What is AMG?
There is no standard definition of what an AMG is but every Nigerian that follows cars knows that an AMG is a higher performing and better-looking version of any Mercedes-Benz model. So, it's always a delight for one's car budget to comfortably afford a Mercedes-Benz AMG car. AMG cars are not Benz cars that are fuel-efficient due to their engines modified for speed. Buying Mercedes-Benz AMG cars is difficult in Nigeria, however. Why is that?
The almighty badge!
Dubious car dealers/sellers feed on this AMG craving and sell fake Tokunbo/Used Mercedes-Benz AMG cars to Benz lovers. This is one of the many cars selling scams we have in Nigeria today, I will be showing you why buying an AMG branded car needs a lot of special skill here so that you don't end up buying a ₦2,000,000 car for ₦5,500,000 all in the name of AMG.
You need no skill to know this is fake AMG
How to not buy a fake AMG-badged Mercedes-Benz
1. The numbers game
The most common AMG in Nigeria is the Mercedes-Benz G63. The G63 and G65 are the AMG variants of the popular Mercedes-Benz boxy SUV. The regular variants have an alphanumeric coding with one alphabet and three numbers. The G500/G550 are the regular variants while the AMG trim has only two numbers and one alphabet. The G63/G65 as stated earlier.
AMG VS Regular Benz codes
Once you see a car with an AMG badge and with three numbers as the model name, just run away from it. It is a common occurrence to see the W204 Mercedes-Benz C300 with the AMG badge. People buy it thinking it's an actual AMG, then still try to sell it as an AMG.
A fake AMG C-Class ( 3 numbers)
This trick by car sellers works perfectly when the car now actually has an AMG body styling. This is the next point to note.
2. The body styling trick-out
Any Benz model can be equipped with an actual AMG styling exterior appearance. All the dealer/seller has to do is buy an aftermarket body kit (bumper, grille, badge. emblem, wheels) and fit it on the regular Mercedes-Benz car. When the AMG buyer sees the car with the AMG badge, then tries to maybe google the image, it would be the same thing because of the AMG styling but in reality, it's just a trick out.
You can almost see no difference
The variation in the AMG body styling compared to the regular variant is never striking. The differences are so small. The fenders are just flared more and the lower bumpers are aggressively styled for better aerodynamics.
Some striking differences at the rear (E-class)
3. The interior speaks sometimes
On most Mercedes-Benz AMG cars, the interior has a different AMG styling. There are AMG logos on the steering, seats, stepping board, and on the dashboard. Trust me, a dedicated fake AMG fabricator car dealer can buy these badges and slap them on the interior as well.
Interior styled with AMG
This is a rare occurrence but don't doubt the possibility, I have seen it happen twice. So, be aware of the fact that your next AMG car in Nigeria could just be an interior trick out.
Have you noticed how loud/deep the G63 exhaust sounds? It's even a reason people buy the car. Most AMGs have that signature loud performance exhaust note. The AMG is arguably one of the best sounding set of cars but guess what? Jump to the next point.
4. Any Benz can have a loud exhaust
There are a lot of companies that fabricate aftermarket performance exhaust for Benz cars so that they can sound as loud/deep as the AMG. My friend once bought a regular W204 Mercedes-Benz C300, he bought the actual G63 mufflers and installed them on his C300 then he had a fake AMG for himself.
AMG exhaust sounds very unique
He scrapped off the C300 emblem and put an AMG C63 emblem bought from an international shipping website. Nobody could tell it was not an AMG because he also had the AMG wheels.
AMG branded exhaust tips can even be welded to the regular exhaust and an AMG lower bumper would be fitted to perfectly imitate an AMG rear view on most models.
Anybody can buy AMG badges for less than ₦5000
This is why the ultimate way to find out whether it's a real AMG is by popping the hood (opening the bonnet and checking the drive train).
5. Guage the drivetrain properly
Until recently, every Mercedes-Benz AMG car had a handbuilt engine with the signature of the engine builder on it. Every AMG engine has the logo boldly printed on the engine cylinder top but looking deeper for the signature of the builder helps too.
Signature on all AMG engines
An AMG is meant to be a more powerful variant of the Mercedes-Benz model so, its engine capacity would definitely be bigger than the regular variants. These engines are also never silent. They make a loud/deep exhaust note.
Watch these AMG exhaust sound compilation in the video:
The G63, for example, is very popular for making a lot of engine noise from the exhaust when it accelerates. This sound is part of the reason why people buy it. But guess what? This sound is not enough to judge. That's why you always have to look into the engine.
6. The performance parts present
AMG cars use better performing components than regular variants. The wheels are lighter and aggressively styled for better performance, for recent AMG cars, the brake caliper has an AMG badge on it. You would just notice these performance components on a real Mercedes-Benz AMG.
Carbon AMG brakes
This is one area that car dealers would not trick out because it's very challenging to purchase fake AMG components and the authentic ones are very expensive, which would be very bad for business. A reminder to all Mercedes-Benz owners in Nigeria is that Benz parts are pricy.
The Mercedes-Benz models without an AMG variant
Not all Mercedes-Benz models have AMG variants. In fact, let me just get to the list of Benz cars without an AMG variant and the AMG considerations made for them.
- The B-Class Mercedes-Benz - It is a car without any performance capabilities.
- The GLK-Class Mercedes Benz - There is an AMG body styling but no AMG engine. It's just a run about compact SUV model and it was discontinued shortly.
- The Mercedes-Benz EQC - It is an electric car, there is no engine modification AMG can make in it.
The Benz cars without AMGs
The greatest tragedy of faking AMG cars in Nigeria
I talk about cars on my social media platforms every day, so I got a DM just last week. A car seller was asking me if there is a CLA 250 AMG because one of his clients shipped in one from the USA and is hell-bent on selling the car higher than the average price of the CLA 250. I laughed at first because the dealer himself isn't sure whether there is another AMG CLA other than the CLA45. It can get confusing at times.
Regular CLA VS AMG CLA
People buy these fake AMGs and don't realize just because of a ₦5,000 aftermarket badge slapped on it and probably the wheels. Fake AMG cars even have a lower resale value than the regular variants because of the psychological effect of the tricking out. Once the stock features of a Benz car has been tampered with in Nigeria, everyone is always willing to pay less for it.
>>> By the way, check out 5 steps to maintain your Mercedes-Benz-car
Did you learn something new?
I am guessing you now understand why buying a used Mercedes-Benz AMG in Nigeria is an extreme sport that needs the special investigation skills I just showed you.