MONTVALE, N.J. – Don’t be confused by the Dodge Viper bodywork on this prototype. Underneath that plastic are the innards of the SLC, the successor to the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sports car. With the partnership with McLaren coming to an end, Mercedes and its AMG performance unit have hooked up with HWA, a German engineering company that builds cars for the German Touring Car championship, to craft a new supercar, according to

The production SLC isn’t expected before late 2010, though there might be a concept version (or Vision, in Mercedes naming strategy) earlier, perhaps at the fall 2009 Frankfurt motor show.

Powertrain speculation centers on a V-8 with a displacement in the range of 6.2 liters and output in the neighborhood of 600 hp. This prototype sports big wheels and a massive brake rotor and caliper combination.