• Jun 22nd 2010 at 9:58AM
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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

Shortly after introducing the SLS AMG last year, Mercedes-Benz announced that it was also developing a battery electric version of the gull-wing supercar. The first prototype is now ready to be shown to the world, resplendent in bright yellow paint (AMG Lumilectric Mango to be exact – the Mopar Boys would be proud). The SLS E-Cell is propelled by a quartet of electric motors with the pair at each axle integrated with reduction gears to drive all four wheels.

Those motors, which top out at a screaming 12,000 rpm, combine to apply 526 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque to the wheels – sufficient to push the coupe to 60 miles per hour in just four seconds. The installation of the front motors necessitated the replacement of the double-wishbone suspension with a multi-link setup with push-rod dampers.

The lithium polymer batteries are split between the center tunnel and a box mounted behind the cockpit, and can provide a combined output of 480 kilowatts (643 horsepower). Two separate cooling circuits can manage the temperature of the battery packs and related power electronics by either heating or cooling the units as needed.

An extendable front splitter works with the reshaped rear diffuser to increase available downforce beyond what's possible with the standard 6.2-liter-V8-powered SLS. Inside, the electric SLS gets a 10-inch touch screen in the center console. According to reports, this is a drivable prototype, so expect driving impressions to arrive before the production model goes on sale in 2013.

[Source: Automobile]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      well, it's ugly. heinous color, crude styling, looks like a dodge viper. the grill looks old, unfortunate 80s look.

      on the positive side, it's interesting that they make an electric version.

      back to the negative, how do they manage to have slower accel than a tesla roadster when they have twice the power and 4 wheel drive..

      intentionally holding back so EVs don't shine too much? mercedes owners aren't competent enough to handle faster? or geared high for very high top speed?
      or just poorly designed current limit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It takes a trained driver to do a max accel run in anything with ~500hp. Unless it has a ridiculous launch control system ala GT-R, you're just going to roast the tires if you just mash the pedal and hold on tight. Those electric motors have way more torque than you need at 0 rpm, so it may actually be even tougher to launch a high power EV than its ICE counterpart.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "how do they manage to have slower accel than a tesla roadster when they have twice the power and 4 wheel drive.."

        Weight (and maybe tires). People that buy Mercedes' like lots of sound deadening material to eliminate road and wind noise, in addition to having the doors make that nice low-pitched thud when they close.

        Also, the 4 sec number on this car is most likely estimated. I highly doubt that they performed a legit test with a proper driver and timing yet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        it doesn't take a special driver to do acceleration in EVs.
        and the tesla weighs 1200kg. hopefully theirs don't weigh much more.
        • 5 Years Ago
        an EV can simply produce the torque the wheels can grip for a given surface.
        I think that both wrightspeed X1 and tesla roadsters have such traction control and don't spin the wheels.
        they are not the primitive steam locomotives you are used to
        • 5 Years Ago
        So negative :P...

        Anyway the funny thing is that this car is indeed sitting on a chassis developed by Chrysler for..... the next gen Dodge Viper.. lol
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's too bad to see the default lack of respect for a car like this on a "green" auto site. This car is amazing! It's a merc version of the next gen Dodge Viper and it looks incredible. The classic grill and skyline-like headlights are fantastic. If they somehow worked in hard top functionality, I don't think I'd have any choice but to save until I could afford it. I'm ridiculously tempted to do that as is - I have a new dream car!
        • 5 Years Ago
        A Mercury version of the Viper? That seems weird.

        Without getting into a Dodge vs Benz rant, I agree that it's an impressive vehicle. It deserves a posting on Autoblog, not Autoblog Green.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looking at the size of the battery packs, and how much it probably weighs, it looks like it's probably good for 150 miles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds impressive, I wonder what this thing weighs? As for the color, I think I would prefer Plum Crazy Purple
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm willing to give Tesla credit for such a car. They needed a flagship to show of the tech and gain a degree of EV acceptance.

      This thing is unnecessary and probably crazy expensive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very cool... unnecessary, no doubt about it, but very cool :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      What? How can the Germans build any EV's. Their government has not shown the auto manufacturers how to build EV's yet. They are still learning about battery management and waiting for the fleets that AC propulsion's built for them to come back so they can study them. This car must be made out of card board.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I already want one, and gray or silver for me thank you.
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