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Amg 2009 en

  1. 1. SPECIAL THE TECHNOLOGYTHE PERFORMANCE MAGAZINE BEHIND THE NEW SLS AMG2009 BUSINESS HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM MOSCOW CLASS G 55 AMG JOINING FORCES: COMFORT AND POWER E 63 AMG TREND MATTE PAINT’S BRIGHT AND SHINY FUTURE
  2. 2. CONSISTENCYTHE CONTOURS OFTHE E 63 AMG ARE ADIRECT TESTAMENTTO ITS POTENTIAL.THIS IS A PACKAGEFULL OF POWER ANDPASSION – BUILTTO LEAD THE FIELD
  3. 3. AMG 2009 3
  4. 4. TEMPERAMENT525HORSEPOWERAND 630 NMTORQUEPRODUCE AUNIQUEEXPERIENCETHAT CAN EVEN BEEXPRESSEDIN NUMERICALTERMS:FROM0 TO 100 KM/HIN JUST4.5 SECONDS AMG 2009 5
  5. 5. COMFORT ZONEEXCLUSIVE DETAIL-ING AND HIGH-CLASS MATERIALSALLIED WITH THEELECTRONICALLYCONTROLLEDDAMPING SYSTEM –PERFECT QUALITIESFOR LONG-DIS-TANCE JOURNEYS
  6. 6. AMG 2009 7
  7. 7. SAFETYAWARENESSFATIGUE ALERTS,NIGHT VISION ASSIST,HIGH BEAM ASSIST,TRACKING ASSISTANDBLIND SPOT ASSIST.TECHNICALSTANDARDS FORTHE CAR OF THEFUTURE – JUST LIKE THEAUTOMATIC FULLBRAKE FUNCTION AMG 2009 9
  8. 8. AMG 2009 11
  9. 9. Numbers can reveal a lot. They can’t, and night vision assist, as well as a lower rpm, the new E 63 AMG achieveshowever, fully describe special charac- PRE-SAFE® brake system with automat- an average fuel consumption of justteristics on their own. With the calcula- ic full brake function – to name just a 12.6 liters per 100 km – a benchmarktions of its fiery temperament (525 HP, few features. in this performance class!630 Nm torque) and impressive accel-eration values (from 0 to 100 km/h in Superior performance takes on an en- The new SLS AMG also promises ajust 4.5 seconds), the new E 63 AMG tirely different dimension in the new range of new features. This edition ofmakes a truly overwhelming impres- Mercedes E 63 AMG. Its AMG SPEED- AMG Magazine aims to look at thosesion. But it isn’t just these statistics SHIFT MCT 7-speed sports gearbox features, thereby providing exclusivethat make the E 63 AMG so attractive. puts you in total control of the power- insight into the impressive technology ful eight-cylinder, 6.3-liter, all-purpose behind this fascinating Gullwing car.The new Mercedes-Benz E Class high-speed aspirated engine. Sportplayed a significant role in shaping the drivers can opt to shift manually on the Enjoy this preview of a new breed ofpersonality of the E 63 AMG. This racetrack, while driving enthusiasts high-performance sports car. A top-means that in addition to enormous can take their favorite route in the “S+” class automobile with the thorough-power, the E 63 AMG also offers busi- mode, which offers automatic shifting bred lineage of Mercedes-AMG, whichness-class comfort, excellent long-haul in under 100 milliseconds. And the fills me with pride and a great deal ofqualities and a safety package that is “Controlled Efficiency” mode converts joy.unequalled: fatigue alerts, tracking as- the powerful engine torque into timelysist, blind spot assist, high beam assist fuel savings. Thanks to this consistentlySincerely yours,Volker MornhinwegCEO, Mercedes-AMG GmbH PHOTO MARKUS BOLSINGER AMG 2009 13
  10. 10. A Daimler Brand Wall Street opens lower, Affalterbach dynamic as The new E 63 AMG. Master of Business Acceleration. www.mercedes-amg.com /E63AMG Fuel consumption (combined, extra urban, urban): 12.6/9.1/18.7 l/100 km: CO -Emission (combined): 295 g/km. The figures are not based on an individual vehicle and do not constitute part of the product offer; they are provided solely for purposes of comparison between different vehicle models.
  11. 11. Tokyo stocks weaker, Tokyo stocks weaker,usual. usual.
  12. 12. The most important tools of this duo are their flat- screen displays, their way with people – and their smiles. “For visitors we are the first face of the busi- ness,” says Hülya Sezgi (right), describing her job at JOURNAL the reception desk in the AMG Customer Center. The daily tasks facing her and her colleague Claudia Bar- nickel can be quite demanding. To wit: a Middle-Eas- tern head of state – a familiar face to both of them – asks for a detailed meeting with an AMG consultant, and a number of eager customers have arrived to col- lect their AMG Mercedes. A press conference is under FIRST way at the same time, to be followed later by a cus- tomer event. Yet the two First Ladies are always in LADIES control, always charming. They have been the smile of AMG since 2002. Of course, English is essential. And Sezgi speaks Spanish, too. She also has another in- valuable ability that constantly amazes customers: she remembers every face and always greets visitors by name (with discreet help from her electronic diary).16 AMG 2009
  13. 13. A passion for the beautiful things in life and a demand for handcrafted perfection: when Giuseppe Santoni talks about AMG, you immediately feel the genuine enthusiasm that only happens when equals meet. The first result of this col- ONE MAN laboration is the “Santoni for AMG” line, which the Italian expert in elegant footwear has developed exclusively for theONE SHOE Affalterbach brand. The qualities shared by both brands are evident in the consistency with which they jointly approach the manufacturing project. In line with the AMG principle of “one man, one engine”, Santoni takes a “one man, one pair of shoes” approach; just as each motor is signed by the re- sponsible mechanic in Affalterbach, the Santoni shoes also carry the name of the shoemaker who produced them. Natu- rally, because Santoni’s business means that he cannot sim- ply walk in his own exquisite shoes all the time, he also val- ues perfection when it comes to mobility – perfection in the form of the CLS 63 AMG, to be precise. “The combination of comfort and performance is unique,” says Signor Santoni appreciatively. He covers a good 50,000 kilometers per year behind the wheel: “Driving is part of my life”, he says. Another reason why he and AMG are a perfect match. AMG 2009 17
  14. 14. „WHEN I PLAY WITH MATTE PAINT, I BLUR THE CONTOURS, THEREBY EMPHASISING THEM“TREND WOLF-DIETER HACKER, AMG DESIGNER AND TREND SCOUT AMG 2009 19
  15. 15. HARDAS AMG IS THE FIRST MANUFACTURER TO OFFER A MATTE FINISH ON PRODUCTION VEHICLES. EXPERTS PREDICT AN ENTHUSIASTIC RESPONSE FROM THE AUTOMOTIVE HAUTE COUTURE FOR THIS FASCINATING FINISHSATIN20 AMG 2009
  16. 16. TEXT JAN BRÜLLE PHOTO HANS-JÜRGEN WIESNER/DEBEOS STUDIOS s the nets are pulled in, the seething out having to rely on a screeching purple or Indeed, even in the development stage of theA mass slowly becomes visible: the an intense orange hue to scream distinctive- matte white finish for the SL 63 AMG Edition time has come to sort the fish. It is ness to shocked fellow motorists. IWC, the oscillating matt/gloss wave resultedalways an event when fishermen reel in their “Of course, you can use the technology to in a significant deflection in both directions –catch. If there is a shark caught in the net, it emphasize sportiness”, notes Hacker. “Yet that is to say, a high amplitude on the shinebecomes a particularly special occasion. magno can also be warm, sensual – and, first scale was first achieved with a metallic whiteSpectators leap back, then reapproach cau- and foremost, elegant.” finish, then firmly countered by the matte fin-tiously, wanting to take a closer look at the Whether a sportscar, an off-road vehicle or a ish. The result is similar to the backgroundpredator. And above all, to touch it: The skin limousine – and even more than the white shimmer of mother-of-pearl. The next plannedof the shark is rough, they say. You could cut color megatrend, which recently managed to matte finish offers a refined allusion to theyourself on it – fitting armor for such an ag- penetrate the phalanx of black, blue and sil- silver arrow of Mercedes-Benz racing history:gressive creature. At first touch, however, the ver on the streets – a matte finish empha- a grey matte metal tone, which makes itshark’s leathery exterior proves to be