• Jul 16th 2009 at 10:57AM
  • 17
Mercedes-Benz has officially confirmed the rumors that have been floating around in recent days – it will build an electrically powered version of its upcoming SLS gullwing coupe. The EV version of the SLS will drive all four wheels by means of an individual motor for each corner. It will not however use wheel hub motors, since those add too much unsprung mass. The motors will be mounted just inboard of the suspension components.

Energy will be stored in a 48 kWh liquid cooled lithium ion battery pack running down the central tunnel. The combined output of the electric drive system is 392 kW (526 hp) and 880 Nm (649 lb-ft), which compares to 420 kW (563 hp) and 649 Nm (479 lb-ft) for the 6.3-liter V8 in the conventional SLS. Mercedes claims it will accelerate to 62 mph in four seconds. No range is being quoted at this time, but given that the battery capacity is lower than the Tesla Roadster and the car is larger, it will likely be well under 200 miles. No timeline for the electric version is being quoted, although earlier rumors placed it at 2015.

One of the reasons that Daimler said it was investing $50 million in Tesla Motors was the upstart's ability to move quickly and develop systems faster than could be done at Daimler. Given that, we may well see the electric SLS sooner rather than later. Check out our high-res gallery of (internal combustion) Mercedes SLS prototypes below and the official press release after the jump.

[Source: Daimler]


New swing-wing model with purely electric high-tech drive system: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with electric drive – the exciting future of the super sports car

Affalterbach – Mercedes-AMG is paving the way ahead: with the new SLS AMG with electric drive, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars is developing an exciting super sports car with zero-emission high-tech drive. This model sees Mercedes-Benz and AMG displaying their expertise in the development of alternative drive solutions for high-performance super sports cars, delivering further proof of their pioneering status in this market segment.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGwith electric drive transforms the vision of powerful and locally emission-free super sports cars into reality thanks to an innovative drive system: powerful forwards thrust is provided by four electric motors with a combined peak output of 392 kW and a maximum torque of 880 Nm. The four electric motors are positioned near the wheels, substantially reducing the unsprung masses compared to wheel-hub motors. One transmission per axle transmits the power. This intelligent all-wheel-drive system allows dynamically optimised power transmission without any losses by means of Torque Vectoring – in other words the specifically targeted acceleration of individual wheels. In its first pilot phase, the SLS AMG with electric drive incorporates a liquid-cooled high-voltage lithium-ion battery of modular design with an energy content of 48 kWh and a capacity of 40 Ah. The 400-volt battery is charged by means of targeted recuperation during braking whilst the car is being driven.
Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds
When it comes to dynamics, the electrically driven SLS AMGdelivers an unequivocal statement: the swing-wing model accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds – putting it on the same high level as the SLS AMG with a 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW/571 hp.
"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 AMGperformance," says Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Optimum weight distribution and low centre of gravity
The purely electric drive system was factored into the equation as early as the concept phase when the new swing-wing model was being developed by Mercedes-Benz and AMG. It is ideally packaged for the integration of the high-performance, zero-emission technology: by way of example, the four electric motors and the two transmissions can be positioned near the wheels and very low down in the vehicle. The same applies to the modular high-current battery, whose modules are located in front of the firewall, in the centre tunnel and behind the seats. Advantages of this solution include the vehicle's low centre of gravity and the balanced weight distribution – ideal conditions for optimum handling, which the electrically powered SLS AMG shares with its petrol-driven sister model.
Key data at a glance:
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with electric drive
Max. output
392 kW
880 Nm
0-100 km/h
Approx. 4 s
Rated capacity
40 Ah (at 400 V)
Energy content
3x 16 kWh = 48 kWh

