Is Mercedes reviving the AMG 73 series?
Submitted patents from Daimler-Benz suggest that the iconic AMG ‘73’ series may be set for revival
Before Pagani opted to shoehorn AMG’s monster 7.3-litre V12 engine under the bonnet of its ground-breaking Zonda supercar, the 525bhp powertrain was available exclusively from 1997 through 2001 lurking within the Mercedes-Benz AMG CL73.
Although only 85 examples of this maniacal flagship AMG model made their way into private ownership, the discrete sleeper developed a dedicated cult following. Even dog-eared examples now change hands for upwards of £250,000.
However, while you may never clap eyes on one of these beasts in action on public roads, with the recent submitted name patents from Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent subsidiary, this first world problem could now have a solution.
Mercedes’ high-performance division from deepest Affalterbach, Germany appears to be hatching a plan to carve up the autobahn with AMG variants of the already respected S-class, G-wagen and GLS sports utility vehicle.
Per patents filed with the European Union Patent and Trademark office by Daimler, Mercedes-AMG has currently trademarked official use of ‘S 73’, “GLS 73’ and ‘G 73’ for future European market models.
Speculation from Mercedes enthusiasts suggest that AMG could be readying an all-new engine to firmly put rivals in place with unparalleled output figures. While currently unknown quite what may be in the works, aficionados have put two theories forward:
- An overhaul of the previous M275 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12, or...
- A tuned, high-output variation of the current M178 twin-turbo V8
With Europe’s current strangulation on emissions regulations, should one of the above plans be employed, AutoClassics would bet on the latter. Albeit with higher compression turbos and larger intercoolers.
Further patents were also claimed, suggesting the current ‘AMG 63’ mechanicals will find further use behind the grille of Mercedes’ GLC, GLS and GLE series. Rights to the ‘CLA 53’, ‘GLA 53’ and ‘GLB 53’ were also filed on September 24, 2017 – suggesting that the contemporary 3.0-litre turbocharged powerplant may find its way into the next series of A Class-based Mercedes vehicles.
The final set of patents submitted concerns the AMG ‘40’ and ’50’ series, with guesswork suggesting that a new turbocharged four-cylinder may be under development.
Originally an independent engineering firm specialising in performance enhancements for Mercedes vehicles, AMG is now owned by Daimler-Benz, which purchased a controlling interest in 1999 before then taking full custody in 2005.
Although the 1990s SL 73 offered a hefty dollop of extra power over the already eye-watering expensive 302bhp 2000 SL500, handling was far from predictable. Yet, for cruising at 186mph the AMG offering was unbeatable – setting the trend for further models to follow.
As engineering technology has moved on, AMGs have since been lathed in carbonfibre and blessed with greater stability, now globally recognised as the most expensive performance based variant of each Mercedes-Benz class. With the expected revival of the SL 73 range, the future appears very exciting for the marque.
As an afterthought, with the Daimler/Pagani relationship, could a new Pagani be in development, too?