as- sizes the modern lines and striking design of seem as if the C 63 AMG has been forged outtoundingly smooth, the contact a veritably the car. “When I play with matte paint”, ex- of pure industrial steel.silken experience. plains Hacker, “I blur the outlines, therebyIt was the same effect Hans-Joachim Wal- emphasizing them in the process. So I need a R ight: You want to touch it straightitschek experienced the first time he present- certain solidity to place the matt concept away. And you can. You shouldn’t,ed a car painted with a matte finish. “People well.” however, polish this “magno” mas-wanted to touch the car”, reports the designer, A number of technical hurdles had to be ne- terpiece. But then, you wouldn’t try that withwho sketches at Mercedes-Benz for the gotiated before Mercedes-Benz could become a shark, either.development of new paint trends. “You ex- the first car manufacturer to bring the mattpect it to be rough. But it feels more velvety, finish to mass production – including the fearmore sensual than a high-gloss finish.” that matte surfaces may be too sensitive forThe surprisingly positive response was the fi- everyday treatment, something that has longnal confirmation needed to begin perfecting been disproven.the paint which, under the name “magno”,now brings the Mercedes-Benz paint range n addition, a modern matte finishinto a completely new dimension – and I must also fulfill the same require-which, as “Designer Magno Cashmere White”, ments as those demanded of a glossadorns the first matte-finish vehicle to enter finish. “For a magno finish, we work along themass production: The SL 63 AMG Edition same principles as those we have developedIWC. through our experience with conventional fin-The refracted shimmer of the roadster repre- ishes over the years”, Hacker explains. “A dip-sents a break with the tradition of gloss fin- ping paint protects from corrosion, which inish, a tradition stretching from early coach turn must be protected from UV radiation – apaintwork through to the deep reflections of task assigned to the external layer of paint,the latest Alubeam paints. which simultaneously provides the matt ef-The first impetus for matte finish came more fect.”than ten years ago, and was in fact rather co- The many layers are also responsible for theincidental. “Test vehicles were normally given visual depth that characterizes “magno”. Thea matte black base, and the edges masked initial doubts as to the daily handling of thewith black tape”, remembers Wolf-Dieter matte paint have meanwhile been turned onHacker, a paint expert and early trend fore- their ear: the finish has proven to be extreme-caster in Walitschek’s department. Yet, when- ly resistant to scratching. The “magno” vehi-ever he was on the road in one of these light- cles seem to repel dirt like a spacesuit. Theabsorbing cars, he always received any Mercedes-Benz paint developers have thusnumber of positive comments. “Of course, we managed to construct the perfect exterior forwere never going to appeal to the masses motor vehicles, uniting form with function inwith the matte concept”, explains Walitschek. the process. Perhaps it’s no coincidence,This seemed like the best prospect for a sub- then, that AMG vehicles are the first to maketly distinguishing characteristic with which a the new technology available to connoisseursdriver could set him- or herself apart – with- in a mass-produced form. AMG 2009 21
  17. 17. SUNNY TANCHINATHE MOST SUCCESSFUL AMG AND MERCEDES-BENZSALES PARTNER IN CHINA, 50-YEAR-OLD SUNNY TAN,WAS PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE GREAT WALL AT SUNRISE.“SEEING IS BELIEVING – PEOPLE BUY THEIR CARS FROMTHE BROCHURE. STRETCH VERSIONS AND BLACKPAINTWORK ARE ALWAYS THE MOST POPULAR CHOICES.”24 AMG 2009
  18. 18. PERFORMANCE CENTERTHREEWORLDSUNDERA SINGLESTAREACH AMG PERFORMANCE CENTER WORLDWIDEIS UNIQUE. AND YET EACH OF THEMDEMONSTRATES THE UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITIESFOR CUSTOMIZING AN AMG CAR. WE SPOKEWITH THREE AMG SHOWROOM EXPERTSTEXT CHRISTIAN SCHMIDT PHOTO M. BOLSINGER, C. MORLOK, S. PFLAEGING, H. SIMAYER AMG 2009 25
  19. 19. THOMAS GUTSWITZERLANDTHE WINE ENTHUSIAST WAS PHOTOGRAPHED AGAINST THE BACK-GROUND OF A WONDERFUL ALPINE LANDSCAPE. GUT LIKES TOORGANIZE REGULAR INCENTIVES THAT DON’T JUST FOCUS ONTHE CAR. VISITS TO THE GERMAN TOURING CAR MASTERS (DTM),GOLF TROPHY AND DRIVER TRAINING COURSES ARE PARTICULAR-LY POPULAR: “I WANT DIRECT CONTACT WITH OUR CUSTOMERS.”26 AMG 2009
  20. 20. ED BONELLIUSARANCHES, HERDS OF CATTLE AND OIL DERRICKS –THAT’S YESTERDAY’S NEWS. NOW DALLAS IS ONEOF THE BIGGEST HIGH-TECH CENTERS IN THEUSA AND HOME TO ED BONELLI, THE NAME YOUCAN TRUST FOR THE TEXAN AMG COMMUNITY:“THE SLS AMG WILL BE DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS.” AMG 2009 27
  21. 21. he entrance to the AMG bar crosses more S Class models than in the USA”, the nies to settle here too. High-tech and high-T a little bridge, under which eighty- AMG expert estimates. “Sales of the R Class speed are two qualities not unknown to Ed eight Koi carp circle. The number 88 are also very good.” Last year, Sunny was Bonelli of the AMG Performance Center atis synonymous with good luck in the Middle able to hand over the keys to 80 cars, most Park Place Motorcars. The 53-year-old hasKingdom. In Chinese, the word for the num- of them S 65 AMG models. Photos of the high-octane fuel in his blood. “My father wasber eight is the same as the term for well-be- handover ceremony are very much in demand an engineer and really got me interested ining, success and happiness. That’s why the for the family album. On the other hand, the technology.” When he was only eleven, EdSummer Olympic Games in Beijing were Chinese customer base is noticeably reticent rode his first motorcycle, a minibike. As aopened on 8 April 2008 at 08:08:08 in the in asking for other special requests. “Seeing teenager in New York, he fell in love with mo-evening. Sunny Tan, China’s most successful is believing – people buy their cars from the tocross. Custom bikes and heavy cruisersAMG and Mercedes sales partner, surprises brochure. Stretch versions and black paint- were never his thing; at the age of 16, he washis guests with Chinese symbolism like this work are always the most popular choices.” driving a Swedish Husqvarna. “I was an activeas soon as they reach the reception area of Sunny Tan is actually a passionate golfer, but motocross rider for six years. While at collegethe AMG Performance Center in the Daimler these days he hardly ever gets to the course. I worked in motorcycle repair shops to beTower Peking in the Chaoyang District. Tan “I had my greatest day at the Mercedes Deal- able to pay for my biking.” This is a sport thathas a sixth sense for business, even his horo- er Tournament, when I got a hole-in-one!” he drives both man and machine to the limit, andscope says so.