The installation of the drive components required no changes whatsoever to the swing-wing model's aluminium spaceframe body. And there were just as few constraints when it came to maintaining the excellent level of passive safety and high degree of long-distance comfort that are hallmarks of Mercedes cars.
Strategic alliance for fast electrification of the car
The electrically powered SLS AMG sees Mercedes-Benz and AMGcontinuing to pursue their aim of minimising the amount of time it takes to bring about the electrification of the car. Their strategic involvement in Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Evonik Industries AG, will provide the battery technology required in future. Daimler has the leading role in this joint venture for the development and production of batteries and battery systems for automotive applications.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Electric cars gotta start from somewhere, Cars with get better as the technology becomes better, Just like from the First Model T car and now compare it with today's cars big stride in advancement since then, now it's the Electric car turn to eventually evolve into More Efficient, Powerful Vehicles of the future that of the Internal Combustion Engine..
        • 6 Years Ago
        If this were the Model T, that'd be one thing. The Model T was an affordable model for the masses. This isn't even the Model A!

        You can't compare the entry of the ICE car into the market with this. When the ICE car came along, the market was wide open, there was no competing, more capable and cheaper product. The EV has to work not just to fill a void, but to displace another product. And so far, it hasn't proved to be up to the task. This appears to be no different.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can anyone really blame MB for producing an electric car with a mid-six figures price tag? To date, NO ONE has produced a viable electric vehicle that has been sold at a profit on a stand alone basis (golf carts excluded). Every single one was subsided by the manufacturer, the government, investors or a combination of those. If MB can use this as a platform for developing lower cost production methods, then they should.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't blame them, but it hardly means a thing in the big picture.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The only interesting part of this is that the batteries are in a better location (similar to the Volt, but 3x as many of them).

      Otherwise, we're looking at another overpriced, under-range EV as a plaything for the rich.

      I would love to hear how a vehicle with a battery that is 400V at 40Ah (for a total of 16kWh) can be said to have a 48kWh battery. There is some massive disconnect (or math error) here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I completely agree with the whole "plaything for the rich" thing. People have been giving GM grief over the Volt in one way or another but at least they're building a practical electric vehicle that a lot of people can actually use. So Tesla builds an electric roadster and Mercedes builds a gullwing supercar,...so what. The millions of families going to and from school, work, practices, and the grocery store aren't even going to look twice, or even once for that matter, at buying one of these vehicles. Right now the Volt is looking pretty revolutionary.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It says right in the specs: the energy capacity is 3x 16 kWh, for a total of 48 kWh. Looks like each of the three packs is 40 Ah.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd think that the range would be longer than 200 miles.
      Sure the points made here are valid, but that doesn't take the fact it isn't going to be released until 2015 into consideration.
      I'd hope that battery technology has improved by then, which would allow for more range (because if not, electric cars aren't going to work).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Brilliant! Hopefully we'll see a lot of this technology trickle down to MBs consumer-priced cars as they nail down the details
      • 6 Years Ago
      I not a big Mercedes fan, but I really really look forward to this - EVs moving more to the main-stream. I don't want to knock Tesla, but with the Mercedes' brand at stake i think there will be a lot more delivery on promises and engineering integrity, compared to the ambitious-but-inconsistent start-up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My point is Mercedes is a mainstream brand... What other mainstream brand has published definitive plans for an EV besides GM & BMW's Mini E (which is more of a compromised retro-fit than thoroughbred EV)?
        The significance is that once technology enters the company in one form through its high-end models, it's very likely to end up in lesser ones (a role traditionally served by the S-class!). Perhaps my view IS distorted, but i expect to see plenty of SLSs about considering they fit closely into the AMG line, below the price levels of the McLaren.

        Yes i agree, that's why i appreciate their ambition. It has shown that the market (while small) does exist, however their execution has sometimes been lacking, not to mention the unecessary internal disputes that we won't see from Mercedes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What other mainstream brand besides GM, Mini, smart, Nissan/Renault, Mitsubishi, and possibly Chrysler, Ford, and plug-ins from Toyota and maybe Honda?

        ...what mainstream brand ISN'T bringing out an EV sometime in the next 2-3 years?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah. It's an AMG and Mercedes calls it a "super sports car". What's more mainstream than that? I see Mercedes SLRs in every garage, don't you?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Talk about the ultimate in stealth....0-60 in 4 seconds and you never heard it coming.
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