We recently had the pleasure of talking with Rob Allan at an event sponsored by the Greater Washington Section, Mercedes-Benz Club of America (MBCA). It was a classic event, which included Rob’s presentation in Euro Motorcars’ service garage area – where else would a true car guy rather be.

Rob started his presentation with the history of AMG. How the small company started out as an independent racing and tuning firm for Mercedes cars prior to majority ownership by Daimler-Chrysler. Then he moved on to the current state of manufacturing and today’s production techniques.

Rob Allan, AMG Manager, Product Mgmt.

AMG engines are hand built by craftsman using state-of-the-art tools and assembly methods at AMG’s ultra-modern engine workshops. One tool torques all cylinder head bolts simultaneously, another injects pressurized fluids prior to that critical first turn of the crank. Rob couldn’t resist a quick jab and said, “they don’t do that at Porsche.” It takes about four hours for one person to assemble the AMG engine from “start to finish.”

Are technological advances in the auto industry making manual transmissions a thing of the past? Like it or not automatics now shift faster, smoother, and more intelligently – double down shifting not a problem. According to Rob Allan, automatic transmissions are now “the world’s most intelligent transmissions.” Soon the only thing you’ll reach for with your right hand is your coffee mug – everything else is on the steering wheel.

The presentation also included details concerning the unique development of the 63 AMG engine (6.3 liter V-8). With 80 percent of the torque at 2,200 rpms and a high rev at 7,200 rpms, this engine produces 70 ft-lbs of torque more than the closest competitor. What do you get when you add advanced cylinder wall technology, a unique crankcase concept, sophisticated intake and exhaust manifolds, a lighter engine (47 lbs less than the 5.5 liter), and AMG’s motor sports know how? An engine that dominates others in its class.

Built almost completely from a high-strength silicon-aluminum alloy, the new 6.3-liter features four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, bucket tappets (rather than rocker arms) and a variable intake manifold. A first for a production engine, the cylinder bores include a twin-wire-arc-sprayed (TWAS) coating, a new process that lowers friction and makes the running surfaces twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinders. The engine shares no parts with other Mercedes-Benz V8s, and even its cylinder spacing is unique.

Euro Motorcars in Germantown, Maryland sponsored the event, with co-sponsor TireVan