By stopping to pick up cards, we'll be handicapping the mighty Cigarette, since it's much quicker to park a car than it is to dock a boat. We'll go from Miami down to Duck Key, about 100 miles south by car, keeping track of the cumulative time. The low number wins. And the concurrent poker game will be either a consolation prize or salt in the wound.
On a morning in December, we rendezvous at the Grove Harbour Marina in Miami. Automobile Magazine senior editor Joe Lorio will take the SLS. I'll be in the boat with Cigarette's wheelman -- and customer service and parts manager -- Bud Lorow. Lorio and I each choose our first envelope from Jones and, after a moment's pause, make a Le Mans sprint toward our respective transportation. Here's the outrageousness of this situation: Lorio will spend the day driving through the Florida Keys in a gull-wing Mercedes supercar. And he got the raw end of the deal.
OK, so I realize that the SLS AMG has a 2137-hp and 1-engine disadvantage compared with the Cigarette boat, but this car does have a certain power of its own. Even in Coconut Grove, where flashy, megabuck rides are everywhere, the SLS confers a certain status on its driver. When I pull up to the marina, for instance, and emerge from the theatrical gull-wing door, a burly gentleman in a black suit strides over from his black SUV and hands me his card. "If there's anything you need, or anything I can get for you, please don't hesitate to call," he says. So what, exactly, does an SLS AMG say about a person? It says, "This person needs a bodyguard." - Joe Lorio