HWA celebrates 25th anniversary
In 1998, the sale of AMG GmbH, founded by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, to DaimlerChrysler AG was the starting point for the company HWA. As all motorsport activities of Mercedes-Benz had to be outsourced, Hans Werner Aufrecht split off the business segment of motor racing and parts of the car and component construction out of the sale and founded HWA GmbH with it, which was converted into a stock corporation in 2006 and since then has been operating under the name of HWA AG.
From the very beginning, HWA was in a leading role for the Mercedes-Benz DTM programm. On behalf of the motorsport department of Daimler AG, HWA was responsible as a full-service provider for the complete development and construction of the racing cars including engines, as well as all other tasks in connection with the operation of the racing team. Until the DTM exit of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport in 2018, the team collected a total of eleven drivers' titles, 14 team titles, twelve manufacturers' titles and over 180 victories, making it the most successful team in DTM history. In the following season 2019, HWA entered four Aston Martin Vantage in the DTM.
In addition to its DTM activities, HWA has also been developing and supporting racing engines for Formula 3 from 2002 to the present day. Since 2002, almost all titles in the Formula 3 Euroseries and the subsequent FIA Formula 3 European Championship have been won with engines developed by HWA for Mercedes-Benz. No other manufacturer can boast more titles, victories, pole positions and fastest race laps.
From the very beginning, HWA AG was decisively involved in the development and support of the Mercedes-AMG customer racing programm. The first racing car in this programm was the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 developed by HWA, which was entered in regular racing for the first time in 2011. The successor model, the Mercedes-AMG GT3, is one of the most successful racing cars in the GT3 segment and has already won numerous victories and championships. HWA was and is also significantly involved in the development, construction and support of the other customer racing cars such as the Mercedes-AMG GT2, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 and the Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series.
A new era started for HWA AG at the end of 2018: the company entered the all-electric Formula E World Championship as the independent team HWA RACELAB. To master the challenge of the all-electric racing series, HWA assembled a powerful team of motorsport experts and created a completely new technical infrastructure. In Formula E, HWA RACELAB bid farewell as the best rookie team at the end of 2019 and took over the factory entry of the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E team from the 2019/20 season, which culminated in winning the drivers' and manufacturers' championships in 2020/21 and 2021/22.
Also, as the independent team HWA RACELAB, the motorsport experts from Affalterbach entered cars in the international FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships from 2019 to 2021 and achieved some respectable successes here.
HWA AG also realised projects as a car manufacturer and engineering expert. From 2002, HWA designed and manufactured the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster super sports car, which was produced in a small series of five cars. The special model Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG followed in 2004. The 582 hp road sports car is visually reminiscent of the CLK DTM racing car, with which nine victories in ten races were achieved in the 2003 DTM season. The Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series was built in a limited edition of 350 units from 2008 onwards. This sports car with an output of 670 hp was the most powerful road car from Mercedes-AMG for a long time and is probably one of the best-known cars from the Black Series range.
In 2016/17, HWA developed a prototype of the Fittipaldi EF7 super sports car in collaboration with two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and Pininfarina. In 2018, HWA and hypercar manufacturer Apollo Automobil formed a technical partnership for the final dynamics development of the Apollo IE. Limited to ten individual examples, the car was built at HWA from 2019. HWA developed the P72 in collaboration with DeTomaso, a tribute to the legendary sports car of the 1960s. A special prestige project was also the engineering of the Pagani-R V12. This uncompromising naturally aspirated V12 engine with a capacity of six litres is the heart of the Pagani Huayra R, probably the most extreme super sports car from Pagani. Other exclusive vehicles such as the Bussink GT R Speedlegend, limited to five units, were developed and manufactured by HWA.
From 2019, a new brand identity and the claim "ENGINEERING SPEED" also underlined HWA's self-confidence and claim as an independent development partner and manufacture in the sectors of motorsport and high-performance cars. In addition to the motorsport component - i.e. the development and use of racing vehicles - "ENGINEERING SPEED" emphasizes the speed and flexibility that are characteristic of the experts at HWA. Added to this is the many years of experience as one of the most successful players in international motorsport.
HWA AG makes intensive use of its development expertise from motorsport and automotive engineering in the increasingly important field of sustainable mobility. With the all-electric campervan KNAUS E.POWER DRIVE as well as the almost emotionless Zero Emission Drive Unit - Generation 1, ZEDU-1 for short, HWA AG has proven that it can also make a significant contribution to the mobility turnaround in regular road traffic with innovative concepts.
The company will continue to consistently pursue its orientation as an independent car manufacturer in the future. The HWA EVO, a furious reinterpretation of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo II, is currently under development and will combine historical design with know-how from the present and future.
With these innovations, HWA AG is optimistic about the automotive future and will be able to successfully meet the challenges ahead with its competence and experience. A big thank you to all employees, customers, partners and fans for the cooperation and trust so far.
Hans Werner Aufrecht, Founder and Chairman of the Board of HWA AG "Congratulations to everyone at HWA AG for making it 25 years. There have been many fantastic years, but of course also difficult years. I wish all our employees for the next 25 years that they continue to work on our exciting projects with as much passion, dedication and fun as they have done so far."
Martin Marx, Chief Executive Officer of HWA AG (CEO) "Of course, the anniversary is a big milestone for us. We have built up a great deal of expertise, of which every member of HWA AG can be proud. Thanks to our successful past, we see ourselves well positioned for future challenges. We look forward to the next 25 years and hope that they will be just as successful."
Gordian von Schöning, Chief Technology Officer of HWA AG (CTO) "As a long-time employee of HWA AG, I am very attached to the company and am extremely pleased about this anniversary. Our passion for automotive topics and innovative technology was and is our driver and has made us a leading engineering expert. We will also approach our future projects with the same passion in order to further expand our expertise."