“My star sign is the pig,” he laughs heartily. “But why should I waste a lot Ed is just as passionate about his machineslaughs. “That represents really good busi- of time on the golf course when my heart lies today. With his technical know-how in theness.” The 175 AMG Performance Centers in with the Mercedes star?” AMG Performance Centre, Bonelli has plentyAmerica, Asia and Europe use impressive of insider tips from and for AMG fans. For thePoint of Sales elements to emphasize the un-limited customization options available with FOR SUNNY past 13 years he has acted as Service Man- ager, looking after his “family”, the Texan AMGAMG cars. Last year, AMG presented its Per- TAN, BUSINESS drivers. “We often meet at the racetrack, forformance Centers to a group of invited guestsin an exclusive event-filled tour of Germany, IS LIFE example, at the MotorSport Ranch here in Dallas. Sometimes we even go as far as TulsaJapan, China and the USA. This resulted in a Even the cappuccino that Sunny has us in Oklahoma.” The officers of the Highway Pa-lively exchange between customers, well- served is decorated with a Mercedes star in trol aren’t permitted to turn a blind eye –known racing drivers and the makers of the cocoa powder. He then hurries us along; he even to the much-admired AMG. This is justAMG. The second leg of the performance tour wants to give us a tour of boomtown Beijing one of the reasons why there’s hardly anothercontinues in 2009 in 22 more countries such with its countless building sites. In our CLS country in the world with as many asphalt-as Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Russia, 63 AMG, we elegantly weave our way through covered leisure tracks as the USA. If you’reSouth Africa and the United Arab Emirates. the mass of traffic. “The latest thing here is a member of the MotorSport Ranch, you canThe focus won’t just be on the new E 63 AMG. that only some cars are allowed onto the fulfill your childhood dream by buying aThat’s because it’s common knowledge streets at the same time”, he explains. “It “trackside villa”, taking you closer to motorthat AMG and Mercedes stand for more than works by number plate. Different last num- racing than even Bernie Ecclestone. There’sjust cars. Anyone visiting a few of these spe- bers have a turn on each day of the week.” no limit to the love of fast cars in America,cialist AMG support centers will encounter Sunny’s AMG has the right number for today. and the members of the Texan AMG commu-special characteristics typical of the particu- We come to the Square of Heavenly Peace. nity all drive cars made in Affalterbach, withlar country in which they’re located. The Next to it lies the Forbidden City. Although the C 63 AMG, E 63 AMG and SL 63 AMGexclusive showrooms also reflect the person- this is crowded with visitors, it’s the only the clear favorites. However, people are reallyality of their operators, true to the motto place where the AMG can find some peace looking forward to the first pure AMG, theof the creators of the AMG engine: One Man, - and quiet. At the heavenly temple of Tiantán SLS AMG. “It’s going to be drop-dead gor-One Engine. is one of the few tranquil areas where city geous”, says Ed, his eyes twinkling. “A Gull- dwellers and tourists alike can take a little wing model recently drove past me in aving grown up in Singapore, Sunny time out. Sunny, on the other hand, likes to Affalterbach, but unfortunately it was stillH has lived in Beijing since 1995. “My relax in a completely different way. While it’s camouflaged. However, thankfully, the sound wife and my three children live in still dark, he climbs into his AMG and drives was unfiltered!” Ed visited AMG at the begin-Singapore, a six-hour flight from here. That to the Great Wall in time for the sunrise. This ning of April and came home with red-hotmeans that a lot of family life centers around is an exceptional trip because life without news about the much-anticipated car. Beforethe telephone.” In Asia, long-distance rela- business would be no life at all for Sunny Tan. that, he took the opportunity to visit Italy, thetionships like this are as much part of a pro- birthplace of his grandparents, for the firstfessional career as the dream of owning one allas, Texas – synonymous for many time in his life, although there’s evidence ofof the automobiles with the star over the radi- D years with gigantic ranches, herds of Bonelli’s Italian roots in his longtime passionator. For Mercedes-Benz, China is the second cattle and oil derricks. These days for football. “My son played soccer for a longlargest market outside Europe after the USA. the magic words are “Silicon Prairie”. After time,” reveals the Juventus Turin fan. “Natu-In 2008, sales here rose by almost 25% to California, Dallas is one of the biggest high- rally, when I was in Italy, the first thing I did46,600. As well as the S Class, SUVs are also tech centers in the USA. Texas Instruments, was to visit the stadium to see a game livevery popular, despite all the economic turbu- the inventors of the microprocessor, are lo- from the stands. The atmosphere was inde-lence. “In 2009, we have succeeded in selling cated here and have attracted other compa- scribable.”28 AMG 2009
  22. 22. PERFORMANCE IS EVERYTHING: IMPRESSIVE POINT OF SALES ELEMENTS EMPHASIZE THE UNLIMITED CUSTOMIZING OPTIONS AVAILABLE WITH AMG CARSThe change of scenery could hardly be more Thomas grew up with the Mercedes star and crisis. “A lot of money is being spent on luxu-dramatic. Meadows and woods on gentle is a trained automobile mechanic and electri- ry goods at present because the banks areslopes, vineyards with top-quality Riesling and cian. His career began with a large Mercedes not paying enough interest”, smiles Thomas.Pinot grapes, above them massive crags and importer in Zurich. However, his dream job The greatest demand is for the G 55 AMG,snow-topped peaks. Nestled in the middle of was to be a Formula 1 engineer, which is why C 63 AMG, SLK 55 AMG, E 55 AMG and thethis storybook landscape is the Eastern Swiss he decided to study mechanical engineering. E 63 AMG. “At present we are waiting forAMG Performance Center in Maienfeld. The When Thomas took over the business in three SLK 63 AMG Black Series.” A Porscheplace is best known as the location of the 1992, he applied his passion for motorsports Center is due to open right next door shortly.Heidi books. Author John Knittel (Via Mala, to the expansion of the AMG business. Some GT3 drivers order sporty models likeThe Travels of Aaron West) also lived here. “Things really took off with the C 36 AMG”, the AMG ML 63 AMG and G 55 AMG fromHowever, AMG drivers and fans don’t come to he recalls. “Our customers wanted to make Thomas Gut in order to get to the racetrack“Heidi’s village” primarily for sightseeing or to their AMGs even more personal, so we began faster. “Some customers drive several AMGspamper themselves in the neighboring Grand the fine-tuning business in the form of exclu- and exchange these models for new onesHotel Hof Ragaz. Their first stop is Thomas sive leather finishes.” Although these days twice each year.” The Eastern Swiss AMGGut and his “garage”, as car dealerships and the AMG models and AMG Performance Stu- Performance Center sold 25 AMGs last year;repair shops are known in Switzerland. dio special features mean that there are for Thomas, the handing over of an AMG Mer- countless available AMG design options, cedes is always a highlight. “When we sell aSOME CUSTOMERS nonetheless, some customers want some- thing even more personal. Everyone has his compact model it’s a bit like a tasty snack. But when you serve up an AMG to the cus-WANT SOMETHING own particular taste and, in an effort to cater tomer, you feel like a four-star chef.”MORE PERSONAL to this, Thomas likes to get to know his cus- tomers. If possible, an “AMG Meet and Greet”I n the newly built dealership we meet takes place every Saturday. The wine expert Thomas Gut in the AMG Performance organizes incentives that are not always cen- Centre. His desk is located in the tered on cars. However, there is always plentyshowroom itself. From here, the owner over- of demand for visits to the German Touringsees day-to-day business. “This is where I can Car Masters (DTM), Golf Trophy and driverfeel the pulse of the business”, he says. “I training courses. Just a few kilometers awaywant direct contact with our customers.” The from Maienfeld is the principality of Liechten-family business, which employs 25 people, stein. Many bankers buy AMG cars. The per-enjoys a long tradition. Mercedes cars have formance of an AMG is more exciting thanbeen the focus for Garage Gut AG since 1969. stock market rates – and not just in times of AMG 2009 29
  23. 23. LIVES
