Benz Shocks Paris with Electric SLS

Supercar

Chrome blue and four motors make the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive one unique gullwing coupe.

Mercedes-Benz is making a big mark on the 2012 Paris Motor Show by unveiling the new SLS AMG Electric Drive. The release of the new production electric supercar (known until now in prototype form as the E-Cell) ushers in a new era of emissions-free performance for the German brand. With 747 horsepower and 737 lb-ft of torque, the SLS Electric Drive stands not only as the most powerful production AMG model to date, but also as the most powerful and fastest electric vehicle on the market.

With four electric motors, the Gullwing EV is capable of accelerating from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds, reaching an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. (This despite a 60 kWh battery pack that weighs 1,208 lbs.) All that with a range of 150 miles, but charging from a standard outlet takes a whopping 20 hours. In other words, this is a weekend car, not a daily driver. Mercedes does plan, however, to offer a quick-charge option. The four motors each weigh roughly 100 lbs and can achieve a maximum individual speed of 13,000 rpm. Combined, the AMG Torque Dynamics system provides what AMG describes as "outstanding driving dynamics".

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"The SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive is setting new standards for cars with electric drives," says AMG chairman Ola Kallenius. "As the most powerful gullwing model ever, it is also representative of the enduring innovational strength of Mercedes-AMG. Our vision of the most dynamic electric vehicle has become a reality." For those demanding a supercar-worthy soundtrack from their EV, Mercedes has added the AMG Drive Unit to the SLS AMG Electric Drive. Te system packs 11 speakers that aim to recreate the aural sensation of driving a conventional, internal-combustion supercar.

To offset the added weight inherent in an electric powertrain, the SLS AMG Electric Drive is built around a lightweight carbon-fiber monocoque, featuring racing-spec pushrod shocks and carbon-ceramic brakes. Visually the electric SLS features redesigned bumpers and new grille and front intakes, and of course the eye-catching blue chrome color scheme. While we wait for word on US availability, the SLS AMG Electric Drive launches in Europe with a €416,500 (~$550,000) list price.

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