This AMG is NOT a Mercedes! If you didn’t know, or have just forgotten, AMG wasn’t always part of Mercedes.
AMG was founded in 1967 and wasn’t acquired by Mercedes until 1999, meaning that there were 32 glorious years of AMG operating freely which resulted in some interesting and often-forgotten projects, some of which had nothing to do with Mercedes-Benz at all.
We’re going to pay homage to two of those particular projects, known as the Mitsubishi AMG Galant and the Mitsubishi Debonair AMG.
It’s surprising to see a car without a Mercedes-Benz badge amongst AMG’s portfolio, yet here lies the Galant, sticking out like a sore thumb. However, don’t let the Mitsubishi badge dishearten you because this little Japanese exotic is just as phenomenal as all the other cars that have had the AMG treatment in the past. With only about 500 existing in the world, they are somewhat mystical beings that are incredibly rare. You’ve got more chance of seeing a unicorn than seeing one of these in the wild, especially in any country other than it’s homeland, Japan.
The AMG Galant is an evolution from the original Galant which is a very ordinary midsize sedan, but the two models were worlds apart from each other. The AMG Galant kept the standard 4G63 2.0 litre engine which was then tuned to death to make it a well-optimised and more impressive engine thanks to some precision German engineering.
It was upgraded with an onslaught of new components and re-tuned to eventually become a naturally aspirated, 170 horsepower engine that was capable of reaching 8,000 rpm, which was quite a feat to accomplish without turbochargers at the time. Along with the expertly tuned engine, the AMG Galant also featured AMG branded alloys, some wooden interior trim and a sporty bodykit.
The second car we’re going to mention here is the Mitsubishi Debonair AMG, another saloon car that received the German tuning treatment. However, in this instance, there was actually no tuning involved. AMG really let themselves down on this one because it’s like all they did is add AMG badges and branding everywhere.
On the steering wheel, on the front bumper, above the rear wheels…there’s more AMG branding on here than there is Mitsubishi branding! Other than adding their logo onto everything, they also enhanced the exterior with some modifications, but finding what’s different about the AMG model and the stock model is like playing a very hard game of spot the difference.
Unlike the AMG Galant, the Debonair AMG is very unremarkable and it’s no wonder you haven’t heard of it before, because it’s simply and utterly forgettable. If you compare it to what AMG are up to today, creating staggeringly powerful monsters such as the Mercedes-AMG GT R and the beastly V8-powered C 63, you could say they’ve come a long way since the Mitsubishi days.
Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating bit of AMG history to know about the household name that we now know for making overpowered Mercedes-Benz cars.
What do you think of Mitsu’s AMG cars and do you know of any other lesser-known AMG projects? Let us know!