­
ed work on the game before even the hard­
ware for the PlayStation 4 was ready. Paul
Rustchynsky and his team were therefore
then given another full year in which to
work on refining Driveclub. “We’ve used that
time to improve pretty well everything,” ex­
plains Paul. “We were able to turn the game
into what we thought it should be.”
After all that additional work, Driveclub is
now above all one thing: accessible. Anyone
who’s at all interested can sit down to play
and start having fun, straight away. “That’s
what it’s all about,” says Paul. “We’ll leave
the arguing over tenths of a second to the
driving simulators. Driveclub is for everyone.”
welcome
to the club
And that’s how the name came about.
Players connect via the internet to form
clubs of between two and six gamers, who
are then able to play together to collect
points for their club, with which they can
then gain access to additional game content.
In the process, not every team member has
to drive to win, by any means. Someone who
rarely wins, for example, but who performs
the longest drifts, contributes to the overall
success of the team just as much as a serial
race winner.
“Driveclub is a sort of service to enable peo­
ple to have fun with racing games,” says
Paul. “You can pass on challenges within the
network. You can see what your club has
been doing while you’ve been on holiday. You
can stream your best driving scenes as a video
or share them as a photo, and we are con­
stantly loading new features on to the server
driveclub
is there to lift your spirits
perfectly tuned thanks to the early cooperation with mercedes-Benz,
the Gt in driveclub almost seems real.
for people to discover.” A good proportion of
the 120 developers working at Evolution are
going to be working on this project for an­
other full year. The idea is to increase the
availability of cars, circuits and functions in
Driveclub, as has now happened in the case
of the Mercedes­AMG GT. But how did the
GT get into this game, anyway?
These days, every vehicle manufacturer uses
so­called CAD (”Computer Aided Design”)
software to design in 3D on the computer
what will ultimately become the final vehi­
cle. These 3D data are millimetre­precise,
can be directly converted into 3D modelling
data for the game and explain why the
Mercedes­AMG GT in Driveclub looks so
amazingly real. Incidentally, this is true not
only of the exterior, but also of the interior,
which is shown each time the driver climbs
aboard before the start of a race. It, too, re­
sembles the actual interior, because ulti­
mately the same data are used to render it
on the screen. “The only real difficulty we
have is with the dashboards,” says Paul
Rustchynsky, going on to explain: “Because
we have to recreate all the words and anima­
tions on the TFT screens ourselves from
scratch so that they will work as displays for
the game.”
In nine out of ten cases, the manufacturers
provide Evolution Studios with the CAD data.
For the remaining ten percent the technical
experts use laser scanners to scan an actual
vehicle and compile a 3D model from the
data. Just how much work is involved in in­
tegrating a car realistically into the game
depends largely on the helpfulness of the
manufacturer. “Mercedes­Benz is the most
cooperative of all the manufacturers,” ac­
cording to Paul. “The amount of data that
they let us have, the access they give us to
the vehicles, the test drives and the input
from their professional test drivers is all ex­
tremely useful.” As well as simplifying the
developers’ working processes, Mercedes­
Benz’s willing cooperation also ensures that
the vehicles sporting the three­pointed star
are portrayed with as much meticulous pre­
cision as current state­of­the­art technology
allows.
83
mercedes - amG gt
scan the Qr code and
learn more about the
mercedes-amG Gt.
inspired by amg
driveclub
indistinguishable
sound
Of course, this precision of detail is not re­
stricted to the graphics. “We offer the best
sound of all racing games,” says Paul, with
conviction. In order to make the sound in the
game as close to that of a real GT as possible,
a sound crew records the car as it drives,
using more than a dozen microphones at once.
This is the only way they can subsequently
achieve a clean separation between the sound
of the engine running and wind and tyre
noise. The effort certainly pays off: “I remem­
ber how we recorded the SLS AMG, then pro­
cessed and integrated the sound track,” Paul
relates. “Then we played the game sound back
to AMG. They thought it was just a recording
of the car, but in fact it was the in­game
sound. The vehicles in Driveclub sound practi­
cally the same as their real­life equivalents.”
input from driVing proS amG driving academy instructor reinhold renger
provided important background for integrating the Gt into driveclub.
Although Driveclub aims to be a fun­racer
rather than a simulation game, the developers
still pay meticulous attention to every single
detail. “We don’t miss anything,” says Paul. For
along with the sound and the look of the car,
the game also aims to replicate convincingly
its typical driving characteristics, as driven by
a professional on the race circuit: weight bal­
ance, torque output, wheel­load shift during
cornering – all this is tracked on the moving
vehicle by a measuring device, so that the pro­
grammer can later feed the data into the
Driveclub virtual model. Anyone who has ex­
perienced the Mercedes­AMG GT in Driveclub
should be able to recognise it in a real­life driv­
ing situation. “Our car has all the characteris­
tics of the real thing,” promises Paul. “The only
difference is that, in Driveclub, you’re allowed
to hammer the engine a bit more than you
would in real life.” •••
85
Mercedes -aMG gt
86
interior . roshi Pork ar
fashion
s h o o t i n g s ta r
roshi
porkar
Text
ole zimmer
Photography
thorsten doerK
a
look
inside
on
design,
luxury
and
va l u e s
87
Mercedes -aMG gt
don’t compromise,
challenge yourself and go
your own way:
that’s how good design
arises
See! with the eye of the designer, roshi Porkar
discovers even the smallest details.
88
t
The first impression is certainly
different. At least different from what you’d
have expected from a new star on the fash­
ion stage. The photo crew were left standing
all alone around the Mercedes­AMG GT S,
discussing the perfect position for the next
shots, admiring the fine matt finish of the
paintwork, the domed roof line and the
frameless doors. Suddenly a young woman
in a tailored­fit blue wool coat appears next
to the passenger door and says in a friendly
voice “Morning, I’m Roshi”. No huge entrance,
no two kisses; Roshi Porkar is simply there.
