This week’s Head to Head pits together two unlikely, but equally brutal, rivals. Host Jonny Lieberman takes America’s last remaining 600+ horsepower sports car, the 2013 SRT Viper, and goes up against Mercedes-Benz’s most hardcore version of the SLS, the AMG Black Series.
While the 2014 SLS Black Series is nearly three times the price of the 2013 SRT Viper, the two cars are remarkably similar in concept. Both are hardcore, rear-wheel-drive, front-engine sports cars producing upwards of 600 horsepower. The contest proves to be closer than expected with the two cars taking on twisting roads, the typical barrage of track testing, and hot laps around the Laguna Seca circuit with professional racing driver Randy Pobst behind the wheel.
On the road, Lieberman is initially put off by the Viper’s rough-around-the-edges nature. The side exhaust system means that the sills and floor well of the car are hot, and the noise of the huge, 8.4-liter V-10 engine is grating and constant. When he puts the pedal down, though, it all starts to make sense, as Lieberman is surprised by the Viper’s driver involvement and connectedness to the road.
Behind the wheel of the Benz, he quotes fellow journalist Angus McKenzie who said that the SLS is “like a Viper that went to charm school.” The Benz’s relative refinement does not neuter its performance, though, as the 622-hp Mercedes-Benz proves a worthy rival to the SRT Viper in every test.
Which car turns out the faster lap time and comes out on top? Check out the video below to find out.