  24. 24. COLLECTING PEOPLEHORST WACKERBARTH USES HIS RED SOFA TO PHOTOGRAPH REAL LIFE.AMG CONJURES ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE ARTIST THAT REMIND HIM OF THE TIMEHE FIRST BROKE FREE – AND OF THE FIRST ST. MORITZ ART MASTERS (SAM)TEXT NICOLE HILLE-PRIEBE PHOTO HEIKO SIMAYER orst Wackerbarth loves contrasts.The them. This is also where the photo was pro- will be offered a program of art and music atH Düsseldorf artist seeks out people all duced that proved to be one of the really world-class standards. The “Walk of Art” over the world: men and women, old great exceptions in Horst Wackerbarth’s life. route will give everyone the chance to experi-and young, fat and thin, poor and wealthy, The picture shows the artist on his own red ence contemporary art in a wide variety ofoutlaws and stars. He sits them down on a couch, his head in his hands, sitting barefoot ways. Works by artists with international rep-red couch, photographs them and interviews on the roof of an AMG Mercedes. This is one utations like Mike Kelley, Gerhard Richterandthem. Wackerbarth collects these people for of the very few pictures he did not take him- Julian Schnabel will be exhibited in unusualhis encyclopedic life’s work, what he calls the self. AMG transferred the picture onto a can- locations, while right next to AMG, in front of“Gallery of Mankind”. His aim? To portray a vas measuring almost 100 by 70 centimeters the Badrutt’s Palace, Belgian styleicon Arnebroad cross-section of people from every and recently presented Wackerbarth with the Quinze is showing one of his own high-profilewalk of life and every age group. result as a reminder of SAM and the friend- installations. The churches and five-star ho-It all started in 1979 with Jack, the elevator ship that was sealed there. tels of St. Moritz are also transformed into artman. The African-American lift operator from Wackerbarth was 17 when AMG was founded galleries by day, while the evenings are givenNew York City was the first person to sit on in 1967. That was the year he stopped playing over to top-class orchestras and soloists,Wackerbarth’s red couch. He was followed by football, moved out of home and took part in such as the Chamber Orchestra of the Viennaa long line of people who could hardly have demonstrations. He claims to this day that he and Berlin Philharmonic, Russianstar pianistbeen more different: actor Sir Peter Ustinov, doesn’t know what he was protesting against. Denis Matsuev or conductor Valéry Gergiev,a housekeeper from Moscow, former Soviet However, he has a very clear memory of the who electrified the audience at the SAM pre-President Mikhail Gorbachev, Barbie, the first AMG he ever drove, back in 1983. It was miere. The highlights for jazz fans are the per-painter Jörg Immendorff. Each of them is a silver AMG Mercedes 500 SE with a car formances by young artists from the es-asked a series of questions by Wackerbarth: phone. “That was something very unusual at teemed Montreux Festival, providing sometheir deepest wishes and fears, what work the time and really impressed the girls. This contemporary accents in the musical pro-means to them, or who created the universe. was the perfect car to express your own per- gram.He always places his bright red sofa in the sonality and individuality.”middle of the space occupied by his subject. The 59-year-old has already covered several The latest information about theSometimes it will be found in a scrap yard, hundreds of thousands of kilometers with his St. Moritz Art Masters can be found atsometimes in front of the EU Parliament in sofa, travelling through America, Europe and www.stmoritzartmasters.comBrussels, then in a supermarket or in the mid- Africa on the lookout for images. At the mo-dle of a forest. The couch becomes a stage ment, Wackerbarth is on the road once again.set and even, for a select few, a throne, be- For “RUHR.2010 – European Capital of Cul-cause Wackerbarth gives his subjects his full ture”, he is examining the theme of migration.attention, so that, for a moment, the whole Time constraints mean that Wackerbarth’sworld revolves around them. sofa will not be making an appearance at thisDuring the first St. Moritz Art Masters (SAM) year’s event in St. Moritz – much to his re-in 2008, he set up his couch on a footbridge gret. “The first Art Masters show was verywith a tranquil lake, the sleepy Starzer Forest well received by the public. Where else canand the snow-capped Alps in the background. you go on holidays and experience nature andHe placed the visitors to the SAM show in contemporary art at the same time?”Visitorsthis panorama and took Polaroid pictures of to the second St. Moritz Art Masters 2009 AMG 2009 31
  25. 25. DRIVINGBABYYOUCANDRIVEMYCARTEXT JAN VAN ROSSEM PHOTO HEIKO SIMEYER AMG 2009 33
  26. 26. WHEN AMG PUTS OUT A SAN FRANCISCO CALL FOR DRIVER EXPERI- ENCE TRAINING, IT’S UN- MONTEREY/CARMEL USUAL TO FIND A WOMAN LAGUNA SECA AMONG THE CANDIDATES. THE CHARMING EXCEPTION IN THIS MAN’S WORLD IS SAN LUIS OBISPO HIGHWAY 1 THE AMERICAN ROCHELLE MANNS: SHE’S THE AMAZON OF THE ASPHALT LOS ANGELES CRUISING TO THE RACETRACK: TAKING THE OCEAN VIEW ROAD TO LAGUNA SECA ith only a few centimeters between W them, the two cars race for the sharp right corner. The sun is peak- ing in the sky. High noon. Rochelle Manns sharply applies the brakes to her C 63 AMG at the last moment. For the third time the driver in the SLK 55 AMG tries to pass her. No chance. Like a professional, she finds the ideal moment to accelerate her racing ma- chine with all the power at her disposal. She glides elegantly into the bend, and her opponent will once again finish this round behind her. Even the land of unlimited opportunity has its limits. Fairly rigid speed restrictions, for ex- ample. On the so-called freeways, the maxi- mum permissible speed is 65 miles per hour, a little more than 100 kilometers per hour. Not exactly ideal conditions for the brand- new AMG C 63 that belongs to Rochelle, known to everyone simply as “Shelly.” De- spite all the rules, she finds it “a whole lot of fun” to drive the powerful automobile at full throttle. Shelly makes this quite evident dur- ing the previous day, as she cruises along the Pacific coast on Ocean View Road between Monterey and Carmel, California, in a rented Volvo. Two hours’ drive south of San Francis- co, the coast takes on a wild aspect. But Shelly hasn’t come here for the picture-post- card beauty of the surroundings. She’s here in search of speed. Twenty miles inland from Monterey is Laguna Seca, one of the most challenging racetracks in the United States. This is where AMG has invited her to a driver’s training session. Here, away from speed limits of any kind, customers are given the opportunity to push themselves to the limit.34 AMG 2009
  27. 27. AMG 2009 35
  28. 28. On Ocean View Road, a silver-colored SUV suddenly starts to overtake, streaking past the Volvo. Shelly lets it go. “I’m feeling re- laxed today,” she says, and smiles as she takes in the view of the Pacific surf. It won’t be until tomorrow, when she hits the tarmac on the Laguna Seca racetrack, that she will become an Amazon in what is typically a man’s field. Right now, Shelly is simply enjoying the day and taking it easy. As we ride together through the spectacular natural surroundings, we arrange to meet her for a chat. Later we will enjoy a cup of coffee to the sound of the breaking waves and will take a quick detour to Carmel-by-the-Sea, a picturesque little town with tiny, brightly painted houses pro- tected from the sun by the famous majestic arms of the expansive pine trees. Carmel-by- the-Sea is the place where actor and director Clint Eastwood held the title of mayor for many years. A cell phone rings. Shelly picks up. It’s her LAGUNA SECA: ONE OF son. “Have you eaten any breakfast?” – THE MOST CHALLENGING “Really?” – “You’ve gotta eat something.” – RACETRACKS IN THE US “OK. I’ll call you later.” Shelly looks around apologetically: “He’s so lazy. He’d rather go 6 hungry than fix himself something to eat.” 8 Intuitively, Shelly looks for somewhere to RAHAL STRAIGHT place her phone, experiences a moment of THE CORKSCREW 7 uncertainty, then puts it back in her purse. She’s out of her element. After all, she’s not 8A behind the wheel of her AMG. The conversa- 9 tion continues unabated while Shelly’s hands RAINEY CURVE hold the steering wheel and operate the 5 phone at the same time. The 38-year-old is a real communicator, and today she’s taking it 4 all in: the day, the sunshine, and the chance 10 to get away from work and family for a little while. Outside the world of AMG, Shelly is in the IT business. Not only that, she’s very suc- cessful within that field. So this is the way we 2 find her: a successful, self-confident, single 11 ANDRETTI HAIRPIN parent who grew up in Philadelphia on the 3 East Coast and later moved out here to San Diego. 1 t is just after one o’clock in the after- I noon in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The sun is incredibly hot. Time for a refresh- ing bite to eat. It’s a good thing that there are still two seats free in A.W. Shucks Oyster Bar this Saturday. A.W. Shucks is one of the most popular meeting places, located on Ocean Avenue, on the South Side neighborhood be- tween San Carlos and Dolores. The lively bar offers freshly caught seafood specialties of all36 AMG 2009
