In Episode 36 of Motor Trend's Head 2 Head, now that the Corvette ZR1 is no more, Jonny Lieberman has to look overseas to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series for a challenger with similar philosophy to the SRT Viper: long hood hiding a high-horsepower engine set way back, rear-wheel drive, tiny trunks. That puts the Viper's 8.4-liter V10 with 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque against the SLS AMG's 6.2-liter V8 with 622 hp and 468 lb-ft.

However, the congruences in philosophy and magnitude of numbers doesn't translate to the driving experiences of the two, which are literally and figuratively on different continents. Lieberman gets a handle on the two of them on Northern California roads, Randy Probst then finds out how, and how quickly, they can lap Laguna Seca.

They both get kudos for being improvements on their original sources, but only one of them can take the win. You can find out by watching the video below.



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  • 147 Comments
      Michael
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Motortrend Head 2 Head was purely to promote controversy, nothing else. It's quite clear that these cars aren't in the same category (the price range reflecting that). If they wanted to get a slightly closer comparison they should have used the TA Viper, which currently holds the record at Laguna Seca. Even the TA is half the price of the SLS AMG Black Series. Classic Motortrend rubbish.
        Gorgenapper
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Michael
        I hate Jonny's approach to reviews. He flips out on how good the car is, then presents the bad points in an equally aggravating manner. There is no in-between, no moderation. This kind of reviewing fools me into thinking he loves the car, but later stops just short of calling it a piece of sh*t. I don't trust him as a reviewer when he pulls these stunts.
      Griffen W
      • 1 Year Ago
      To think that I have lived to see the day when a Viper is more conservative and restrained in design than a Mercedes Benz.
      k.naz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well that was retarded, along with him complaining about the manual transmission... Really now? Who complains about a manual on a sports car?
      Nick
      • 1 Year Ago
      FWIW The 2013 Viper TA vs ZR1 video done by Motor Trend had the Viper doing laguna in 1:33.62 with corsa tires.
      SKINNYwithNOfood
      • 1 Year Ago
      Being in LA, I'd rather have the Viper because it is rare. Just cruising in Beverley Hills and you're guaranteed to see an SLS or two.
      Paul
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why didn't they use the TA version of the viper? Oh that would have been unfair to the german car, since the Mercedes time of 1:35.03 was slower than the 1:33.62 time of the Viper TA
      ragtopdodge
      • 1 Year Ago
      Dang, that SLS is sure fugly, but amazing how fast it is for how fat it is (and ugly). Viper for that price needs carbon ceramic brakes. I'm afraid when the new ZR1 comes out, unless SRT does something drastic, ZR1 will be able to smoke not only the Viper, but probably the SLS.
      domingorobusto
      • 1 Year Ago
      More reasons why I just don't like Lieberman. I just don't have the same viewpoint on things that he does. I will always prefer a manual. And no freaking crap the AMG is faster, it's ALMOST 3 TIMES AS EXPENSIVE. As others have said, buy a Viper TA instead of a base (still for well less than half the cost of the AMG) and be two seconds faster around Laguna than the SLS Black. I understand that they are similar cars in design and intent, but that price gap simply can't be ignored. If the regular SLS was nipping at the Vipers heels, I could see their argument. But the Black costs SO much more expensive that any comparison is basically moot.
      K.L.
      • 1 Year Ago
      His argument about getting three Vipers for the price of the single SLS makes no sense. If you had that extra coin left over with the Viper and cared about lap times you could easily put another $100,000 into the SRT and be faster than the Benz. The extra cash could go to a custom leather, carbon fiber and alcantara interior of higher quality than the benz. I know this was an apples to oranges comparison but with a price difference that large and his "final thoughts" I would go with the Viper all day.
      Suzq044
      • 1 Year Ago
      Random thought: What exactly are we comparing when we thought of this one? Cause 2013 v. 2014; then you have something that starts under 100k v. 300k AMG cruise-missile. I mean, realistically, you can't expect the viper to win simply on that alone. Not to mention ehh, baser model SRT vs top-of-the-line Benz. Talk about a rigged comparison. Seriously. This is why I don't take these magazines seriously anymore.
      IOMTT
      • 1 Year Ago
      Shame this H2H was practically useless unless the goal was to start an inane comment section. One of MT H2H comparisons actually helped me decide between 2 motorcycles so they sometimes are relevant. I doubt 99 percent of the commenters could afford either car and even less likely drive it quickly enough to matter at all.
      Shiftright
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awwwww uueh Jonathan, manuals are so old school and make you think more about driving. (Rolls eyes)
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