Mercedes touts its new SLS AMG supercar as the first-ever ground-up vehicle build by the company's high-performance AMG division, but now it appears as though that might not be entirely the case. In fact, according to a shocking new report by InsideLine, the SLS AMG started life as the next-generation Dodge Viper.
As the story goes, Dodge has designed an all-new aluminum chassis for the Viper long before the SLS had even begun production, but when Mercedes/AMG got word of the project they were immediately intrigued and began using the car as a stepping stone in their own development. The two projects were even being developed side by side for a while until the recession hit, Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection, Mercedes parent company Daimler sold off its stake in the company and Fiat subsequently picked up the pieces.
Meanwhile AMG engineers continued working on their project, only to complete the SLS and launch it as a new ultra-expensive exotic from Germany.
The whole situation just smacks of irony, with the entire development plan of Chrysler designed to use old Daimler (Mercedes) chassis for their vehicles. In the end, however, it was Daimler that grabbed a still-in-development chassis from the American automaker on which to base its flagship vehicle.
More: Mercedes SLS AMG Was Supposed to be the Next Dodge Viper