  29. 29. kinds, ice cold local beer, and huge cocktails, she drove so moderately during our earlier ex- which are going down a treat here even cursion to the Pacific coast. The guy sitting though it’s only lunchtime. As we eat our way next to her at the table knows how to get through a mixed platter of oysters (Shelly rec- around penalties for excessive speeds. He ommends Tabasco on them – not bad at all), smiles knowingly before sharing his exper- shrimp, and other delicacies that the surging tise. “You’ve got to make a contribution to the tides of the Pacific have to offer, she talks en- Police Widows and Orphans Fund. That enti- thusiastically about the election of Barack tles you to a border around your number plate Obama as the first black President of the with a 1199 on it. When the sheriffs see your United States. She’s more than a little skepti- number plate, they tend to turn a blind eye.” cal, but also full of hope for a man with the right ideals. A relaxing day is drawing to a helly enjoys plenty of respect even close. We return along the same breathtaking S without the 1199 on her number route, flanked on either side by one of the plate. She drives an AMG. She most important golf courses in the world, the knows it looks really cool – a lady in a sleek, famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. The nearer powerful automobile. The other 25 partici- we get to Monterey, the former center of the pants in the event – all of them male – also Californian fishing industry, the setting for find it cool. Tomorrow, on the Laguna Seca John Steinbeck’s famous novel Cannery Row, course, they intend to show the AMG lady and a popular playground for the Californian that although they may respect her, they are sea otter, the more clearly we can see the certainly not afraid of this “Amazon of the discrepancy between nature and human habi- Asphalt.” Shelly Manns wouldn’t have expect- tation. ed anything else. She smiles impishly. here is something special taking T place on the far side of the road asROCHELLE MANNS IS PICTURED IN the wild Pacific coast puts on a dra-ACTION BEHIND THE WHEEL OF HER matic natural performance as the sun sets,AMG AND TALKING TO MARIO SPITZNER, revealing a series of wide beaches andDIRECTOR MARKETING; BRANDING bizarre cliff formations. On the other side of& SALES OF MERCEDES-AMG – ON Sunset Drive is a seemingly endless collec-LAGUNA SECA’S RACE TRACK tion of architectural monstrosities: white columns that look as if they came from an- cient Greece stand in front of a dilapidated blockhouse, side-by-side with small houses with brutish stone façades and brash, orange- colored window frames. All of this in a loca- tion with a priceless view. In the evening, the AMG drivers and fans meet for the welcome dinner, a 48-hour gathering of a passionate family of speed freaks. People get to know each other here, Shelly among them. If not the first, then definitely the second question on everyone’s lips when they turn to their neighbor at the table is: “And what do you drive?” The advantages of the various AMG models are discussed over a plate of mussels, salad and steak, and a glass of local wine. One or two glasses later and the experiences and anecdotes really start to flow. And – sur- prise, surprise – many of the stories have something to do with speed and speed re- strictions. Shelly wants to race as soon as possible and is anxious to get the necessary SCCA license. The only problem might be her previous run-ins with the Highway Patrol for speeding. That’s also one of the reasons why AMG 2009 37
  30. 30. A Daimler Brand Climb the corporate ladder enough that you still get to The new E 63 AMG. Master of Business Acceleration. www.mercedes-amg.com /E63AMG Fuel consumption (combined, extra urban, urban): 12.6/9.1/18.7 l/100 km: CO -Emission (combined): 295 g/km. The figures are not based on an individual vehicle and do not constitute part of the product offer; they are provided solely for purposes of comparison between different vehicle models.
  31. 31. just high just highdrive. drive.
  32. 32. SHOW ROOM 1 SL 65 AMG BLACK SERIES THE POWER PACK CYLINDERS V12 DISPLACEMENT CM3 5,980 OUTPUT KW/HP 493/670 AT 5,400 RPM TORQUE 1,000 NM TRANSMISSION AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 5-SPEED AUTOMATIC 0 -100 KM/H 3.8 SECONDS MAX KM/H 320 ELECTRONICALLY LIMITED40 AMG 2009
  33. 33. THE NEW SIDE SKIRT CLADDING, 265/35 R 19 FORMAT TYRES IN FRONT AND 325/30 R 20 ON THE BACK, AS WELL AS THE “V12 BITURBO” LOGO. THE EXTERIOR OF THE NEW SL 65 AMG BLACK SERIES EMPHASIZES THE DOMINANCE AND PERFORMANCE OF THE COUPÉ 493 kW/670 HP at 5,400 rpm? Its torque has lines and a larger rear window for the SL 65LESS WEIGHT AND MORE been electronically limited to 1,000 newton- AMG Black Series. Other aerodynamically im-PERFORMANCE: THE meters. New to the SL 65 AMG Black Series portant elements are the carbon-fiber rearREDESIGN OF NEARLY ALL twelve-cylinder engine are the turbochargers wing that extends up to 12 centimeters with an enlarged helical cross-section and op- at speeds of over 120 km/h, increasingITS BODY COMPONENTS timized wastegate channels to guide the aspi- downforce at the back by 50 kilograms atAND AN UNBEATABLE rated air. Then come the rear mufflers and 200 km/h, and a rear apron with diffuser fins.TWELVE-CYLINDER ENGINE- the 30% more powerful low-temperature Wide fenders were needed in order to accom-MAKE THE SL 65 AMG charged air coolers, which provide for greater modate the impressive-looking tires – 265/35 stability and enable maximum performance. R 19 to the front and 325/30 R 20 to the rear.BLACK SERIES A TOP Because many components are made fromMODEL, FAR SUPERIOR The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 5-speed auto- extremely light composite carbon fiber, theTO THE COMPETITION matic transmission with four driving pro- SL 65 AMG Black Series weighs 250 kilo- grams is tailor-made to benefit from the grams less than the SL 65 AMG and boasts a generous levels of power available. The auto- high power-to-weight ratio of 2.79 kg/HP. matic engine revs up as you downshift, Racing sport is the dominant theme in the in- delivering real pleasure in both acoustic terior. Black nappa leather, carbon trim, an hey really should only allow people terms and driving dynamism. The incredible Alcantara-covered roof. In addition, there areT with a great deal of self-control be- performance of this super sports car also new AMG bucket sports seats in composite hind the wheel of the new SL 65 means a driving experience to match: It takes carbon fiber, a small flat-bottomed AMG per-AMG Black Series. The twelve-cylinder engine only 3.8 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. formance steering wheel with aluminum shiftfloods every vessel and artery