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Has AMG gone nuts? or worse, to the dogs?
What, may I ask, is going on with AMG? It's bad enough that Mercedes has been trying to imitate Proctor and Gamble in the automotive industry. As in, if we keep filling the shelves with enough "new and improved" products, at least something will sell. But AMG used to be special and the pinnacle of overall performance. Consider AMG's 300SEL 6.3 from the 1960's. Do a Google search on that beauty and see what comes up. Not only was it the fastest sedan of it's time, it had handling that was barely this side of a Porsche 911. A rare classic that is a valuable collectible today.
Today (Tuesday August 29, 2006 12 noon EST) we have no fewer than 14 AMG models to choose from. There will likely be more by the end of the week.
Has AMG never once considered the concept of brand dilution? And attention deficit disorder? While they have endowed these various overwieght Mercedes models with ever larger engines, they really haven't advanced overall performance a fraction of what the 300SEL 6.3 achieved relative to its peers. Don't believe me, go ahead and plop down $185,000 for a 604 hp / 738 ft-lb SL65 and I'll take you on. Not with my 355hp 911S, that would be way too easy. But with my former $32,000 Honda S2000, which would kill the SL in anything but a teenage imitation red light drag race.
I guess I fall into the target demographics of AMG, if I am to believe all of their e-mail invitations to try their latest and greatest offerings. But, as appealing as a BMW M3 or M5 might be too me (assuming the M5 gets the proper 6-speed manual), I just can't get too excited by a slushbox, 2+ ton SL55. And the R63? There aren't enough Marguerittas in Mexico to get me to consider that. Hopefully, the well deserved heritage and honor of the 300SEL 6.3 won't be damaged by all this craziness of late.
If there is a doctor in the house, please prescribe, Ritalin, Prozac or a session with Tom Cruise for AMG management before it's too late.