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What does the AMG badge on a Mercedes mean? For some, it’s just a sign that you’re looking at a faster, sharper, more expensive version of a Benz. But there’s so much more to it than that. AMG has a whole history of performance and racing worth celebrating—especially in 2022, which is the tuner’s 55th birthday. But rather than cake, its party features supercars, a few celebrity appearances, and some limited-edition AMG GLEs.

AMG rings in 55 years of Mercedes speed with superstar and supercar power

From left to right, the Mercedes Vision AMG design study, Mercedes-AMG One, 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe, and 1971 Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8 'Rote Sau' in a stylized tunnel
From left to right, the Mercedes Vision AMG design study, Mercedes-AMG One, 2022 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe, and 1971 Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8 ‘Rote Sau’ | AMG

Although popular perception may claim otherwise, AMG hasn’t always tuned only Mercedes cars. However, when engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher—the ‘A’ and ‘M’ in ‘AMG’—founded the shop in 1967, they did so having come from Mercedes-Benz. And the relationship only deepened after AMG took the ‘Red Pig’ to 2nd place at the 1971 24 Hours of Spa. Then, following several decades of Benz hot rods and running Mercedes race cars, the automaker brought the tuner officially into the family in the ‘90s.

But for its 55th birthday, AMG isn’t just focusing on its historic accomplishments. After all, the current Mercedes-AMG lineup includes over 50 vehicles ranging from coupes to SUVs. And the performance division still runs the automaker’s racing efforts, including its highly-successful Formula 1 team. As such, for its new ’55 Years—Changing the Game’ ad campaign, AMG is looking towards its future.

That future includes the new Mercedes-AMG One, a genuine racecar for the road. But it also involves a new line of electric vehicles with the platform from the recent Vision AMG design study. In addition, brand ambassadors like seven-time F1 World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton, as well as former F1 racer David Coulthard and current Formula E racer Susie Wolff. And expect to see a lot more of and his WILL.I.AMG concept car, too.

Furthermore, AMG has a limited-edition Mercedes present—or rather, presents.

You can join in the celebration with the 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE and CLA Edition 55

Currently, Mercedes offers the AMG GLE with two different powertrains and two different body styles. There’s the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 SUV and Coupe, with a 429-hp mild-hybrid 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. But if that’s not enough schnell, there’s the GLE 63 S SUV and Coupe with their 603-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged mild-hybrid V8s. And as part of the performance division’s 55th birthday, each is getting a special ‘Edition 55’ package for 2023.

The 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE Edition 55 is basically an exclusive graphics and visual package. On the outside, these luxury SUVs get 22” wheels with ‘Edition 55’ center caps and contrasting foil decals on the rocker panels. Also, the AMG Night Package, with its blacked-out exterior trim, black exhaust tips, and black B-pillar glass comes standard. Meanwhile, the interior features black leather upholstery with red inserts, matte carbon-fiber trim, illuminated sill plates, two-tone floor mats, and an AMG Performance steering wheel with ‘Edition 55’ decals.

But the Mercedes-AMG GLE isn’t the only one getting the Edition 55 treatment: so is the CLA 45. For the most part, the 2023 CLA 45 Edition 55 is equipped similarly to the GLE and is also mechanically untouched. However, the sedan—sorry, ‘4-door coupe’—also gets the AMG Night Package II with extra blacked-out trim as well as the Aerodynamics Package with a rear spoiler and front splitter, Autoblog says. Plus, it rides on 19” wheels, not 22” ones.

How much do these limited-edition AMGs cost?

The ‘55’ part of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE and CLA 45 Edition 55 doesn’t just stand for the division’s 55th anniversary, though. That’s also how many of each model Mercedes is sending to U.S. dealerships.

As of this writing, there are no official availability date or pricing details available. However, with the options packages, the 2022 AMG CLA 45 costs just under $62K, while the GLE 53 SUV and Coupe cost just under $82K and $84.5K, respectively. As for the GLE 63 S, it’s currently unavailable due to V8-related issues.

But if these special-edition Mercedes are too far outside your budget, used AMGs can be surprisingly affordable. And even an older AMG is welcome to the birthday party.  

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