Striking another blow for the zero-emission high-performance set, a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive has shattered the existing EV lap record at Germany's fabled Nurburgring. This high-profile -- and equally high-priced - gullwing coupe recently became the first electric-powered vehicle to complete the grueling 12.9-mile Nordschliefe circuit in less than eight minutes. Its 7:56.234 clocking bested the 8:09.999 mark set last summer by an Audi R8 e-tron. Both vehicles were limited to a 155 mph maximum speed during their respective attempts.

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Powered by four individual motors -- one at each wheel -- the M-B SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive has a total of 740 electric ponies on call and can muster 738 lb-ft of torque. Abetted by its AMG Torque Dynamics controller, which allows each wheel to be accelerated and braked independently, the car's handling is optimized across the entire range of operation both in a straight line and while cornering.

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By way of comparison, the time set by the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive slots it between the existing Porsche Panamera Turbo and a 911 GT3. However, it's still nearly 12 seconds slower around the circuit than its conventional cousin, the SLS AMG Coupe which can be had for less than half the price.

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