with endor- The 200 km/h mark is reached after only 11.0 paddles, a black speedometer with 360 km/hphins. Production of these pleasure hor- seconds; maximum speed is measured at scale and a white tachometer with four inte-mones starts to go into overdrive as soon as 320 km/h and is electronically limited. When grated LEDs that indicate the optimum shift-the top model from Affalterbach comes into it comes to aesthetics, the car is no less ing point while driving. An adjustable coiloverview. You can clearly see the thrill in the spectacular. The body has been redesigned chassis with light aluminum wheel bearingsexpression that the SL 65 AMG Black Series and has large air slits in the front skirt. A was developed especially for AMG’s top model.evokes on the faces of its drivers. This front splitter made from exposed carbon In comparison with the SL 65 AMG, it hasis hardly surprising. After all, the AMG bi- complements the aerodynamic design. AMG 115 millimeters more track width at the frontturbocharged twelve-cylinder engine has has chosen not to use the variable roof of the and 103 mm more at the rear. The result:few competitors. What other car with a SL and has instead modeled a rigid compos- rapid and reliable handling. And driving pleas-displacement of just 5,980 cm3 can offer ite carbon-fiber roof with significantly lower ure that triggers all kinds of euphoric feelings. POWER PACK THE NEW AMG REAR SKIRT WITH DIFFUSER IN EXPOSED CARBON COMPLETES THE EXTREMELY STOCKY, MUSCU- LAR APPEARANCE OF THIS TWELVE-CYLINDER-ENGINE AUTOMOBILE. A FIBER REAR WING EXTENDS BY12 CENTIMETERS AT SPEEDS OF OVER 120 KM/H, SIGNIF- ICANTLY INCREASING DOWNFORCE ON THE REAR AXLE AMG 2009 41
  34. 34. SHOW ROOM 2 S63 AMG S65 AMG CLASSY AND STRONG CYLINDERS V8 / V12 DISPLACEMENT CM3 6,208 / 5,980 OUTPUT KW/HP 386/525 / 450/612 AT 6,800 / 4,750 – 5,100 RPM TORQUE NM 630 / 1,000 NM AT 5,200 / 2,000 – 4,000 RPM TRANSMISSION AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC / AMG SPEEDSHIFT 5-SPEED AUTOMATIC 0 -100 KM/H 4.6 / 4.4 SECONDS MAX KM/H 250 ELECTRONICALLY LIMITED42 AMG 2009
  35. 35. CONTROL THE NEW TORQUE VECTORING BRAKE INITIATES A SHORT BRAKING ACTION ON THE INSIDE REAR WHEEL, WHICH GUIDES THE VEHICLE MORE ACCURATELY THROUGH CURVESA NEW LOOK AND FURTHER wheels. Improved cornering is the aim of the enormous power reserves of the AMG models: new Torque Vectoring Brake – another tech- the S 63 AMG sprints to 100 km/h in 4.6 sec-MODERNIZATION UNDER nological innovation that cleverly utilizes onds, thanks to a 386 kW/525 HP V8, whileTHE HOOD: THE TWO ESP® capabilities. It causes a short, targeted the 450 kW/612 HP V12 bi-turbo engine ofAMG S-CLASS SEDANS braking action on the inside rear wheel as the S 65 AMG accelerates to the 100 km/h soon as the Affalterbach S-class model ap- mark in just 4.4 seconds. Last, but certainlyHAVE BEEN SUBTLY BUT proaches a sharp curve at speed. As a result, not least, the outward appearance of theSIGNIFICANTLY REVISED the vehicle turns the corner in a smooth, cal- S 63 AMG and S 65 AMG have also been en- culated manner. Superior maneuverability, hanced. The radiator grill has been sharp- and even more driver safety, are the tangible ened, the bi-xenon headlights boast titanium- results. Direct steering supports more re- colored lenses, and AMG-exclusive LED day- sponsive handling. The aim of these innova- light driving lights have been inserted in the tions is to perfect the art of driving and in- new front apron. Also new in the two modelsI s it possible to improve upon perfec- crease the driver’s enjoyment, already is the rear apron with black diffuser, painted tion? The new AMG S 63 and S 65 undoubtedly high, even further. the same color as the car. models show that it really is. Though The sporty overhauled luxury class sedans In the interior, AMG, like its customers, set-they exhibited no signs of being outdated, also take their place atop the competition in tles for nothing less than high-quality materi-AMG nevertheless thoroughly overhauled the terms of safety, thanks to cameras and radar als. Leather, AMG sports seats, climate con-top S-class models. While cosmetic refresh- systems. These include assistive systems trol, massage and driving dynamics functions,ment certainly formed part of this upgrade, such as Attention Assist, Adaptive High Beam and high-gloss walnut insets create a refinedthe most astounding changes were made be- Assist, Lane Holding Assist, and the PRE- atmosphere while retaining functionality.neath the sporty, classy exterior. Both AMG S- SAFE® brake. This emergency brake is linked There is one more small surprise: The CO-class models are now virtually immune to to the vehicle distance sensor and engages MAND APS has a SPLITVIEW display, enablingcrosswinds. The AMG sports suspension with automatically upon threat of an accident, the driver to keep GPS driving directions inActive Body Control (ABC) uses the existing functioning as an invisible crumple zone. view while the copilot simultaneously watch-yaw sensors and lateral acceleration sensors Those who wish can order a windscreen cam- es a film – on the same monitor.of the ESP® electronic stability program to era, which automatically recognizes trafficidentify gusts of wind, thereby eliminating signs with speed limits and then warns thetheir effects on handling in a fraction of a driver. Investing in this Speed Limit Assistantsecond by varying the load distribution to the seems particularly sensible in light of the IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER THE ENGINE UNDER THE HOOD IS A V8 OR V12 BI-TURBO – PERFORMANCE IS NO PROBLEM FOR AMG’S NEW FIRST-CLASS SEDANS. THESE TOP MODELS CATAPULT THEMSELVES FROM ZERO TO ONE HUNDRED IN 4.6 AND 4.4 SECONDS, RESPECTIVELY AMG 2009 43
  36. 36. SPECIALA NEWWORLDOFTECHNOLOGY,TYPES, ANDTEST CIRCUITS:THE SLSAMG SPECIALC197
  37. 37. AMG 2009 45
  38. 38. LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION THROUGHOUT: THE SLS AMG EXHAUST SYSTEM46 AMG 2009
  39. 39. A DREAMJOB WITHCHALLENGESFROM THE ARCTICCIRCLE TO DEATHVALLEY: AMG’S EN-GINEERS AND TESTDRIVERS RACETHEIR PROTOTYPESACROSS EVERYCONTINENT. WEACCOMPANIED G etting in through the window: Ralph Stetter couldn’t have dreamt it, but board; they are responsible for the climate – inside the SLS AMG.THEM ON THEIR he has no choice. A photographer, camouflaged as a tourist, lurks with her tele- hey start at 1,600 metres and push TSIXTEEN-MONTH- photo lens. And here is the SLS AMG with its the SLS AMG up to more than 4,200 highly slung Gullwing doors – clearly a cover metres. “There are no better passesLONG ELITE photo. Automotive magazines all over the for this job than Pikes Peak,” explainsTRAINING FOR A world would pay a lot of money for it. But Stetter, an AMG test engineer, doesn’t allow Schmid. “We start at over twenty degrees, and after an hour of driving we even haveTHOROUGHBRED her the indulgence of that trophy. In through the window, then, feet first. Colleagues laugh. temperatures below zero, depending on the season and the weather conditions. The airATHLETE: The 40-year-old, however, cuts a good figure as he slides in. The “General Vehicle Testing conditioner has to adjust optimally to that. The 38-year-old engineer wants to keep driv-THE SLS AMG Engineer” is currently working on the SLS ing, just like his boss and partner Timo Blass- AMG project. Stetter is a pro, having gar- nitz, 37, but first they are occupied by curious nered experience with Mercedes, Bosch, and day-trippers. “Is that the new Viper?” theTEXT FRANK MÜHLING stout American would like to know. Blassnitz Porsche. He knows just about all the tricks,PHOTO MARKUS BOLSINGER including how to hold off persistent journal- just smiles and leaves him confused with a ANDREAS LINDLAHR ists. “When we camouflaged the car, we at- sly, “I don’t know.” The test drivers are famil- HARRY RUCKABERLE/DEBEOS STUDIOS tached a great deal of importance to making iar with this kind of