It's hard to not like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT. The all-aluminum coupe is fitted with a wonderful naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 delivering 583 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Not only does the burly combustion engine launch the two-seater to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds, but it does so with one of the world's greatest exhaust soundtracks as it roars, burbles and cackles down the road.

But what happens when Mercedes-Benz takes away the V8 and its accompanying fire-burning song? Stripped of one of its most appealing assets, does the SLS lose its soul?

Chris Harris recently had the opportunity to take the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive for a track spin in Europe. Sans gasoline, but with four electric motors providing a combined 740 horsepower (737 pound-feet of torque), all-electric all-wheel drive coupe uses sophisticated torque vectoring and a multi-mode operating system to put oversteer – drifting! – back into the equation. Fun? You bet. See for yourself, below.


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  • 77 Comments
      RampantFury
      • 1 Year Ago
      Quick and silent. Its like a damn ninja car.
      Drizzy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sick tech, sick presentation. Easily the most riveting [well... intriguing. No explosions or faux life & death scenarios] Chris Harris on Cars I've seen. Sealed the deal as best web car series for me.
      carguy1701
      • 1 Year Ago
      I want to dislike this, but I can't. I just can't hate anything with gullwing doors.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carguy1701
        [blocked]
      pavsterrocks
      • 1 Year Ago
      Would love to be an engineer working on this...
        Anderlan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pavsterrocks
        Feck yes I want to go back and get a masters in EE just to work in this field.
      Awhattup
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm genuinely impressed by the tech talk through.
      aatheus
      • 1 Year Ago
      It looks like he had a really fun time driving this car. Not amazing for a $400k car, but still really cool.
      itchybutt
      • 1 Year Ago
      viper knockoff
        snap_understeer_ftw
        • 1 Year Ago
        @itchybutt
        they both have engines, long hoods and doors...You're definitely correct
        • 1 Year Ago
        @itchybutt
        [blocked]
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @itchybutt
        Mercedes working with Chrysler on the chassis that both cars shared at one point could have something to do with that.... lol
        carguy1701
        • 1 Year Ago
        @itchybutt
        Nope.
      skierpage
      • 1 Year Ago
      "I don't much like electric cars" C'mon Chris, don't be a twit just to establish yourself with the petrol crowd. You haven't driven a Tesla Model S and teh Intarwubs is confused whether you've ever driven a Tesla Roadster. If the regenerative braking controller is too stupid to flash the brake lights then M-B really needs to rethink their use of paddles to simulate engine braking. The torque vectoring is cool, the new Acura NSX and Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrids will have something similar. This is a vastly more expensive, less performing, less range car than the sadly discontinued Tesla Roadster, like the Detroit Electric wannabe and whatever may dribble out of Audi. Each SLS ED motor is only 138 kW, while the Model S motor is 320 kW. A Tesla with front and rear motors (in other words an AWD Model X) would crush this, a Tesla with four motors would be ungodly. I would not be surprised if Tesla dangles one in front of reviewers to block sales of these competitors, just like Audi and M-B have been happy to do for years with their EV prototypes.
        jkirkebo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @skierpage
        How is it less performing than the Roadster? The Roadster had a relative high center of gravity with heavy rear weight bias. Also the air-cooled motor&inverter is no good for track use. The SLS (and the Model S) has a much lower center of gravity and a near-perfect weight distribution. The Model S is faster than the Roadster on a track due to this and water-cooled motor&inverter. I guess the SLS has a lower range due to them having to use cells with higher power density (and thus lower energy density) than the Model S and Roadster. it seems to me they are using cells similar to the Volt, capable of about 8-10C discharge. The 3.75C the Model S is running at wouldn't yield the necessary 550kW output. An AWD Model S would be much faster 0-40 than the current Performance version, but 60-100mph would probably fall in the same range as today's RWD version as the battery is the limiting point at that speed range. So I am certain the 550kW SLS would still be faster on a track.
        throwback
        • 1 Year Ago
        @skierpage
        Is he not allowed to state his opinion? He has driven EVs previously (including a Tesla roadster) and he doesn't like them. Is everyone required to like EVs? He is just being upfront and honest about his feelings.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @skierpage
        [blocked]
      Dreez28
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the first real game changer for electric sports cars that I've seen. The Tesla products just haven't introduced enough benefits of an an electric drive train to really justify getting rid of what is currently out there. The performance capabilities explained in this video are definitely next generation and definitely worth integrating into the consumer market, they go above and beyond what we're used too. Great work! The only two speed bumps are wight and range, once those problems are solved, there will be no stopping this tech. The lack of beautiful noises still saddens me too.
        Kyngfish
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dreez28
        In what way is this more of a game changer than Tesla. The torque vectoring isn't exactly a new feature, and this thing as 500KW and only 160 miles of range. The Tesla has a completely different way of looking at the battery, altering driving dynamics and providing real-world usability. It isn't perfect, but it's LEAPS and BOUNDS ahead of this in terms of thinking. The torque and HP aren't to be scoffed at, for a fraction of the price.
          jkirkebo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Kyngfish
          Different applications. The SLS technology is great for track driving, it will probably run circles around a Roadster there. The Tesla technology in the Model S is great for day-to-day driving with excellent comfort and great range. Two different types of cars & technologies for two very different applications.
      Jarda
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chris "Monkey" Harris is probably the #1 car-guy on YouTube
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jarda
        [blocked]
          upx42
          • 1 Year Ago
          You should see his review and drifting of the Ferrari 458 !
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car is amazing to watch around the turns. Torque vectoring is amazing. All done in the motor controller over the same wires used to power the motor; where gasoline cars do something like this with a combination of mechanical stuff ( differentials ) and hydraulic stuff ( brakes ). Power seems legit. Battery seems legit. I think Tesla is gonna be jealous - though this car likely stickers far higher than any of their offerings. Yeah, this electric stuff will never pan out. Total pipe dream.... ;D
        k_m94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        All electric cars need is a proper battery (or alternate charge holder) that doesnt weigh several hundreds of pounds, can hold more energy than a small canister of gasoline, and can be refilled in a couple minutes not several hours. Also for the performance cars if they could incorporate a multi speed transmission they could reach at least halfway decent top speeds.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @k_m94
          Batteries are coming along. Since the motors are dramatically lighter than a gasoline engine + transmission combo, there is plenty of weight to play with. My little 2 liter 4 cylinder motor + transmission in my Nissan is 370 pounds. An equivalent electric motor is about 50 pounds and a gear reduction box can be as light as 25 pounds for that application. Then the exhaust can go, all the emissions crap I'll give you an example - the Tesla Model S isn't all that much heavier than a fully equipped BMW 7 series. And that car has a 200-250 mile range fully loaded. A transmission is an artifact left over from the gasoline engine, the Model S can do 130mph without a transmission. There exist electric cars that can pull 150-175mph on a single gear as well. With a proper electric motor and controller configuration, you are always at the peak of your powerband... why shift in and out of it ;)
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        [blocked]
      Awhattup
      • 1 Year Ago
      One reason to hate domestic fans...
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Awhattup
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
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