Over the past few months, things weren’t
quiet and relaxed around Roshi too often.
Meteors make a bang whether they want to
or not. And the rise of the young Vienna­
based designer in the fashion business has
certainly been meteoric. At just 26, she was
already working for fashion stylist Karl
Templer in New York and fashion label
Lanvin in Paris. She studied fashion at the
University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
Straight after graduating, she developed her
own first collection from the subject of her
dissertation – and it went down a bomb. At
the Hyères International Festival of Fashion
and Photography, she received the coveted
Prix Chloé in April 2014. The high­end fash­
ion magazine Elle and Mercedes­Benz sub­
sequently gave the young designer the op­
portunity to present her first collection at
the Mercedes­Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
Since then, everything has changed for Roshi.
She is free to choose what she does in fu­
ture, what direction she would like to take.
For a lot of people that is exactly the notion
of freedom.
It’s just before 8 o’clock on a mild autumn
day, a quiet Saturday morning, when we
meet up in the Café Siebenstern in Vienna’s
4th district. Just around the corner, Roshi
had her first studio; the area still brings
back fond memories of home. The first cus­
tomers don’t normally arrive until ten; the
owner opened up earlier specially for us. In
the air hangs the reminder of last night;
cold smoke which is only slowly being
masked by the aroma of freshly brewed cof­
fee from the large machine. Roshi shivers.
She devoted over two years to her first col­
lection. Her subject: the Bactrian princesses –
more than 3000­year­old stone figurines,
barely 20 centimetres tall. To explain her de­
signs from the early days she grabs her pen
and notebook from the table in the café and
starts to draw.
“The first collection was an experiment for
me,” she explains. “I wanted to create this
special silhouette. It was meant to be some­
thing personal. Whether the clothes would
then also be wearable wasn’t that important
to me. It was about a statement on the cat­
walk, about an overall picture.” But now it
was time for something totally new. And
then she looks at her sketch, laughs to her­
self and says, “To be honest”, after such a
long, intense time she “was slowly beginning
to dislike seeing” the princesses. The subject
matter was done and dusted. Not just for her
work, for fashion and design overall it is im­
portant to try out new things. “You have to
try to break through the norm, slowly turn­
ing in another direction. Only that way can
the design also change and develop.”
feel!
“Luxury is first and foremost always also well made.” accomplished styling
meets fine materials and craftsmanship in the Mercedes-aMG GT s.
Mercedes -aMG gt
A little later, Roshi is sitting in the new
Mercedes­AMG GT S, caressing the dash­
board, the dominant centre console with the
ergonomically arranged pushbuttons in the
V8 design, the steering wheel with spokes in
“full Galvano” design. She lets the design
wash over her. A sports car like the GT S
and good designer fashion are, after all, very
similar, ponders Roshi. Ultimately “you de­
cide consciously for something special”.
cl arit y
and
sensualit y –
the gt s
has it
Anyone can put on a pair of standard off­
the­peg jeans, “you’re doing nothing wrong,
but nothing right, either.” But anyone that
consciously opts for something special, “has
made a conscious decision.” That applies to
the Mercedes­AMG GT S just as much as to
high fashion. It doesn’t necessarily suit every­
one, it isn’t necessarily to everyone’s taste,
but, for those who can and want to wear it,
it suites them incredibly well and can also
totally change the way others see them.
“Regardless of whether it’s high­end fashion
or the AMG GT S – it’s always a clear state­
ment of not being satisfied with something
off­the­peg, says Roshi, as she fiddles around
to find her smartphone in her coat pocket
and takes a selfie in the cockpit.
Of course that’s luxury, says Roshi. But she’s
not just referring to the price of a product.
“I’m talking about quality and design and
the kind of sensations that a product trig­
gers and conveys. Luxury is always also well
made.” As she’s speaking, she’s discovering
more about the cockpit, dreamily running
her fingers across the high­quality Black
Diamond surfaces. With a small laugh, Roshi
notices the silver controllers for the sporty
centre spot nozzles for the air conditioning.
Last night, she burned the midnight oil; the
silver buttons remind her of an extremely
beautiful thimble.
interior . roshi Pork ar
The question is whether you attach import­
ance to design, quality, performance and ex­
clusivity – or you don’t. For Roshi Porkar, it’s
not simply about highly exclusive materials.
She’s looking for an attitude behind the
things, values, that you can identify particu­
larly in the design, which make a thing spe­
cial and valuable. “Luxury is achievable for
more and more people nowadays and now so
accessible that you no longer need certain
materials to show what is special. Design is
much more important today.” Just like in the
new Mercedes­AMG GT S.
Slowly Roshi reveals another side to the re­
served young designer ­ one that appears to
have petrol flowing through her veins. Her
eyes light up as she grabs hold of the new
super sports steering wheel. “When I see the
interior of the GT S, I also sense a powerful
atmosphere. It makes you feel like you’re
more than just a driver.” Once she has found
the right seating position, she pushes herself
into the seat with her back straight as a die
and smiles. Just like in a jet, it’s as if the
driver is part of the interior. The uncompro­
initial contact! Later roshi Porkar takes a selfie in the cockpit of the Mercedes-aMG GT s.
misingly styled components, the clarity of the
design and the authentic materials – with
the eye of the designer, Roshi notices even
the smallest details and can appreciate the
craftsmanship that has gone into them.
a
sports car
at its
finest
interior . roshi Pork ar
good fashion
or a st ylish sports car
like the mercedes-amg gt s –
both always
make a statement
Show! roshi spontaneously explains the shapes of her
first collection with a sketch.
