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

A. J. Mueller

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

"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.

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price


new cars

Read Related Articles