An answer depends on your model Mac and the amount of memory installed.
In general, ML should be an improvement over Lion. Not all systems that run Lion can run Mountain Lion though.
OS X Mountain Lion system requirements
To install Mountain Lion, you need one of these Macs:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
Your Mac needs:
- OS X v10.6.8 or OS X Lion already installed
- 2 GB or more of memory
- 8 GB or more of available space