That is the moment when the young design­
er from Vienna reveals the next facet of her
personality: accept no compromises, push
yourself and move forward in a disciplined
way. “I believe really good products and real­
ly good design are produced simply through
skill and hard work.” Of course it would be
great for artists if they no longer had to fight
to survive. “But I’ve seen for myself that the
best artists thrive in expensive cities.
Precisely because the competition is much
fiercer there, because they are pushed much
more. There you need to work all the time.
Get up to speed and be critical with yourself,
otherwise you won’t be able to keep up.” This
idea of a bohemian lifestyle is just a cliche
that has absolutely nothing to do with the
reality. “I need a city where I have to fight.”
deSign! roshi Porkar gesticulates as she illustrates
each of her creative ideas.
That’s why Roshi will also soon be leaving
Vienna, her beloved home city. Here there is
no fashion scene, she says. That makes it
difficult to get hold of the right material,
skilled craftsmen and women, and custom­
ers too. She also misses sharing ideas with
colleagues and competing designers. She’s
already moved out of her own workshop,
and at present is sharing space owned by
some designer friends of hers. She’s not
short of offers. Paris? Would be lovely. But
she might also go to London or New York –
in any case to a city that challenges her as a
designer, where she can develop herself fur­
ther. The money? Nice, but not the be­all
and end­all. Much more important are the
tasks and challenges, the opportunities that
await her. •••
93
mercedes -amG GT
Inner
Values
Interior Essentials
94
Luxury and sporting character do not sit well together. Just
one look at the cockpit of a race touring car makes that perfectly clear. Form follows function – and that’s that. The interior of the Mercedes-AMG GT, however, deprives its occupants
of nothing: typical sports car restrictions at the price of comfort – none! Designers, product managers and materials experts
have created an interior that combines uncompromising dynamics with supreme quality. Aesthetics, not abstinence - radically sporty, low-set proportions, outstanding precision and the
very highest levels of craftsmanship. Anyone stepping into the
GT feels a sense of luxury and hand-crafted character, emotion
and sensuous clarity. Yet the sports car offers a high degree
of everyday usability and plenty of long-distance comfort.
After all, the GT bears the Mercedes star on its bonnet. Airy spaciousness, good visibility, a generous amount of headroom and
the large tailgate make everyday life with the coupé incredibly
pleasant and convenient. One highlight is the trim elements in
matt silver glass fibre. The lightweight and extremely stable
high-tech material from the field of telecommunications technology and aviation is unique in automotive design. Its great optical depth sets a bright contrasting point that is particularly
attractive in combination with dark interior appointments.
inTerior essenTials
1000˚ c
is the Temperature at which precious metals
and carbon are deposited onto a polished chrome
surface to create the black diamond finish
17
Different upholstery options permit an enormous degree
of individualit y – from DINAMICA microfibre, through nappa leather
all the way to ST YLE exclusive nappa leather with diamond stitching
8000/min
The end of the scale on
the rev counter
360 km/h
The end point of the speedometer
scale on the GT S
1000 Watt
5
The power output of the Burmester ® High - End Surround Sound System
350 liTres
The volume of the luggage compartment,
putting it on a par with a compact car like the A- Class
There are 5 t ypes of interior trim :
silver chrome, matt carbon, gloss carbon,
matt silver glass fibre and black diamond
95
MerCedes - AMG GT
96
Feeling like part oF the driving machine
Cockpit feel in classic red and black trim.
inTerior desiGn
Text
hans Schilder
Photography
mercedes-Benz
cockpiT
wiTh
characTer
97
from The inTerior
of The ThorouGhbred
drivinG machine
98
generation 3.0 multifunction SportS Steering wheel with spokes
in a fully galvanised finish and a flattened bottom rim.
y
You can never judge a car until
you’ve sat inside it. The first minute in the
Mercedes­AMG GT passes by in awestruck
silence. During this time, you just let the
initial raw sensations sink in. The eyes in­
tently scan the thrilling three­dimensional
surfaces, take in the dynamic centre con­
sole, fall on instruments brimming with motor
racing flair and discover a host of refined
touches that all proclaim a very clear mes­
sage: I am a thoroughbred sports car, I’ll
show you a whole new way, I am highly am­
bitious, I am the Mercedes­AMG GT.
Meanwhile, the fingers run around an extra­
ordinary steering wheel, brush over the
sumptuous leather and high­quality sur­
faces, and confirm everything your eyes have
already told you: what a feeling! Sports car
enthusiasts will immediately feel perfectly
at home in the new GT – a great sense of
spaciousness, a distinctly sporty cut and yet
so comfortable that you feel an immediate
urge to press its illuminated Start button.
ouTpourinG oF endorphins
Following the initial tingling release of en­
dorphins upon first seeing the car, settling
down into the driver’s seat is sure to trigger
the next wave of happy hormones from the
pituitary gland. For the interior of the GT
lives up to all the promise of its compelling
exterior – the new interpretation of a high­
class sports car at its purest. To put it in
other words:
passion in highly concentrated form.
