Sprint to the Keys: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG vs. Cigarette Racing Team AMG 46' Rider XP

A. J. Mueller

Heading out of the marina, I resist the urge to do a theatrical burnout, as I'm essentially out on the dock. I have to carefully pick my way back to the parking lot and then onto the palm-lined street that skirts the edge of Coconut Grove. I've preprogrammed the first destination into the nav unit; the car is at enough of a disadvantage dealing with city traffic that I certainly don't need to compound it by getting lost. After only four minutes, I'm out of Coconut Grove and heading south on US-1. It takes fifteen minutes to get onto the first freeway, 878 West, where I'm finally able to open it up a bit. The 6.2-liter V-8 is addictive, as are the full-throttle upshifts from the dual-clutch transmission. The seven-speed, paddleshifted box is a perfect fit for this car. Unlike the speedboat, there's really no learning curve to driving the SLS AMG.

After ten miles we're onto the Florida Turnpike. I see my first police car, but at that moment I'm only doing 80 mph or so. Still, I am conscious of the fact that this is one conspicuous ride, even in Alubeam silver. There's a toll plaza up ahead that accepts SunPass or cash. I have my New York-based E-ZPass with me, but does it work here? (It does almost everywhere else.) To be safe, I pull up to the booth and learn that, unfortunately, SunPass does not mean E-ZPass, and I cough up a dollar. Tollbooths: one more handicap for the car.

After twenty-nine miles, we're done with the Florida Turnpike and back onto US-1, where I see my first sign for Key West. Nearing our first stop, I turn onto a two-lane through the swamp, exactly what you'd expect to see in this part of Florida. It's straight and empty, so I open up the SLS and hit 120 mph-as it turns out, for the first and last time. But I do prove that the car is rock solid and totally mellow at triple-digit speeds, which I'll bet is more than can be said for the boat. I pull into the parking lot and am disappointed to see the boat sitting at the dock. I nestle into a parking space and climb out of the car, just in time to see a Florida state trooper go racing by. Coincidence?

"Of course, I removed the snorkel. I don't want to look like some kind of idiot." The accompanying picture gave me face cramps.Best automotive article I've read all year. Cheers!
Chevy motors in a Mercedes boat.That just kills the whole concept and loses my interest. Never got past page 2.

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