Even though the Mercedes SLS has only unofficially been sighted in various places Sasquatch-style, it is not surprising that the German automaker is also planning an all-electric version of the upcoming supercar. Not surprising because it has been a mere two months since Mercedes plucked up a 10 percent stake in American electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors.
The standard version of the quarter million dollar two-door coupe features a 563 horsepower 6.3 liter gasoline-powered V8 engine capable of propelling the car to speeds that are estimated to be in the 200 mph range.
Though total driving range and top speed may be impeded some, the battery-powered version nevertheless will be capable of an equally impressive 526 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of less than 4 seconds. Power for the vehicle will be motivated by four electric motors, each driving one wheel, an increasingly popular choice in electric car development. This is dissimilar to the Tesla Roadster, which is powered by an electric motor at the rear axle. One of the criticisms of in-hub electric motors is the increase in unsprung weight, which negatively detracts from car handling and driving dynamics, though Mercedes says the motors themselves will not be in that exact location. Driving range is said to be a very respectable 200 miles.
Tesla is said to also be working with Mercedes-Benz on an electric version of its Smart Fortwo microcar.