It is obvious from both the look and feel of
the GT interior that it was styled in accord­
ance with the Mercedes design philosophy of
sensual purity. Such styling expresses a
form of modern luxury which is becoming
less and less synonymous with material val­
ues and possessions and instead centres on
authentic emotional experiences.
inTensiFyinG The characTer
In keeping with this philosophy, the
Mercedes­Benz designers have brought high­
tech and traditional craftsmanship to the fore
in the GT interior. By dispensing with any
superfluous decoration, they have intensified
the character of the GT and stripped it down
to its very essence. Inside the GT, both driver
and passenger experience the true meaning
of modern luxury – timeless, transcending
fashion trends and with all the more personal­
ity as a result. Interior components that have
been designed without compromise and their
authentic, top­quality materials give added
emphasis to the reinterpretation of “modern
luxury” in the high­end sports car segment,
thanks to their sense of clarity and the ingen­
ious interplay between them. The expressive
three­dimensional surfaces and solid bodies
in the vehicle’s interior are a delight to admire
and create a sculpture of pure power.
cockpiT Feel
In the supreme driving machine that is the
Mercedes­AMG GT, the interior’s formative
elements include a dashboard that emphasis­
es the width to tremendous effect, a high­set
centre console, as well as a high beltline
with concave door panels – all of which add
to the cockpit feel. Whoever is at the con­
trols is therefore immersed in the interior
and feels as if they are an integral part of
this sports machine rather than just its driv­
er. And taking hold of the new, generation
3.0 multifunction sports steering wheel with
spokes in a fully galvanised finish and a flat­
tened bottom rim only serves to reinforce
this impression.
inTerior desiGn
Three-dimensional
surFaces and solid bodies
Form a sculpTure oF pure power.
claSSically Styled inStrumentS provide a constant visual reminder
seaTs wiTh Good
lonG-disTance qualiTies
AMG sports seats provide the driver and
passenger with excellent lateral support,
even at high levels of lateral acceleration,
while also offering impressive levels of seat­
ing comfort and definite long­distance qual­
ities. A striking outline, AMG badges and
integral head restraints reinforce the sporty
look. Of course, the long­distance abilities
of the GT are not just manifested in its
sporty seating – it also comes with ample
stowage facilities.
hallmark mercedes
It seems logical that the interior of the GT
should echo some of the styling traits that
first characterised the new sports car’s great
predecessors and have long since become
part of the wealth of unmistakable Mercedes
design cues. Take for example the sporty
looking arrangement of the quadruple cen­
tre spot vents that has been modelled on the
new Mercedes­Benz luxury saloons. Or the
newly interpreted winged theme in the cock­
pit’s upper section that is so typical of
Mercedes­Benz sports cars and has been a
key sports car styling element throughout
the evolution of the aviation­inspired design.
centre conSole
finished in premium-quality silver chrome.
of the racing genes that are the essence of the GT.
v8
in The inTerior Too
The prominent and very dynamic­looking
centre console in “NACA air intake” jet de­
sign, which widens as it rises up towards
the dashboard, speaks a whole new design
language. The controls on the centre console
for starting the engine and for all driving
dynamics functions, such as the AMG E­
Select lever and the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
controller for the driving modes, are de­
signed to be ergonomic, while also stirring
the emotions. Their unmissable V8­style ar­
rangement clearly mirrors the mighty drive
unit that lurks beneath the long bonnet in
front, waiting to unleash all of its power.
Touches oF hiGhly
sophisTicaTed Finesse
Part of the great finesse of the GT interior is
down to its new touch­based input/operating
system with an extra push/turn control as
well as a flat centre screen in a state­of­the­
art design. The GT also shows off its avant­
garde nature with its attractive selection of
colour and trim. One designo variant in
white / black has an obvious “Coco Chanel”
feel to it, while red and black are combined
to produce that classic interior look of a
sports car. Insofar, the interior of the new GT
is perfectly in keeping with the philosophy
that Mercedes Head of Design Gorden
Wagener sums up as follows:
“Every one of our cars must come with two
vital ingredients: emotion and intellect”. The
GT is a prime example of precisely this. •••
the elaBorately emBoSSed logo
is an understated expression of modern luxury.
99
Mercedes -aMG gt
100
no
global endur ance tests
minus 30˚c
searing heat
rain
snow storms
bl ack ice
mercy
the gt is pushed to its limits in global endurance tests
Text
frank mühling
Photography
markus Bolsinger
heiko simayer
101
Mercedes -aMG gt
global endur ance tests
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01
barcelona
lights
on!
knfe – customer-based test drives.
behind this somewhat clumsy
terminology is amg’s central
testing tool. the goal is to achieve
perfect quality through zero
fault tolerance.
A Mercedes­AMG GT makes its way through Barcelona. Although it is
camouflaged, the stylish green/black adhesive film causes heads to turn. There are no badges,
which just serves to make them even more curious. The sports car’s breathtaking proportions
and the distinctive V8 sound cause jaws to drop left right and centre. Smartphones are raised
for a quick selfie. This is “business as usual for” AMG employees taking part in test drives.
It is a standard process at the end of the development phase – the first cars are scheduled to
reach dealerships in the first quarter 2015. “This is our final check to ensure that everything
is perfect. Because, if a problem were to show up once the car has reached the customer –
no, that can’t be allowed,” says Christian Wolff, AMG’s Head of Quality and member of the
board.
103
modern art a green-black outlaw mixes it up in city traffic.
The target is zero fault tolerance. Mercedes­AMG has developed a test programme for this,
whereby staff members closely examine the new GT in everyday operation. They can be IT
specialists, HR people or marketing experts – it doesn’t matter. How is the gearshift? Are the
leather seams nice and straight? The KNFE programme runs for several weeks. At the end of
each day, the staff members have to hand in a comprehensive 50­point questionnaire.
Christian Wolff’s team evaluates these and determines the measures necessary to address
any possible weaknesses prior to series production. “In the end,” says Wolff, “we achieve the
‘clean point’, which means that all faults have been addressed.” There are still a few days of
KNFE to run until that point. Here in Barcelona, the AMG employees gain, first and foremost,
an impression of how the trendy Catalan city reacts to the new cornering meister from
Alemania. “Realmente impresionado.” Totally impressed. •
street life Breathtaking proportions and the distinctive V8 engine sound
give the Barcelonès something to talk about.
flashlight! starting the test drives at dawn in
Barcelona’s pulsating city traffic.
Mercedes -aMG gt
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02
sweden
104
ice
&
snow
snow ingestion, cold start,
icing – friction, slip,
wheelspin. if you want to test
a new car in extreme winter
conditions, there’s nowhere
better than lapland in
sweden.
