Race car driver Randy Pobst is MotorTrend's hot shoe and will be taking each car to their limit. MotorTrend decided to preview each car individually. You can watch the preview video below and read Randy's impressions.
The entire field consists of an Aston Martin Vanquish, Audi R8 V10 Plus, Bentley Continental GT Speed, BMW M6, Ford Focus ST, Jaguar F-Type V8 S, Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 wagon, Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series, Nissan GT-R Track Edition, Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, Porsche Cayman S, and SRT Viper. The SLS is the most expensive car in the field.
Overall: Yeah, that's quite a car. Quite a car. Yeah, gear ratios are much closer than the Viper. I actually think the Viper feels faster in a straight line. I'll be curious. Or maybe this car is just so much more composed that I'm not getting that sensation of speed. It just runs smoothly through all those gears with that sweet gearbox.
On the Brakes: Braking was real powerful. In fact, I had a lot more potential on the early laps and then on the later laps, the pedal was starting to get longer. Maybe it was getting a little… I'm not sure if I'm ready to say fade. But the braking was extremely powerful on the first lap and I didn't anywhere near maximize it because I didn't know what I had yet, right? Just came flying over that hill, it's like well, OK, now. Too early.
On the Engine: All right. SLS. The engine is a high point in the car. Normally aspirated. It's a revver. It has a great gear box with seven ratios to utilize the power the engine has. The shifts are quick and the ratios are close.
On Less Torque: Yeah, maybe, and maybe that certainly is what I'm feeling is less torque. I guess with the gearing and everything else, that doesn't mean it's necessarily slower, and it's just so much easier to drive than the Viper is. Part of it is just that automatic gearbox.
On the Revised Suspension: You don't have those funky motions (from the rear axle). Yeah, whatever that is that moves around, bump-steer, chassis flex in the Viper, it's not happening here. It's planted and it's kind of a gear higher everywhere than the Viper is. Yeah, like this last hairpin, we're doing it in third gear.
On the Color: And I love the way it looks in this version. You can argue about the color, but the body shape is just more aggressive and it looks fast.