Mercedes-Benz is in the midst of a major electric-vehicle push, with multiple models in the pipeline. It's a big change from just a few years ago, when Mercedes' idea of an electric car was the limited-production SLS AMG Electric Drive. One of a handful of these electric gullwing coupes built is now for sale through RM Sotheby's.
Unveiled at the 2012 Paris International Motor Show, the SLS AMG Electric Drive replaced the gas-powered SLS supercar's 6.2-liter V-8 with four electric motors, which produced a combined 740 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque—much more than the gasoline version.
Mercedes quoted a 0-60 mph time in 3.9 seconds, which was 0.3 seconds slower than the contemporary gasoline SLS AMG GT, likely owing to the extra weight of the battery pack. Top speed was electronically limited to 155 mph, and the Electric Drive briefly held the Nürburgring lap record for production EVs, with a 7:56.234 lap time.
When the car was unveiled, Mercedes quoted a 150-mile range, as measured on the more liberal European testing cycle. That range was provided by a 60-kilowatt-hour battery pack that weighed about 1,200 pounds. To counteract that weight, Mercedes gave the Electric Drive a full carbon-fiber monocoque, claiming a 30% weight saving over the gasoline car's aluminum structure.
2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive (Photo by RM Sotheby's)
This car, which boasts the retina-searing Green Electric paint color that was exclusive to the Electric Drive, was delivered new to Switzerland and now resides in the Netherlands. It's accumulated just 2,361 miles between two owners, according to the listing. The asking price is 1.05 million euros (approximately $1.2 million).
That's a big step up from the car's original base price of 416,500 euros, but this is quite a rare beast. Mercedes originally planned to build 100 units, but only nine are believed to have actually been produced, according to the listing.
The SLS AMG Electric Drive wasn't the only high-priced electric sports car to fall flat. The Audi R8 E-Tron appeared around the same time, but ultimately fizzled out after a troubled development process.
Today, Mercedes is concentrating on more mainstream EVs, such as the EQC crossover already on sale in Europe. That model isn't coming to the United States, but the EQS flagship sedan is slated to arrive here later this year. A host of other crossovers and sedans, including the mid-size EQE sedan and some compact models, are also on the way.