First, the snow crunches beneath your feet, then beneath the tyres. They
all come here, to northern Sweden. Prototypes from all manufacturers cross paths – disguised
and unbadged. All the specialist departments from Mercedes­AMG, too, make their way to
the Arctic Circle – always in search of cold. Tyres, engine, transmission and control systems,
bodyshell, interior, climate control and the vehicle as a whole – no vehicle manufacturer could
possibly forego testing on snow and ice in freezing temperatures.
Newly developed vehicle components react differently to cold and heat, be they rubber door
and window seals, front and rear skirts made from plastic or interior trim elements in carbon
fibre. The cold makes things brittle, the cold causes different noises. The human ear can
often localise the source of acoustic problems considerably more accurately than highly
sensitive measurement devices on the test bed. This is how we learn that rapid changes in
humidity push air conditioning and heating systems to their limits. Snow in the air intake
is not allowed to affect how the engine runs. And how does the V8 engine start at minus
30 degrees Celsius? How smoothly does the dual­clutch transmission shift when the trans­
mission oil is as thick as honey? Jochen Hermann, Head of Total Vehicle Development at
AMG says, “We also have to check whether the new winter tyre compound works with the
current ESP settings. And how the electronic rear differential behaves on the big ovals of a
frozen lake.”
full concentration Vehicle development in swedish Lapland demands 100-percent commitment.
The AMG team barely has eyes for the peace and tranquility of the land­
scape. The work around Arjeplog commands their full attention. It gets dark very early and
people tire faster. Nobody wants to end up in a snowdrift in a ditch or come into unwanted con­
tact with a herd of reindeer. “Safety first” is the guiding principle.
At the end of the test drive, it’s time for the drive back from Arjeplog to Affalterbach. 2,500
kilometres in five days. All the GTs and their support vehicles drive in convoy all the way
through Sweden, Denmark and Germany. The evenings in the hotel are spent exchanging
views with colleagues. And, if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis
on the horizon. •
ice and snow Handling courses and circuits on frozen lakes
provide excellent working conditions for the engineers.
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03
great salt lake, usa
stop-and-go or 300 km/h? thin air
at more than 3,500 metres or more
than 50 degrees on the salt flats?
extreme opposites are the norm
during vehicle testing in the usa.
Denver – Las Vegas – Salt Lake City – Bonneville – Los Angeles. During
the summer, AMG development engineers go on a grand tour of the USA. More than 25 GT
and GT S spend several weeks travelling through the land of unlimited possibilities. The
teams from the Engine, Transmission and Total Vehicle departments put their new baby
through a final test of maturity under searing heat, subjecting both man and materials to ex­
treme loads. But it’s not the high outside temperatures alone that bring the engineers to the
USA, as Christian Enderle, Head of Engine and Drivetrain explains, “There are driving condi­
tions in Colorado that we simply can’t simulate even on our high­tech test stands. Here in the
Rocky Mountains, you can reach 3,500 metres above sea level in no time at all.” Engine and
transmission control are just as busy dealing with the rapidly changing air pressure and
temperature as the air conditioning and heating systems. And what about stop­and­go traffic
in the merciless midday heat of downtown L.A. That means nothing but pure stress for the
engine cooling, charge air and transmission. In between are the constant updates to the control
units for the further development of the cars.
106
dry
&
dust y
pure heat no shade far and wide on the salt flats for the Mercedes-aMG GT and its engineers.
The crowning glory is the salt flats, as the huge salt lakes near Bonneville in the state of
Utah are known. The salt lakes west of Salt Lake City provide the annual stage for speed
record attempts. They offer more than enough space for rocket­powered missiles like the le­
gendary “Blue Flame”, which reached 1001.66 km/h on the salt flats near Bonneville in
1970. But the AMG engineers aren’t seeking to break any records today. Reaching the top
speed of 304 km/h (GT) and 310 km/h (GT S) will be a rather unspectacular event. The
testing on the salt lake is more about checking whether all pressures, temperatures and
other values stay within their approved limits. And whether the underbody panelling, door
and bonnet seals fulfil the requirements for production sign­off. Frank Müller, model
technician in Total Vehicle Testing adds, “The salt flats are the best place for testing wind
noise at high speeds.” •
top priority Focused routine at 50 degrees celsius. a normal day of testing for the team from affalterbach.
infernal trio The GT reached – and sometimes exceeded
- its limits during high-speed testing on salt.
global endur ance tests
Mercedes -aMG gt
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04
south africa
an extra summer.
very little traffic, plenty of
space and great people.
For a European, there are plenty of good reasons for spending winter in
South Africa. Warm temperatures, cheerful people, excellent red wine. For the AMG develop­
ment engineers, however, it is the first two aspects that take priority. First and foremost, their
trip to the southern hemisphere saves time. As the cold, wet time of year begins in Europe,
South Africa beckons with spring and summer. When you have just 2.5 years of development
time, this is an unbeatable argument. Plus, the South African summer is hotter and wetter
than Germany’s. At the Cape, the focus is on the GT’s drivetrain – the engine, gearbox and
other transmission components. The teams from Affalterbach are travelling in two different
parts of South Africa – around the eastern town of Nelspruit, the capital of Mpumalanga prov­
ince, and in the western area around Upington, not far from the Namibian border. The bene­
fits of these locations are the low levels of traffic, the relative absence of prototype hunters
and wide roads. It’s only the deep potholes that present something of a hindrance.
rough
road
109
know-how The drive experts put the Mercedes-aMG GT software and hardware through its paces.
