Autoblog: Report: Dodge originally developed SLS AMG to be next-gen Viper

argatoga

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http://www.autoblog.com/2010/06/16/report-dodge-originally-developed-sls-amg-to-be-next-gen-viper/

There's a lot to like about the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. After all, we're talking about a sleek, 563-horsepower super-Benz with functional gullwing doors and a soundtrack to melt your heart. It's the embodiment of German engineering... or is it? Inside Line cites unnamed sources who say that the SLS AMG actually began life as the next-generation Dodge Viper.

The story apparently goes like this. Dodge engineers were already hard at work on the next-gen Viper, with an aluminum chassis already completed and a new suspension on the way. Mercedes caught wind of the project and decided that the chassis would be the perfect starting point for the upcoming SLS. The two teams reportedly worked side-by-side on the project until Chrysler's cash crunch caused the Dodge team to focus its resources elsewhere. The end result was a brand-new SLS for Mercedes and a hole in Dodge's Viper lineup. IL bolsters its account of the Viper-turned-SLS with the fact that early SLS test mules caught by spy photogs were fitted with ill-assembled Viper sheetmetal.

While it's hard to blame Mercedes for utilizing existing engineering work (it did, after all own Chrysler at the time) to bring the SLS to market faster and cheaper, we're thinking it would have been nice to have a new aluminum chassis Viper on the streets. Here's hoping that the 2012 Viper makes us forget about our loss.
Explains why it has the same silhouette as a Viper.
 

Spectre

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More evidence of Merc exploiting Chrysler ruthlessly.
 

Avalange

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More evidence of Merc exploiting Chrysler ruthlessly.
It's not Mercedes' fault that Chrysler produced mostly shit cars over the last years (except for the 300C, which is an E-Class, really). Chrysler even got to use Mercedes' excellent 3-liter diesel engine for the Jeeps. Chrysler did nothing but cost Mercedes a shitload of money (not saying that Mercedes isn't to blame for that in part).

To the SLS: Mercedes owned Chrysler at that point, so it would be just logical to continue something that already was in development.

But to be honest, I don't believe that story without further proof.
 
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Spectre

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Sorry, no. Mercedes is known to be responsible for seriously screwing up Chrysler, far more than they already were. They doubled development time, slashed development budgets and made Chrysler pay full price for anything coming out of the Merc parts bins. All very well documented.

Mercedes is why we have that awful Caliber instead of a new Neon. And why we have completely non-offroad capable cars being sold as Jeeps (Jeep Compass).
 

hajj

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Sorry, no. Mercedes is known to be responsible for seriously screwing up Chrysler, far more than they already were. They doubled development time, slashed development budgets and made Chrysler pay full price for anything coming out of the Merc parts bins. All very well documented.
Standard procedure to avoid taxes in the US, many corporations do that and it is rather rational as it safes them money.
 

argatoga

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When they merged Chrysler was a cash machine. Mercedes had no idea what they were doing. They only bought Chrysler as a knee jerk reaction to BMW's and Chrysler's plan to share parts (for Rover).
 

Spectre

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Standard procedure to avoid taxes in the US, many corporations do that and it is rather rational as it safes them money.
Except for the fact that it was the only Merc division required to do so, including Merc USA.

When they merged Chrysler was a cash machine. Mercedes had no idea what they were doing. They only bought Chrysler as a knee jerk reaction to BMW's and Chrysler's plan to share parts (for Rover).
And because at the time Chrysler had a huge cash reserve and had severely undervalued stock.
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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This is odd. A few months ago I had thought this was common knowledge, but I searched and couldn't find anything and also couldn't find where I had read it. And now this comes out. Strange.
 

MattD1zzl3

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It's not Mercedes' fault that Chrysler produced mostly shit cars over the last years (except for the 300C, which is an E-Class, really). Chrysler even got to use Mercedes' excellent 3-liter diesel engine for the Jeeps. Chrysler did nothing but cost Mercedes a shitload of money (not saying that Mercedes isn't to blame for that in part).
Do you have any other, more lucrative examples? Diesel engines are as worthless in the US market as 6 liter plus petrol engines are in the european market: They exist, but only very very very few people bother to buy them. And they certainly do not make money.
 

AudiV6

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I knew about this, that it was supposed to be the next Viper, you just have to look a the very first Testmules of it in 2006 or so, they all had Viper Body's, but an hidden front end.


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Polly

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Well yanks, have a wank about it, we still got our SLS. :p
 

Sruikyl

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Its only speculation, its one of those, you can kinda see it if you squint cases. If it had a source or more evidence I would believe it.
 

TC

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@Merc destroying Chrysler.

I'm laughing so hard :rofl:
From what I've heard, it's actually somewhat true. Sure, Chrysler wasn't making world class automobiles, but it was getting by well enough. I've heard plenty of good things about those pre-Merc cars.

For quite a while there, and probably still, Chrysler had the biggest losses when it came to warranty repairs. It was directly related to the higher cost of parts/service from the Mercedes based 300/Charger/Magnum.
 

argatoga

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@Merc destroying Chrysler.

I'm laughing so hard :rofl:
Chrysler specialized in cheap cars. Were they the best? No, but they were cheap and in the case of the K-car surprisingly reliable. Mercedes did away with that. All post '95 Mercedes engineering was crap. Chrysler was forced to use the God awful crap from Mercedes which was not only more expansive but less reliable.

A good example of Mercedes "quality" is their Sealed for Life transmissions. (Sealed and guaranteed to explode shortly over 100k).
 
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rickhamilton620

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Chrysler specialized in cheap cars. Were they the best? No, but they were cheap and in the case of the K-car surprisingly reliable. Mercedes did away with that. All post '95 Mercedes engineering was crap. Chrysler was forced to use the God awful crap from Mercedes which was not only more expansive but less reliable.

A good example of Mercedes "quality" is their Sealed for Life transmissions. (Sealed and guaranteed to explode shortly over 100k).
Is any sealed for life transmission though exactly bulletproof? It just sounds like it's a recipe for disaster.
 
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