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  #1  
Old 12-28-2001, 11:24 AM
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AMG History: was the '92-'93 190E Sportline the first AMG - MB factory collaboration?

Having just acquired a '93 190E Sportline Special Edition (black leather with red piping), I have been researching the Sportline history and background.

I note that the rectangular front fender badge for the '92 and ''93 190E Sportline package has the name "Sportline" in white on the left, with a light blue logo to the right of the name which is the right slanted, decreasing size trapezoids which is the AMG logo (see the link to a good picture of the badge below-- sorry that I don't have the skills to paste it into this thread, but perhaps someone more computer adept might do so).

go to: http://pursuitme-auto.tripod.com/ then click on the1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Sportline black -- the picture of the Sportline badge is about seven pictures down [this is from, I think, a Russian car sales site].

The logo would imply that AMG produced the Sportline suspension for the '92 and '93 190Es -- which would appear to be their first factory collaboration with M-B for a car sold through the M-B dealerships (as distinct from the 1986 Hammer, which was an aftermarket tuning job).

The AMG history recites:

1993: The first vehicle jointly developed with Daimler-Benz goes on sale in Europe--the C36 AMG. AMG is registered as a trademark.

1993: AMG components available through M-B dealerships in the U.S.

1995: C36 AMG type approved for sale in the U.S.

However, Sportline cars were available here in '92 and '93 -- the '92 (presumably first available in the Fall of 1991) would predate the European development of the C36, the registration of the AMG trademark and the '93 "availability of AMG components" through US M-B dealers.

Did AMG supply the Sportline components to the M-B factory for M-B installation in the 190Es (as distinct from the current production of AMG cars where the body shell is shipped back and forth between the AMG and M-B factories and the separate staff of AMG and M-B each do their own work on their portion of the car)?

Any additional info or insights would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2001, 12:04 PM
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This may be a starting point: http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/showthread.php?threadid=1289&highlight=sportline+amg

I suspect that since there is an 'old' AMG logo, rather like an Alfa crest, that maybe the 5 blocks were a transitional thing while AMG wasn't quite part of MB, but was doing close collaboration. I sent a letter to the factory in Germany, got an email saying basically - we will get back to you - and never heard anything more. It sure looks like the Sportline badge evolved into the AMG!

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  #3  
Old 12-28-2001, 08:41 PM
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Congrats on finding (what I believe) is a very rare car.
I got to the MB USA credit corp sale every 4 weeks where there is usually around 300 "off lease" benzes for sale. (to get inventory for our "pre-owned" car sales)

In all the years of going to this sale, I have only seen 2 of these cars. I tried to buy them, but each time someone else paid "premium" for it.
The red/black interior is really cool as is the "faux" carbon fiber trim.
I have often thought of duplicating that interior in a nice street 16v. That would make a nice combo.
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2001, 12:39 AM
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I have MB factory brochures from 1988-1993 and no where do they mention AMG as the "father" of "SportLine." In fact, I find no mention of AMG whatsoever.

"SportLine" is listed as a factory sport option only.

Also, the 1995 C36 brochure I have also states that the 1995 C36 is the first joint Mercedes & AMG factory project.

I rode in a SportLine 2.6 C-class (W201) with a 5-sp. manual tranny, and that baby was VERY fun to drive.

:-) neil
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2001, 09:02 AM
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What remains curious is the explicit AMG 5-trapezoid logo on the Sportline badge, which logo was trademarked by AMG in 1993 -- hard to conceive that either the still-independent AMG would be allowed to take over a M-B logo and trademark it for themselves in '93, or, vice-versa, that AMG would in '93 (after they got the trademark and when the Sportline was still being produced for the '93 190E) allow their logo to be used on a product into which they had had no input.

Perhaps this was AMG's subtle bid for some credit for the Sportline suspension package -- a couple of years before, AMG and Mercedes had entered into a cooperation agreement signed in Paris and this might be the first fruits of the cooperation, to be followed by the European C36 in 1993 (which didn't come to the US until '95). I would hypothesize that AMG developed the suspension (perhaps as a prototype for the C36, which must have been under development in order to be released in Europe in '93) and supplied it as parts to M-B to be installed by M-B at the M-B factory.

It would be interesting to find someone at AMG who could shed more light on the '92-'93 Sportline use of the logo.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2001, 10:03 AM
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Here is what the official company info is on the 190 Sportline:

In June 1989 the "Sportline" package was introduced as an option for all models except the 190E 2.5-16 (note from me-yes, it says 2.5 not 2.3, and I assume by "all models" it means all 190's).
This package included suspension lowered by 21 mm, stiffer springs and shock absorbers, 7X15 inch alloy wheels with wide tires (205/55R15) and the seats from the 16 valve models.

The "Special Edition" cars are quite rare, I wasn't aware that "Sportline" was available. A salesman at work has the "Special Edition" sales brochure, I'll have to study it. I know the 2.3 and 2.6 Special Editions had different equipment, I think the 2.3 was green only, the 2.6 was black only.
No info in my MB discs as far as AMG being associated with Sportline, they are mentioned in the C36 info of course, after all they were called C36 AMG!
I wouldn't get too hung up on the slashes behind the "Sportline" name. To me it looks just like the slashes behind the BMW Motorsport "M" M\\\, Sportline\\\, big deal. Lets start a class action suit on the alphabet. Or back-slashes, take your pick.
Gilly
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2002, 11:26 PM
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Actually the Sportline model had no AMG parts at all. AMG did produce a highly modified 190E with a 3.2 liter motor in it, I believe the year was 1987 and many models since, they have even shoe-horned 5.6 and 6 liter motors into the 190E.

