Mercedes SLS AMG Was Supposed to Be the Next Dodge Viper

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

Mercedes touts its new SLS AMG supercar as the first-ever ground-up vehicle build by the company’s high-performance AMG division, but now it appears as though that might not be entirely the case. In fact, according to a shocking new report by InsideLine, the SLS AMG started life as the next-generation Dodge Viper.

As the story goes, Dodge has designed an all-new aluminum chassis for the Viper long before the SLS had even begun production, but when Mercedes/AMG got word of the project they were immediately intrigued and began using the car as a stepping stone in their own development. The two projects were even being developed side by side for a while until the recession hit, Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection, Mercedes parent company Daimler sold off its stake in the company and Fiat subsequently picked up the pieces.

Meanwhile AMG engineers continued working on their project, only to complete the SLS and launch it as a new ultra-expensive exotic from Germany.

The whole situation just smacks of irony, with the entire development plan of Chrysler designed to use old Daimler (Mercedes) chassis for their vehicles. In the end, however, it was Daimler that grabbed a still-in-development chassis from the American automaker on which to base its flagship vehicle.

[Source: Inside Line]

Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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  • Doug Doug on Jun 23, 2010

    I wonder Mr. Benz himself (Jeremy Clarkson) thinks about this... He trashed the Viper in his review, the irony is sweet!