enthusiasm. One recent HEIKO SIMAYER sure that the SLS AMG was not identifiable as morning, a note was stuck to a prototype in a Gullwing. That’s why the typical Mercedes front of the hotel with a request: “Please, let door handle is there.” The door handle, of me drive your Batmobile!” The SLS AMG crew course, has no purpose. Engines running, also includes Ralph Stoll and Frank Müller. onward through the legendary Death Valley. Müller, an engineer, had previously been Merciless heat delivers the optimal testing working for three years in the Mercedes plant conditions, as well as opportunities for proto- in the American city of Tuscaloosa before type hunters. It is a classic game of cat and joining AMG in 2007. His feet had hardly mouse, something Stetter and his AMG col- touched the ground before he received an leagues have had to live with since the sum- e-mail with his first assignment. He was to mer of 2008. The SLS AMG prototypes really get hold of an old Gullwing in order to gather draw all the hacks. Even in camouflage, its information. The task: a rain test to see proportions shine through: long bonnet, occu- where the water flowed when the Gullwing pant cell positioned way back, large wheels, was opened. For him, an unbelievable experi- wide track. For a sexy finish, a firm rear end ence. “I’m proud and grateful for the opportu- with a striking spoiler – which will, in the pro- nity to work on the development of the SLS duction model, be replaced by an extendable AMG. A time like this will never come rear wing. These are proportions that have again,” says the 44-year-old with a hint of been entrusted to the test drivers for quite a emotion. At present, Müller is in the process while. Stetter, naturally, but also the congen- of organizing the next summer trials with the ial duo of Timo Blassnitz and Markus Schmid. competition cars of the sports car elite. From Their mission is the well-being of everyone on Porsche to Ferrari, from Aston Martin to AMG 2009 47
  40. 40. THE MIXTURE OF TIME DIFFERENCES, CLIMATE CHANGES, AND HIGH-PRES- SURE SCHEDULES ARE SOMETIMES TOO MUCH FOR EVEN THE STRONGEST MEN. COLDS AND BACK- ACHE ARE ASCorvette. A dream job with its share of hard-ship. After eight hours of test driving, it is MUCH A PART OFtime to analyze the measurement results,then exchange them with colleagues in Affal- THE JOB AS THEterbach and, in the middle of the night, an- OIL-STAINED HANDS CYLINDERS V8swer important e-mails. Whether in the US,Sweden, South Africa, Spain, or Papenburg, ON THE CREW DISPLACEMENT CM3 OUTPUT KW/HP 6,208 420/571two weeks of test driving is the rule. A realtest for one’s private life. Hobbies, fellow club OF MECHANICS TORQUE NM 650members, and friends have to wait. Only a AT 4,750 RPMcell phone, e-mail and webcam remain for TRANSMISSION AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCTcontact with girlfriends, wives, and children. 7-SPEED SPORTS GEARBOX“I have been with AMG since 2005, and him once again, after lining up three SLS AMG 0 -100 KM/H 3.8 SECONDSI don’t know a single soul in Affalterbach,” prototypes and five comparison vehicles at MAX KM/H 315 ELECTRONICALLY LIMITEDlaughs the 29-year-old Stoll. “My girlfriend 6:30 am in front of a workshop far away fromstill lives in my hometown, near the Swiss home. As the Gullwings sparkled in the morn-border.” There’s no complaining, however, not ing sun, Alber had no doubt: The chance to beeven for Lars Henzler: “We all know full well involved in the development of a car as spe-that other people pay a lot of money on holi- cial as the SLS AMG is one that doesn’t comedays to see as much of the world as we do.” the way of every engineer. And thus it contin-The 39-year-old vehicle dynamics testing en- ues to remain a much-loved dream for all testgineer looks after active safety, among other drivers to trial cars whichwon’t be standing inthings. His area of specialization: The adjust- showrooms until months later – for that, it’sment of ESP, ARS, ABS, and the rest. – worth getting in through the window.regardless of whether on the racetrack or afrozen lake. ho would swap places with the AMGW colleagues who have a classic office job? A collective shaking of heads –even though they are on the move for 150days a year. In addition, jetlag has an impacton both mind and body. The mixture of timedifferences, changes in climate, and deadlinepressure sometimes knocks even thestrongest men for a loop. Colds and backpain are as much a part of the job as the oilstains on the hands of the crew of mechanicslooking after the test vehicles. Little freetime, time constraints, and yet: “We have thebest job in the world,” according to PeterAlber, 44. That was recently made clear to48 AMG 2009
  41. 41. ACID TEST IN ALL CLIMATE ZONES: THE SLS AMG ON PIKES PEAK
  42. 42. THE HEART OF THE NEW GULL- WING CAR BEATS DEEP WITHIN THE ALU- MINUM SPACE FRAME IN THE FORM OF A FRONTAL EIGHT- C CYLINDER MID-ENGINE 197 MOTOR BLOCK (RIGHT) AND SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR THE DASHBOARD (LEFT)50 AMG 2009
  43. 43. AMG 2009 51
  44. 44. CHARACTERISTIC GULLWING DOOR: SLS AMG PROTOTYPES REVEAL THEIR SECRET AMG 2009 53
  45. 45. C 197REFINED, FUNCTIONAL – AND COMFORTABLE: THE SLS AMG COCKPIT
  46. 46. RAREFIED SPACEAN INSTRUMENTPANEL REMINIS-CENT OF AN AIR-CRAFT, DIALSLIKE THOSE INA COCKPIT –THE INTERIOR OFTHE SLS AMG genuine sports car – or an aircraft. White, backlit dials with rhodanized sunbursts, clear tral console are available in two versions, and even in the standard version the designersFULFILLS THE graphics, and red pointers lend it a purist have consciously chosen only the best, finish-PROMISES MADE look: minimalist and functional, but with the attractive charm of precision instruments. ing the interior of the SLS AMG with genuine metal “Silver Shadow.” The other alternativeBY THE EXTERIOR: The speedometer suggests why things have to be this way: It goes up to 360 km/h; given is carbon. This looks sportier and more minimalist and is the perfect match for theA SUPERIOR that the maximum speed is 315 km/h, it per- mits only the necessary margin of freedom. gullwing design, although it also costs a little more.SPORTS CAR The set of instruments is rounded off by a central display and a shift indicator with sev- aturally, the SLS AMG also offersEXPERIENCE en LEDs. The AMG three-spoke oval cross- N details that are taken for granted at section sports steering wheel measures just Mercedes-Benz AMG. These include 360 millimeters in diameter and flattens to- AMG sport seats for optimum lateral hold andTEXT HANS SCHILDER wards the bottom. Behind it glitter the metal comfort on long journeys, THERMOTRONIC shifting paddles. A glance downwards will automatic air conditioning, a tempomat in- reveal a set of stainless steel pedals with rub- cluding SPEEDTRONIC, PARKTRONIC, rain ber ridges, giving you the feeling that you are sensor, headlight assist, KEYLESS-GO, and driving a racing car – as indeed you should in the already mentioned COMAND APS multi- the 571 HP Gullwing, with its legendary line- media system. An irresistible extra for many age. The powerful central console of the mod- people might be the newly developed 1,000- ern gullwing car means that all controls in the Watt Bang & Olufsen sound system with com- AMG DRIVE UNIT are turned towards the driv- puterized distribution of the music signals, so er. Using an AMG E-SELECT level, the driver that the cockpit of the SLS offers veritable can inform the AMG dual-clutch transmission concert hall conditions as it glides across the he designers of the new SLS AMG of his requirements via Drive-by-Wire technol- asphalt. Like the exterior, the interior of theT must have thought frequently about ogy. And doesn’t the selector lever somehow SLS AMG reflects exactly what it is that the joys of flying. It’s not just the remind you of the joystick on an aircraft? marks out this top-class sports car and itsgullwing doors; the cockpit