Report: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Was Originally The Next Viper

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If you've thought the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG looks a lot like the Dodge Viper, you're not alone. And it turns out you may well be even more correct than you thought you were: a new report out today says the SLS AMG was originally the next-gen Dodge Viper, borrowed from Dodge while Daimler still owned Chrysler.

The news is both surprising and completely expected all at once. The proportions of the car, the spy shots during development, even the character of the car itself all seem to bear a lot of Viper influence. But to think the $180,000 SLS AMG is based off work done by Dodge's engineers as they envisioned the next Viper? A bit unexpected.

Nevertheless, that's precisely what happened, according to Inside Line. According to an unnamed insider, the all-aluminum chassis was already in the prototype stage and an all-new suspension design was in the works when Mercedes decided to put the also-in-development SLS AMG on the same path.

In the end, the next-gen Viper was shelved as Chrysler ran into its notoriously hard times after the DaimlerChrysler split, while the SLS AMG project forged ahead, becoming the fantastic supercar we drove through Oaxaca.

It's worth noting, too, that though the SLS AMG may share some spiritual or thematic ties with the Viper (and it does), it's also decidedly un-Viperish in its build quality, interior finish and design, and overall feel. It's a luxury supercar, whereas the Viper, at least the one we know and love, is a race car that happens to be legal for the street. But it does present an interesting "what if" scenario for what the next Viper could have been like.

In the mean time, the Viper isn't stone-dead, at least not yet. There are currently nebulous plans to bring the car back in 2012. And interestingly enough, the plans are for a lighter, more efficient car--perhaps an all-aluminum, V-8-powered design that we're already familiar with? We'll have to wait and see.

[Inside Line]

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Comments (6)
  1. Not shocking, Daimler screwed over Chrysler since the "merger of equals", this would have made a great Viper, and cheaper too

  2. when i dont have new news i put my own reports
    and who is screwed by who chrysler was a piece of shit before daimler bought them .(after merger) u see what cars chrysler produced and all from daimler
    300 and charger from e-Class W210
    and Crossfire is from R170 even the new Cherokee is based on The Ml .. and more !
    there is no sense that mercedes need to make their first supercar after mclaren departure based on dodge
    that is absolutely ridicules

  3. I knew it was absolutely obvious ever since the first camouflage pictures came-out.

  4. Jaafar Sirouan, you do not know what you are talking about, Daimler took a profitable company (Chrysler) and ran it into the ground, it was Daimler who messed up that bit, not Chrysler.

  5. Jaafar Sirouan, do you home work please before to make a claim, ML platform is actually based on new 2011 JGC platform. Jeep and its engineer did the most of work...As someone knows the inside story, make it short, Chrysler fail mostly because of Daimler kicked out any people who have a different vision in chrysler, too bad, those people are the most talented people who would make great designs. Major fail in interior design is due to switching to Catia v5. They have to re-do all the 3d models and other works in a very unrealstic timeframe, with cutting budget, merging department, which all stupid enough to ruin a innovative company to ground.
    but they know everything its wrong, too bad they can't gain the control they wanted. those people who controls the chrysler and management do not anything about how to build a car. Every mystery have facts. Do your homework before place a claim.

  6. maybe im wrong abuot ML but you dont talk about the most successful cars in chrysler of course because that proves you're wrong you just think that chrysler was good before daimler without a base of what you saying ... if you love that company
    u should be proud of 300 or charger ?
    i guess they would never have ability to make those cars because ((they were originally E-calss from 1995)) what a shame .... flagship based on an old midsize

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