It’s official: Mercedes-Benz is building an electric supercar.
The German automaker confirmed today the rumor we reported earlier this week and provided some tech specs on the electrified all-wheel-drive version of the upcoming SLS AMG. Mercedes calls it “the exciting future of the super sportscar.”
We call it a technological marvel that will set the EV performance benchmark for the foreseeable future.
The original Mercedes 300 SL “Gullwing”
First off, let’s confirm some of the layout and packaging the electric SLS will feature, then get into the technical specifics. Mercedes released a diagram of the car, but because the text is so damned small, we’ll run through it for you.
Up front, as rumored, the suspension has undergone a significant redesign. The coilover shocks are now pushrod- and bellcrank-actuated and mounted longitudinally. Mercedes did this to accommodate two black boxes labeled on the diagram as “power electronics.” Each looks to be about twice the size of a lunch box. There are a pair of motors in front, and a gearbox that looks like something out of an ocean-going tugboat.
No one has ever accused Mercedes of making things too light, and it won’t face that criticism with the electric SLS. The lithium-ion battery runs down the center of the chassis. Another pair of motors and controllers are out back, along with the gearbox.
The four motors combine for a peak output of 392 kilowatts (525 horsepower) and an astounding 649 pound-feet of torque. All that grunt is available the moment the motors turn. The electronic controllers assure dynamically optimized power transmission by means of torque vectoring is sent to each wheel. The battery is liquid-cooled and rated at 48 kilowatt-hours with a capacity of 40 ampere-hours. Of course the car has regenerative braking.
No word on where Mercedes is getting the battery or other components, but it’s worth noting that corporate parent Daimler owns a chunk of Tesla Motors. The two companies are working together on the Smart EV project. Nothing’s been said about any tech transfer to Mercedes, but the electric SLS would seem like a natural fit.
Mercedes says the electric SLS will do zero to 62 mph in around 4 seconds, a figure that matches its internal combustion sibling with a 6.3-liter V8 engine cranking out 571 hp. There’s no official word on when the car will see production, but the last rumor we heard had it pegged for 2015.
“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,” says Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-AMG. We’re not going to argue with him.
Originally by Tony Borroz from Autopia on July 16, 2009, 11:49am
Originally posted 2009-07-18 11:57:37.