Mercedes Will Build EV Version of SLS AMG Gullwing Coupe

By KBB.com Editors on July 17, 2009 8:53 AM

Surprisingly forthcoming with details about its next-gen Gullwing supercoupe, Mercedes-Benz has now confirmed that it also plans to build an all-electric version of the stunning SLS AMG. Unlike its conventional sibling, which will be fitted with a 6.3-liter naturally-aspirated gasoline-fueled V8 that makes 571 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, this eDrive variant will corral 526 horses but develop a tarmac-churning 649 lb.-ft of torque. Mercedes says in its current "pilot stage," this zero-emissions stormer is fitted with a 400-volt liquid-cooled, tri-module lithium-ion battery that has 48 kilowatt hours of energy content, a 40 amp-hour capacity and uses regenerative braking for on-the-fly recharging. The rest of the package consists of an "intelligent" all-wheel-drive system that employs a separate transmission for each axle plus active torque vectoring circuitry that dynamically and individually controls the power input to each motor. To help reduce unsprung weight, each motor is positioned inboard of the wheel rather than in-hub. Collectively, the design choices allowed engineers to package everything for optimum overall balance as well as for the lowest center of gravity, which means the eDrive SLS AMG should have stellar handling characteristics to go along with its projected 4.0-second 0-60 mph times. Since Mercedes had anticipated creating this electric variant from the very start of the SLS AMG program, no changes were required to fit all of the eDrive elements into the original spaceframe.

While the V8-powered SLS AMG will go on sale in spring 2010 at an estimated price of $200,000-$250,000, Mercedes did not reveal any specific information on as to when this EV version will arrive in dealers or how much it will cost. At the moment, a 2014-2015 window seems the most likely ETA, although how much additional sticker shock it might carry remains TBD.

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