Electric Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coming In 2013

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2011 mercedes benz sls amg electric drive 001

2011 mercedes benz sls amg electric drive 001

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Electricity is held by many in the industry to be the true way of the future, but so far only a tiny handful of companies have made serious attempts at a highway-capable production electric vehicle--and aside from the electric Smart, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz haven't been among them. But now the brand's AMG division is skipping straight over the mundane family tourer, today revealing an all-electric supercar built on the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG platform at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show.

As previously reported, the car bears the same name as its V-8-engined counterpart, the standard SLS AMG, but instead of pumping 571 horsepower out of a single engine, the electric drive SLS AMG generates a total of 525 horsepower from its four corner-mounted electric motors. Torque of the electric model tops out at a heady 650 pound-feet.

By using four motors, the SLS AMG's all-wheel drive system can modulate power to each individual wheel far more precisely and efficiently than any torque vectoring solution. Two transmissions--one for each axle--help to distribute power. Mercedes intentionally skipped mounting the motors in the wheels to reduce unsprung weight.

"With the SLS AMG with electric drive, we wanted to redefine the super sports car. For us, it is not just about responsibility. We attach just as much importance to excitement and classic AMG performance," said Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Performance of the car will be very close to the combustion-engine version, with the 0-62 mph slipping by in just 4.0 seconds--0.2 seconds off the V-8 pace.

Of course, the electric SLS AMG will have a good deal of weight to deal with in the form of its 400 Volt, 48 kWh total battery pack, which is located where the transmission tunnel is in the V-8 model, while the engine bay is also used for some of the electronics. Despite the addition of all the new drivetrain equipment, the gullwing body required no structural modifications, and due to the modularity of the electric drive system, it can all be positioned very low in the chassis to improve the center of gravity.

Unfortunately, no clear time frame for the car's development and release was announced, so we'll likely have to wait several years before it hits the streets. Also undisclosed is the electric SLS AMG's range on a single charge.

Mercedes has also confirmed today that the SLS AMG with electric drive will go on sale in 2013.

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Comments (7)
  1. ok.. guys.. you need to learn some simple math. 525hp*746 = 391kW.

    at 48kWh, 48/391=0.122 hr = 7.4 minutes

    so at full power, it will be done in 7.4 minutes.

    but then again.. remember its a high performance car. clarkson talks about how his GT could only do 50 miles or what ever to a tank.

  2. Who needs to learn the math?

    And yes, at 100% full clip, you'd be done in 7 minutes...but there are only a few high-speed rings in the world where you could manage that. Even knowing this, it's impossible to know its 'real world' range.

    In reality, its range is still likely to be woefully short. Not that anyone was actually planning to use this as a commuter car.

    If it has a short enough recharge time, it could possibly make for a very fun track-day toy, able to last through a 30-minute tracking session with relative ease, ready to re-charge and hit the track again several times in a day.

    BTW: taking Clarkson literally may be hazardous to your health.

  3. Well it'll last about the same as a Veyron at full throttle then? Pretty impressive!
    To get this kind of performance from a car and be slightly more practical they should wait until battery technology catches up to the motor.

  4. I do love that they're pushing the tech envelope, though. And I'm very pleased a major manufacturer is finally doing an electric car with in-hub motors. Mounting the motors in-hub has a plethora of advantages; all wheel drive with infinitely variable control to each wheel without having any transmission/driveshafts, and it eliminates the need for brakes! And think of the handling possibillities when you can individually control power and torque to each wheel; surely makes limited-slip diffs seem stone age!

  5. Now that's the write way to think.

  6. Alot of energy is absorbed by air resistance. What about Bernoulli tunnels capturing airflow and channeling it through plastic turbines on magnetic spindals? Could this generate enough electric current to offset added air resistance? What if the tunnels opened only when the throttle was released?

  7. Like it or not, I think we're looking at the future of sports cars... Btw, does the regular petrol-driven version of the SLS also have pushrod front suspension as seen on the illustration, or is this only for the electric drive model??

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