What does it mean to be an American muscle car? Is it the beefy V-8 engine? Or what about the burbling and backfiring exhaust note? Carlos Lago wrestles with this question in the latest installment of Ignition, except his test subject doesn’t hail from America. It’s been born and bred in Stuttgart, Germany but as Lago quips, the most recent SLS AMG is Mercedes-Benz’ take on what an SRT Viper would look, sound, and feel like.
So what is it, American or German? Lago points out the similarities between the SLS AMG and SRT’s all-new Viper, like how they both go really fast in a straight line. The Viper houses an 8.4-liter V-10 engine that produces a pavement-peeling 640 horsepower, but the SLS AMG is no slouch either. Germany’s take on the Viper is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine and directs 563 horsepower to the wheels. While the Viper has the upper-hand by 77 horses the SLS AMG proves that it can dive into a corner with the best of them.
We still haven’t settled what the SLS AMG is though, is it American or German? Yes, the SLS looks good with an American flag sticking out the top of it, and it even feeds hungry drivers chasing the German Viper freshly-made French freedom fries from its’ exhaust pipes. All that aside, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG features styling cues synonymous with the German automaker like a smaller windshield and an elongated hood. So, we’ll leave it up to you to make the decision. Is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG an American muscle car in German clothes? Check out the video below to help make your decision.