Bristling with data recording equipment, the test vehicles are undertak­
ing precisely defined test programmes. Response characteristics and charge pressure build­
up, noise generation and vibration, shift quality and speed are just a few of the topics occupy­
ing the drive experts. But the diagnostics are also checked. Jochen Schmitz, Engine
Application Technician, explains, “We reproduce certain error patterns and check whether
they are correctly recognised by the vehicle. The workshops – be it later in Boston, Cologne
or Shanghai – must be able to rely on one­hundred­percent functionality.”
The development of software and hardware, the daily dialogue with workshop colleagues on­
the­ground, the phone calls with experts at the test stands in Affalterbach – all of that is
mixed in with a country­specific challenge: driving on the left. However, the AMG develop­
ment engineers are nothing if not adaptable – and their bodies have to be, too. When they re­
turn to AMG headquarters a few weeks later, the thermometer at Stuttgart Airport is reading
three degrees Celsius – the day before in Nelspruit it had been 34. •
pros and cons The wide, empty roads are great for a ride – but be careful, they drive on the left here!
pass summit The road up the 2,150-metre
“Mauchsberg” leads through thick fog.
Mercedes -aMG gt
check
05.1
this is what a perfect proving
ground looks like: excellent
safety standards. peace and
quiet. plenty of space. banked
curves and a wet-weather
handling course. where is it?
in the flat lowlands of germany.
papenburg
Papenburg in Emsland, a town of 35,000 known for the massive cruise
ships built by Meyer Werft shipbuilders. And also for ATP, the 780 hectare “Automotive
Testing Papenburg”. It is on this unique proving ground that the Mercedes­AMG GT covered
umpteen thousand kilometres during its 2.5­year development period.
For Michael Novak, the man in Total Vehicle Testing responsible for the new sports car,
Papenburg offers one major benefit, “We can drive the car at a very early stage completely
without camouflage.” The high safety precautions mean that nobody need fear the vehicle
being “shot” by a prototype hunter way before its world premiere. No camouflage also means
that the wind noise being produced by the car is real, which is a big plus when it comes to
evaluating the bodyshell, seals and add­on parts.
110
test
“must-have” Be it throttle response, the finesse of the esP control or the aquaplaning
characteristics of the sports tyres – a wet-weather handling course is indispensible.
There is also plenty of space at Papenburg. The big dynamic testing area
can accommodate special exercises like slaloming or avoidance manoeuvres at a variety of
speeds. A separate piece of track incorporates all common types of road surface, and the han­
dling track can be sprayed with water. A five­lane oval circuit more than twelve kilometres
long easily permits speeds of more than 300 km/h. One special feature is the one­hundred­
percent reproduction of the short track at Hockenheim. “This allows us to achieve absolutely
reproducible lap times,” says Michael Novak.
Another factor in favour of the test facility in Germany’s northern lowlands is also the fantas­
tically equipped workshops and office space – a key aspect when it comes to transmitting
enormous quantities of data. During the peak phase of vehicle development, in particular,
huge files for the software applications must frequently be exchanged between the develop­
ment engineers in Papenburg and their colleagues in Affalterbach. •
right up there The oval circuit of more than twelve kilometres with two
banked curves enables concentrated testing at high speed.
global endur ance tests
Mercedes -aMG gt
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05.2
papenburg
final results
check
Conference, meeting, confab: intensive discussion is the very foundation
of vehicle development. The complex, multi­year task of conception, development, testing and
production sign­off is based on real teamwork. A focused approach to the issues, structured
management of challenges, staying motivated during difficulties – this is standard practice
for the several hundred AMG employees involved in the development of the GT.
Frank Müller, GT model technician in Total Vehicle Testing elaborates, “The dialogue and ex­
changes with our boss Tobias Moers are really important. He himself drives the cars at the
limits and provides us with enormously valuable feedback for further development.” Tobias
Moers is happy to return the compliment, “Part of the AMG spirit is, never give up! We are
only satisfied once we have achieved our ambitious targets. And I have a great team at my
side that brought this car to fruition. That’s something I can be proud of!” •••
112
on paper new ideas are immediately discussed and evaluated within the team.
two and a half years of development
are an energy-sapping undertaking.
but, in the end, it’s always clear that
teamwork is king at amg.
disguised The cockpit, too, is subject to strict secrecy during testing.
scan the Qr code and
learn more about the
Mercedes-aMG GT.
global endur ance tests
Mercedes -aMG gt

Text
hans schilder
Photography
heiko simayer
114
mercedes-Benz
to the

m a n p o w e r . G o r d e n waG e n e r
man
power
       
       
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      
  
Mercedes -aMG gt
116
first draft The GT has a sculptural character from the get-go.
name
age
as a child what did you want to be?
i
“It very quickly became clear to us that the
GT is just impossible to draw”, says Gorden Wagener
and, as he continues to speak, his hands begin to define
sweeping lines in the air. “The GT needed to be a sculp­
ture. A car that you have to mould out of a solid block. In
all three spatial dimensions at once. So that’s how we
came to settle very quickly on a single idea.” It was an
idea that the Mercedes­Benz design chief and his team
immediately translated into a clay model, out of which,
in the hands of the modellers and designers, gradually
grew the proportions, planes and lines of the GT. The re­
sult is an unmistakable interpretation of sensual purity.
Traditional handcraftsmanship and unfiltered sensory
experience thus clearly played a major role in the shap­
ing of the GT. Passion for beauty, intelligent aesthetics
and sensual excitement all find their technical and artis­
tic expression in the design of this super sports car. “As
such,” according to Wagner, “the Coupé is the incarna­
tion of our Mercedes­Benz design philosophy.”
The front mid­engine concept of the GT accommodates
the characteristic, powerful proportions of a Mercedes
sports car with rear­wheel drive. These include a long
bonnet, to which the hallmark powerdomes add a further
outward indication of power; a greenhouse with frame­
less doors, set well to the rear; a high beltline and a
dome­shaped arched roof line sweeping to a broad rear
end. The large wheels and the accentuation of the wheel
arches make its sheer power not only visible but also
tangible, even when at a standstill.
