The video’s in German but you’ll get the idea.
About a month ago I had the opportunity to drive Mercedes new SLS Gullwing and to say that I liked it would be an understatement. In person the car is not only elegant but it truly exemplifies the performance and elegance that Mercedes-Benz is known for. Driving the SLS was another experience entirely. The car is long, low and blisteringly fast getting one to 60 mph in mere 3.7 seconds and although a bit cramped for someone my size (6’4″), it is definitely one of the few supercars that one could use everyday if they chose to.
Mercedes has now just released plans for an all electric version of the SLS supercar dubbed the E-Cell. Mercedes is replacing the 6.3 liter 571 hp V8 with four electric motors placed right by the wheels essentially turning the SLS into a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Mercedes says that compared to electric wheel-hub motors this type of electric motor configuration greatly reduces unsprung mass as well. Since the SLS is a supercar Mercedes also didn’t want to compromise on its performance and it is said that the combined electric strength of the new motors makes the equivalent of 526HP and 649 lb-ft torque. This should be capable of rocketing the SLS to 60 mph in about 4.0 seconds.
All of this electric energy is provided by a 400-volt, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be partially recharged under braking. Also, with the battery modules located in front of the firewall, distributed throughout the cars center and behind the seats the SLS E-Cell will have a very low center of gravity which should make for some great handling characteristics. As of right now there is no set release date for the new SLS E-Cell but it is believed that a few cars could see the light of day as early as 2013.