When prototypes of Mercedes-Benz SLS coupe were seen running around Death Valley a few years ago, the fact that they were seen wearing some chopped-up Dodge Viper bodywork raised some questions, though this was easily written off due to the fact that both manufacturers shared a parent company.
Apparently, it turns out that Dodge had been developing a next-gen Viper long before the Mercedes SLS went into development. Dodge engineers had even reached the point of developing an all-aluminum chassis and were amidst development of a totally redesigned suspension by the time Mercedes caught on and figured there stood a good basis for the SLS. Shortly thereafter, the company’s abysmal financial position called for the abandonment of all non-essential programs and engineers were pulled off the Viper, and the SLS eventually headed for production.
Dodge will have its chance at redemption however, as the Viper is expected to make a comeback from its brief hiatus.
Refresher: Power comes from a 6.2L V8 making 563-hp with a maximum torque of 479 lb-ft. Mated to an E-SELECT system that controls the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sport transmission, the SLS AMG can go from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds (with the Race Start launch control system) with a top speed of 196 mph.
2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG:
– By: Stephen Calogera