“The sculptural and sensuous character of the GT is de­
fined by positively curved surfaces which, both to the
sides and in the shoulder area, remain free of structural
lines and edges”, is the way the design chief describes
this sense of emotional purity. “The only line is one that
rises gently along the car’s flanks and is picked up again
in the rear bumper, stretching the body and making it
appear lighter.” The side air outlet, with two chrome fins,
is a styling feature that establishes the link between this
car and the great sports car tradition of Mercedes­Benz.
Gorden Wagener’s every word and gesture convey the
sensitive Brushwork Gorden wagener emphasises fine details in his paintings.
tremendous passion that he feels for the GT. Even as a
schoolboy, he could draw better than most of his class­
mates. His preferred subject, even back then: cars. And
these days, when the 46­year­old design chief feels
drawn to his easel and oil paints, what else should he
paint but, of course, cars. You won’t find works by
Wagener in any gallery, but there are plenty of them
hanging in various offices at Daimler. It seems he just
cannot stop designing cars. The three­dimensional “dia­
mond” radiator grille and single fin he gave to the GT
help to define its confident, sporty face, while the head­
lamps with their iconic “eyebrows” lend the sports car
its characteristic look of self­assurance.
The rear wing curves out of the side of the vehicle like a
tensed muscle to form broad, dynamic and extremely
athletic shoulders. The cabin is pulled in to create the
characteristic Mercedes “Coke bottle” shape, giving the
vehicle its extremely powerful stance. Every modern
Mercedes vehicle features this signature “Coke bottle”
effect, the GT in its most extreme form.
“ the gt
is a sports car in its
purest form.”
gorden wagener
Head of design at Mercedes-Benz
In addition, the surfaces and lines of the sidewall flow in
a dramatic tapering effect towards the rear end, where
the distinctive design of the tail light cluster adds a fur­
ther emotional highlight, while also reflecting the tech­
nical state­of­the­art. “The tail lights also meld form and
function in one perfect, single unit, while the attention
to detail so apparent here serves to emphasise the depth
of thought that went into designing the GT,” explains
Gorden Wagener.
The sleek and sporty design of the rear end is further
emphasised by an extendable rear spoiler, which does
not impinge upon the styling while the car is at a stand­
still, and by the Mercedes star prominently positioned
on the smooth surface of the boot lid. To add to the ef­
fect, the licence plate bracket has been relocated to the
lower part of the bumper. Furthermore, a diffuser paint­
ed in a darker tone, with tailpipes integrated into the
bumper and a wing element in Silver shadow, create a
visual sense of lightness across the entire rear end.
The fact that the GT is a sports car in its purest form is
also underlined by the sensual nature and yet clarity of
the interior design which, with its pronounced 3D sur­
face effects, also embodies uncompromising sculptural
power. The clever interplay between clear design and au­
thentic materials allows passengers in the GT to experi­
ence a whole new understanding of what “modern lux­
ury” can mean in a thoroughbred driving machine such
as the GT.
m a n p o w e r . G o r d e n waG e n e r
your personal top speed?
what drives you?
“ the gt
has the potential to
be a design icon.”
Distinctive features include, for example, an instrument
panel that emphasises the width of the car, a high belt­
line with concave door panelling and a high­set centre
console with four jet air vents, as well as control buttons
that take cues from the character of the V8 for the inter­
ior design. “This is a setting in which the driver can ex­
perience the consummate combination of beauty and in­
telligence,” according to Wagener. The “wing” effect in
the upper section of the instrument panel, a hallmark
feature of Mercedes­Benz sports cars, has also been fur­
ther developed here for the sports model, along with a
new touch­based input and control system with an addi­
tional controller and a large screen.
what do you like best about the gt?
your area of responsibility in five words?
Incidentally, Gordon Wagener is now also able to enjoy
his creation to the full. “Until the GT was launched to
the world, I’d probably driven it about five meters ­ in
our display hall,” the design chief tells us. He had to wait
impatiently until the middle of October, since when
Gorden Wagener has been able to drive a prototype of
the GT as his company car ­ in white with red leather.
At last. •••
“before the gt was l aunched
to the world, i’d moved it
maybe five metres
— in our presentation hall.”
scan the Qr code and
uncompromising Jet air vents and wing motif underscore the pure
learn more about the
sports car character of the GT in the interior as well.
Mercedes-aMG GT.
119
mercedes -amG gt
Uncompromisingly
Athletic
Design Essentials
Positively rensioned surfaces
Long bonnet with extremely
short front overhang
120
Front end with
low-slung bonnet
Upright diamond grille in
bl ack with centr al Star
Front skirt
with large air
intakes
High - performance LED headlights in a
distinctively sport y look
Running light indicator
design essentials
Greenhouse
set far back
Perfect tr ansition from the rear
window and the powerfully
prominent C - pill ar to the gently
sloping boot lid
121
Pronounced
sills
Twin - fin air
outlet on the wing
mercedes -amG gt
gt
world premiere
it’s
coming
text
Kai eiSele
photography
Bernd hanSelmann
oliver Schwarz
walter tillmann
dirk weyhenmayer
shot
1
mercedes -amG gt
a
show time
The pack of 350 handpicked journalists crowds
the control barrier. Anyone who blinks now
could miss the moment. The steep grille of
the brand new super sports car materialises
before the audience. The aggressive design
of the headlights, the deliberately mean ex­
pression, sends shivers down your spine.
Affalterbach, a late summer even­
ing in September 2014. Daimlerstraße in
front of the Mercedes­AMG headquarters
has been converted into a pit lane for the
debut appearance of the successor to the SLS
throne – with three weeks to go before the
public premiere at the Paris Motor Show.