Officially, the C36 is the first AMG prepped car to be sold through the MB dealerships and carry a MB warranty. Not sure about Europe though. I have heard that the 1987 3.2 190E was available from MB as a special order item, but I have not been able to confirm that. The German AMG literature for the 190E seems to agree with this.

The sportline option consists of these items:

Sportseats front/rear (actually from the 1987 16 Valve 190, not amg)
different lower control arms and bushings (not amg items)
Different shocks/springs (not amg items)
Different wheels (not amg items)
Smaller diamater steering wheel (not amg)
Sportline shift knob (not amg item)
Quicker ratio steering box (not amg item)
Larger front/rear sway bars & different bushings (not amg items)
Sportline front fender badges (not amg items)
Different rear sub frame mounts (not amg items)

All of these items can be sourced from MB for very little money (you can get the seats, but they are expensive) and added to your existing 190E.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2002, 12:02 AM
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September, 1993, a date which will live in infamy

Well, maybe not. It seems all MB-AMG production cars originated in September '93. Production started in this month for several factory AMG cars, including:
E36 AMG coupe, convertible, AND station wagon (no sedan )
E60 AMG sedan (heh, heh, sedans get the last laugh:p )
SL60 AMG
couldn't find reference to a single 140 chassis AMG
Found a few other interesting ones:
202 chassis wagon C43 (no C36 wagon though)
In the 210 chassis range there was an E50 AMG as well as the E55 AMG, there is also a E55 AMG wagon that I'm sure most are aware of.
I tend to agree that the Sportline product manufacturing had nothing to do with AMG, unless there was possibly some help from AMG in the developmental stages for suspension parts, all the trim is either simple appearance parts, or fancier parts from another parts bin.
Gilly
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Old 01-02-2002, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
202 chassis wagon C43 (no C36 wagon though)
Just an FYI though...
That I have a 97 AMG brochure (in Germany) and according to the brochure they have the C36 wagon...

I am not sure about 95/96 C36 if they ever available in wagon..

Regardz,

J Irwan
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2002, 06:50 AM
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My info is from the MB archives, not AMG. AMG may well have offered it and had it in their catalog, but it wasn't offered direct from MB as a factory model. My info is for factory models only.
I am curious since MB owns AMG now, if AMG has their own product catalog, or if all work is carried out only for factory models?
Gilly
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2002, 01:30 AM
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I have seen many AMG literature for the 190E, so its obivous that AMG either offered the cars directly or through MB. I have also seen this literature for the 124 chassis as well.

One person told me he special ordered a 190E 3.2 AMG from a dealer (who ordered it through AMG I guess).
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2002, 10:18 AM
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Phast:
No one is disputing that AMG is a well respected tuner who cranked out brand new modified Mercedes with full acceptance by Mercedes and probably with full MB support (I believe MB even supplied engineless cars to AMG, try going in to your local dealer and ordering a car with no engine!). Also I'm sure AMG distributed some type of literature. I am unsure what the distribution system was like prior to MB buying them. I'm curious if AMG still does the type of tuning as they did before, or has MB changed everything?
At any rate, what is being discussed here is MB/AMG collaboration, that is, a brand new Mercedes, sold through the normal Mercedes distribution channel, A true Mercedes AMG car, like the C36AMG, for example, or C43AMG, E55AMG, cars like that.
Gilly
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2002, 10:41 PM
Gustav
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C36 was the first AMG in partnership with Mercedes.

C36 was available from AMG before for the W124 model. E, CE and TE.

C36 (not W124) only as a sedan, C43 and C43 Estate and also rare C55 AMG avail. also as Sedan and Estate.

E50, E55 and E60 (380 HP, before E55) have also been avail after the partnership. And of course CLK55, CLK 55 Convertible, E55 AMG Estate, SL73, E55 AMG 4-Matic, SL55, G55, ML55, S55, CL55. And now we have the option S63 and CL63 with 444 HP. Nice

A tip, for coool AMG used cars go to www.mobile.de and search for Mercedes + AMG or Brabus

One SL73 for sale!
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2002, 11:41 PM
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6 Mercedes AMG models began production in September 1993:
E36 Coupe, Convertible, and Wagon, E60 Sedan, SL60, and C36 Sedan.
C55 was never offered directly from Mercedes, E50 and E55 210 chassis were Mercedes offerings, as was the previously mentioned E60, which was a 124 chassis only.
SL55 and 73, S and CL63, and any G Wagen AMG would not be sold direct from Mercedes.
Gilly
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2002, 09:45 AM
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My point was not that the 190E Sportline was a full AMG factory car (like the C36 AMG -- which, of course, it was not), but rather that if AMG cooperated with the M-B factory in the development of the Sportline handling package (the identical five decreasing trapezoids symbol -- which appears in both the Sportline logo and the AMG logo-- gives rise to an implication that AMG may have been involved), then this would have marked the first M-B car offered with badged AMG cooperation, whether in design and development, supply or specification of components, etc.

Since the C36 was released in Europe in 1993 (well before coming to the US as a '95 model), the car had to be under development well before then. Also, AMG was tuning M-B cars for private customers for some years before 1993 (e.g., the Hammer series), so the Sportline handling package could have been either an outgrowth of private-car tuning prior to the C36, a special project allowing demonstration by AMG to M-B of their components compatability with M-B factory production (in order to serve as a prelude and inducement to M-B marketing the C36)or part of the C36 development process.

This is, of course, speculation fueled by the badge without any independent corroboration by M-B or AMG, tho I may give a call to M-B USA to see if anyone there has any comment.
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