• Jun 16, 2010
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG – Click above for high-res image gallery

There's a lot to like about the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. After all, we're talking about a sleek, 563-horsepower super-Benz with functional gullwing doors and a soundtrack to melt your heart. It's the embodiment of German engineering... or is it? Inside Line cites unnamed sources who say that the SLS AMG actually began life as the next-generation Dodge Viper.

The story apparently goes like this. Dodge engineers were already hard at work on the next-gen Viper, with an aluminum chassis already completed and a new suspension on the way. Mercedes caught wind of the project and decided that the chassis would be the perfect starting point for the upcoming SLS. The two teams reportedly worked side-by-side on the project until Chrysler's cash crunch caused the Dodge team to focus its resources elsewhere. The end result was a brand-new SLS for Mercedes and a hole in Dodge's Viper lineup. IL bolsters its account of the Viper-turned-SLS with the fact that early SLS test mules caught by spy photogs were fitted with ill-assembled Viper sheetmetal.

While it's hard to blame Mercedes for utilizing existing engineering work (it did, after all own Chrysler at the time) to bring the SLS to market faster and cheaper, we're thinking it would have been nice to have a new aluminum chassis Viper on the streets. Here's hoping that the 2012 Viper makes us forget about our loss.




Photos copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Inside Line]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 64 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      BS.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Am I the only person that new all along that this car was based off the Viper? I remember reading here that the mule had Viper parts, and the car looks like a viper except for the front end pretty much. I would have rather had the Viper though. I don't want to wait till 2012... I love that car. :(
      • 4 Years Ago
      hmm....it does make sense. i cant believe i never noticed the resemblance and now i cant "not" notice it. lol
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have to call the BS flag to the rumors, If Dodge already had developed a chassis for the next Viper why wasn't there any mention of it when the Viper brand was for sale stating they haven't even started development on a new Viper...Maybe on paper Dodge had plans and drawings but M-Benz obviously developed the Car and it wasn't even M-Benz that developed that car it was AMG...

      Don't you think if Chrysler/Dodge really had a chassis developed for the Viper and it went to the AMG SLS they would of been gloating by now stating the obvious?? it's nothing more then some die hard fan conspiracy theories....
        • 4 Years Ago
        You should spend some time in the Viper forums. The Viper insiders knew there was an aluminum chassis in development. The Viper needed to go on a diet. SRT wanted to cut weight to compete with the Z06 and ZR1. Both Vettes have aluminum chassis.

        Don't forget, Daimler also killed the Chrysler ME4-12. Supposedly, they did not want it to compete against the Mercedes Mclaren SLR. They could have pumped some money into the Viper. They just didn't have any incentive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        its true.

        Chrysler developed the package and both companies designed their respective cars around said package.

        As the article states Chrysler was forced to divert resources elsewhere.

        also, i dunno if you were awake the last couple of years, but claiming to have been spending precious few resources on a low-volume, high power, low MPG sports car would have been a pretty boneheaded move on Chrysler's part. they had a bad-enough reputation as it was for building such cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope Carlos Ghosn knows about this. His company might be the next victim.
      • 4 Years Ago
      daimler nearly killed chrysler and now look, they are teaming up with nissan! nissan better start building a coffin now, cause they will need it when their cash flow runs out and daimler leaves them out to die! i still find it funny how everyone called it a "merger" with chrysler, yet if that was true, they should of had more say in what they did...yet daimler called all the shots...interesting, seems like a take-over to me!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is very old news...common knowledge at some Mopar sites for the last 2-3yrs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love how all the fanboys are saying there's nothing wrong with this... yet they're all foaming at the mouth with even a slight mention of any use of MB tech in Chrysler products.

      Anyway, I still think the SLS is pure awesome! But I wold really love to see what Chrysler has in store for the next Viper... that will truly be bad-ass, but without all the techno-jumbo crap-o-DCG.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not crazy! I thought it looked like a Viper all along! (Well, so did many others).

      ..
        • 4 Years Ago
        ....though I wish M-B would have maintained their relationship with McLaren and developed a rear-engine (halo) supercar that would sit above the SLS AMG.

        It was M-B that forced Chrysler to mothball the ME-412 at a time when the industry would have welcomed it (although reluctantly). Daimler could have used McLaren's experience in smoothing out all the rough edges and really made it a credible super/exotic car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yeah , because unnamed sources are always right
        • 4 Years Ago
        The early test mules had the the entire rear end and doors from the Viper:

        http://autoworld.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/new-photo-mercedes-gullwing-at-test-spy-shots/
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, for me it solves the mystery of why the SLS wound up with those ungainly, "endless-hood" proportions. THAT clearly wasn't part of the original SL formula.

        On a Viper, though, the proportions are perfect.
        • 4 Years Ago
        http://images-2.drive.com.au/2010/03/31/1276102/Mercedes-Benz-300-SL-Coupe_1_600-600x400.jpg

        The "endless hood" is closer in design to the original SL formula than any of the other recent SL roadster versions.
      zapperdude60
      • 4 Years Ago
      Screw Mercedes!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @zapperdude60
        we were robbed! well not me exactly... I have more chance of seeing an SLS than a viper but still...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow!

      1. I can't believe I missed those spy photos when the SLS was in near-full Dodge Viper duds.
      2. I can't believe I didn't see any Viper in the SLS until now!

      Okay, now that is out of the way... there are more important concepts to focus on. For instance, who cares who developed MORE on the chassis... it is a win/win for both manufacturers (assuming we will actually see a 2012 Viper). Now it is time to speculate the motor on the new Viper... any chance we'll see that bi-turbo V12 from merc? Or are we going to see a small-displaced V10 with greater revving capabilities?

      Also, when Motor Trend recently pitted the SLS against the R8 V-10 and 911 turbo, they couldn't believe how much grip the SLS was getting; very characteristic of the Viper wouldn't you say?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The SLR was being tested with a TVR Cerbera shell. Does that mean that TVR was working on a new Cerbera and Daimler snatched the project?
        • 4 Years Ago
        isn't it obvious ?
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