The tension is palpable.
Then sparks fly, beads of perspiration appear
on foreheads. Two small, glowing eyes in the
incipient darkness. The Mercedes­AMG GT is
coming. Nico Rosberg is at the wheel. The
Formula One star has the honour of driving
the GT into the light of the global public,
undisguised and uncamouflaged for the first
time. The V8 biturbo engine roars, a wild
beast.
Surging forward World premiere in affalterbach.
step
into
the
arena
Then the seemingly endless bonnet slips
powerfully past the crowded ranks. The body
in Metallic Solarbeam gleams brightly in the
thunderstorm of flash bulbs. Slowly and pur­
posefully, Rosberg drives the car through the
explosive pyrotechnics flanking the stage the
stage of the world premiere. The AMG GT has
already taken centre stage at its debut as a mat­
ter of course. Even Rosberg, the Mercedes
AMG Petronas driver, is now just a support­
ing actor to the star of the evening.
world premiere
    
 
    
  
shot
2
Clammy hands, the work of three years cul­
minating in these minutes. What must the
engineers and developers at Mercedes­AMG
feel now? How much of their own passion,
their own heart and soul is pulling up here?
The second super sports car to be completely
developed in­house by Mercedes­AMG after
the SLS AMG – handcrafted by racers. The
engine manufactured according to the “one
man, one engine” principle. The deed is done.
Of course you want to own it. But much more
than that, you want to drive it. The one brief
moment of the world premiere stretches out
immeasurably. In March, finally, the GT will
be available in dealerships. The wait until
then is still a long one. •••
tobias moerS and nico roSBerg at the Gt premiere.
no more
mr. nice guy
mercedes -amG gt
  
   
  
  
  
shot
3
breathtakingly aggressive:
the gt carries the genes
of mercedes sports cars
into the future
world premiere
      
   
     

muscul ar rear
aluminium
carbon
racing pulse
Mercedes -AMG Gt
128
handcrafted
by
r acers
scan the Qr code and
learn more about the
Mercedes-AMG GT.
imprint
PUBLISHER daimler AG, Global communications Mercedes-Benz cars, d-70456 stuttgart, www.media.daimler.com
ConCEPt And EdItInG delius Klasing corporate Publishing (dKcP)
dESIGn Ioannis Karanasios (Art direction), Wolfram schäffer (creative direction) – design hoch drei GmbH & co. KG
AUtHoRS Adam Baumgärtner, clemens Gleich, Ole Zimmer
EdItInG edwin Baaske, Markus Bolsinger, Marco Brinkmann, Kai eisele, Gerd eßer, Bastian Fuhrmann, Norbert Giesen, Thomas Lötz,
Frank Mühling, Hans schilder, Oliver schwarz, ralf stadelmaier
PHotoGRAPHY Markus Bolsinger, Thorsten doerk, Bernd Hanselmann, Katja ruge, Heiko simayer, Oliver schwarz, Walter Tillmann, dirk Weyhenmayer
tRAnSLAtIon elaine catton, Mercedes-Benz ARtwoRk sandra Martens
LItHoGRAPHY rePrOMAYer reutlingen PRIntInG druckhaus Waiblingen, Waiblingen
Fuel consumption MERCEdES-AMG Gt S
Nedc combined 9.4 l/100 km, cO2 emissions 219 g/km, efficiency class G
Fuel consumption MERCEdES-AMG Gt
Nedc combined 9.3 l/100 km, cO2 emissions 216 g/km, efficiency class G
k e y fac t s
tHE
tHOROUGHBREd
dRIVING MAcHINE
Key Facts
V8
Biturbo Engine
Euro 6
Alongside dynamics, first- class race-track performance and
efficiency that sets new standards in the segment, the two seater offers a high degree of everyday usability, thanks to a
practical tailgate, an eminently usable luggage compartment,
a high level of long-distance comfort and an extensive package of Mercedes- Benz Intelligent Drive assistance systems.
650 Nm
3982 cc
Rated torque (GT S)
Displacement
Aluminium
Space Frame
The Mercedes-AMG GT is the second sports car to have been
developed entirely in - house by Mercedes-AMG. Its thorough bred motorsport recipe for a highly dynamic driving experi ence includes aluminium lightweight design for a low kerb
weight of 1540 kilograms (1570 Kilograms for the GT S ) , a front
mid - engine concept with transaxle layout of the seven -speed
dual- clutch transmission, a sports suspension with alumi nium double-wishbone axles and a newly developed AMG 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine with turbochargers mounted between
the banks (hot inside V ) and dry sump lubrication, available
in two performance variants – as the GT with 340 kW (462 hp)
and as the GT S with 375 kW (510 hp) . The GT S achieves top
performance, completing the sprint from zero to 100 km/h in
3.8 seconds.
Amg Speedshift
dct 7-Speed Sports
transmission
amg
510 hp 231 kg
(375 kW ) in the GT S
2630 mm
Wheelbase
Sports Suspension with
Double-Wishbone Axles
310 km/h
Fuel Consumption,
Combined ( GT)
1540 kg
Kerb Weight (1570 KG for the GT S)
11.6°
1653 mm
Castor Angle
Acceleration 0–100 km/h ( GT S )
9.3 Litre
1686 mm
Track, Front
3.8 Sec
Top Speed (GT S)
Body- in -White
track, rear
Retractable
Rear Spoiler
3.08 kg
Per HP Power-to -Weight Ratio ( GT S )
216 Grams
Per Kilometre CO 2 Emissions, Combined
this
is
the
s ta r t
of
a
new era
3 –2–1
ignition
mercedes-amg gt
it’s
wa i ti ng
for
yo u
key
facts
inside
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