indicates, too, That can’t be pure coincidence. Centrally pedigree: authenticity at its most attractive.that the designers were inspired by machines placed above the central console, the 7-inchcapable of flight. Here the support structure screen of the COMAND APS multimedia sys-for the instrument panel sweeps across the tem provides information about the car radio,entire width of the vehicle, almost like a DVD changer, and telephone, while the GPSplane’s fuselage. Beneath it are four eye- navigation advice can also be viewed here.catching, metal-cased ventilation nozzles that The SLS AMG is clearly a purebred sports car.look like the engines of a fast jet. But let’s The interior is refreshingly reduced, but defi-begin on the outside: entering and exiting the nitely not Spartan. A certain level of comfortcar pose no problem. The gullwing doors is to be expected and, above all, an atmos-open to an angle of 70 degrees, wide enough phere in which you feel at ease. This is as-for even the tallest adult. To close the doors sured by the choice of materials used in theyou simply pull down on a strap and the SLS interior: nappa leather seats with decorativeAMG secures the hatches. The straps are contrasting panels. The same leather is alsoeasy to reach even from the low-slung seats, used to outfit the doors and the dashboard.positioned just 369 millimeters from the Alternatively, other exclusive types of leatherroad. Two very large round instruments, en- are available. However, even the basic modelcased in tubular metal frames to prevent feels elegant, thanks to the use of quality ma-glare, are just what you’d expect to find in a terials. All decorative elements and the cen- AMG 2009 55
  47. 47. THE GOALISPERFECTIONPRECISION DOWNTO THE LASTDETAIL — THAT ISHIS PROFESSION.TOBIAS MOERS ISTHE HEAD OF THEVEHICLE TESTINGTEAM ATMERCEDES-AMG. fter a few moments, we’re ready: athlete – as in the case of the SLS AMG. AHE AND HIS TEAM The tree falls. Exactly where it was supposed to. Tobias Moers gives a But what brings this passionate auto enthusi- ast to be trudging through the undergrowthHAVE ALSO SUB- thumbs-up and smiles. The 42-year-old didn’t and felling trees on a rainy and cold Saturday expect anything else. Perfection is his passion. morning? How do his management job atJECTED THE NEW Both at work and here in the forest. Mercedes AMG and his enthusiasm for cut-SLS AMG TO INTEN- This five-hectare piece of land in the Swabian forest is his own personal counterweight to ting-edge technology fit with the sweaty manual labor here in the forest? Don’t theySIVE TESTING. his job. Here Tobias Moers moves things pri- marily under his own strength; here it smells contradict one another?A DATE WITH THE like moss, like pine needles and fresh wood. And as soon as the power saw again falls T obias Moers rebuts this viewpoint quickly, lucidly, and precisely: ”MySTRESS-TEST silent, the air is filled only with the nearby family is the most important thing; murmur of a softly meandering brook. they give me strength. The forest is my balance.EXPERTS One comes across men like Moers seldom in I only feel good if I exhaust myself physically life. They don’t fit the usual templates. On the on a regular basis. But jogging isn’t for me.TEXT HANS SCHILDER one hand, he seems made for this – moving I have to do real physical labor.“ No one through the forest with a trained eye and in- would hesitate to believe him on that point. credible calm; guiding the balance between There he stands, wiry, 1.8 meters tall and growth and restriction. At the same time, this only 80 kilograms. enigmatic, occasionally very charming man is at home when immersed in the world of the He generally sets off on Saturdays. With his fastest and most attractive automobiles – in MB-Trac tractor outfitted with a winch, at Affalterbach. least two power saws, axe, felling wedges In his position there as ”Director of General and, of course, the obligatory safety equip- Vehicle Development,“ as his business card ment. informs us, Tobias Moers is among other His work in the forest is more than just a things the head of the AMG testing team. He meaningful escape from the everyday. and his crew have escorted the SLS AMG on its ”A forest has to be managed sustainably. journey from prototype to test model to perfect That’s the only way to guarantee its survival production car. for the coming generations,“ is how Moers explains his commitment. Dealing with trees M arathon tests in three continents, damaged by bark beetles or carrying out hundreds of thousands of test kilo- small, professional forest thinnings are part meters, as well as endless endurance of this idea as well. The visible result: 120 tests between the freezing temperatures of cubic meters of firewood stored behind his the poles and the brutal heatwaves of the earth’s house. Sawed and carefully stacked. furnaces are only the outward extremes of While the five-hectare piece of woodland such a task. Under his watch a prototype will remains his official counterweight, he did, be pushed to its limits that it might ultimately however, have enough energy left for an old become the ideal automobile. An exemplary half-timbered house. Thanks to his dedication,56 AMG 2009
  48. 48. IN HIS FOREST, TOBIAS MOERS OF AMG GROWS: ”EVERY DAY I LEARN SOMETHING NEW“ the once dilapidated building became a small ability to apply himself passionately to a prob- only a part of him has changed roles. jewel. Needless to say, the demolition and lem and then ease off only once it was solved, A part of him always remains an auto enthusiast. rebuilding of the roof framework were briskly and also from his many years of experience of Tobias Moers frees the felled fir of its thick carried out in one – to use his phrasing – ”extremely keeping everything in perspective. branches with a roaring chainsaw. You can long vacation“ of nearly three weeks of massive see that he’s thrilled by the work. In this world, personal effort and daily work periods of twelve T esting the space-frame design was in his forest, he is content. hours. In the evening, he often went ”briefly“ into certainly a particular challenge,“ re- He invests even more enthusiasm, and far the office, as project C 197, the new SLS AMG, calls Moers. ”In the end, the SLS AMG more time, in what is perhaps his greatest had at this time recently begun. has the first fully aluminum body construction passion: Mercedes-AMG. For men like Tobias from the House of Daimler.“ The path to opti- Moers, fascinating technology and tenacious A colleague who works weekdays in mal results led through many preliminary trials forest labor are not a contradiction. For Affalterbach will frequently join him with individual components and parts in an him, they are the perfect complement to one in the woods. Teamwork seems to attempt to obtain a solid basis for computer another. suit Moers. When testing the SLS AMG, his simulations. crew worked closely with colleagues in the Based on the findings from these simulations, Mercedes-Benz Technology Center (MTC) in the parts were optimized and repeatedly returned Sindelfingen. ”We simply complemented to the testing facility. ”Until everything matched,“ each other perfectly in this project. It’s im- says the man in the upmarket lumberjack outfit, portant to point that out. In the early stages and one notices that those individual meetings we made arrangements for the individual as- and testing configurations are once again pass- signments, and the teams integrated really ing through his thoughts. well. It was a fantastic act of cooperation.“ The transitions in Tobias Moers’ world are The entire team was able to profit from Moers’ fluid. When one sees Moers here in the forest, AMG 2009 57
  49. 49. DREAM JOB WITH HARDSHIP. TEST DRIVERS EXPERIENCE EXTREME CONDITIONS
  50. 50. C 197FINAL EXAMINATIONS ON THREE CONTINENTS: A TEST MARATHON FOR THE SLS AMG AMG 2009 59

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