The Electric Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
|   Saturday, September 29, 2012
At the ongoing Paris Auto Show, Mercedes Benz started the latest battle for supremacy in the electric car realm, through the release of the production version of the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive. With a sale price equal to 540,000 dollars in Germany, through a 19 percent sales tax, this car has actually become the most expensive Mercedes Benz car around.

The SLS Electric Drive has the exterior styling, including the signature gullwing doors, in common with the gasoline powered SLS AMG introduced back in 2009.
This electric vehicle is presently the world's most powerful production electric car.

The most important element to the electric car driveline is the lack of exhaust pipes. This vehicle uses a high-tech driveline consisting of four synchronous electric motors, for each corner, providing it with permanent four wheel drive.

The electric motors, each coming in at 99 pounds, allow a total of 740 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. That more than the 6.2 liter V8 version delivers, by about 177 horses and 259 lb-ft.

To have a better understanding of what that means, the electric Audi R8 e-tron, expected to cost about half the price of this new Mercedes-Benz when it hits the showrooms in 2013, has only 376 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque.

The electric SLS AMG is fitted with 2 separate gearboxes providing direct drive for each axle, together with a new AMG Torque Dynamics system that sends selective drive to individual wheels based on prevailing traction in any of the 3 driving modes, which are Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. Mercedes claims the car will arrive at 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and has an electronically limited max speed of 155 mph. The standard SLS AMG goes 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 197 mph.

Energy comes from a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack developed by Mercedes-Benz's AMG division and its High Performance Engines offspring based in Britain. The British unit produced the 2.4 liter V8 Formula One engine as well as the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) unit utilized by Mercedes Benz, and McLaren plus Force India racing teams.

The battery is liquid cooled, and weighs 1,208 pounds. It is mounted within the transmission tunnel down the center of the cabin, behind the driver and passenger seats. That is where the fuel tank in the standard SLS AMG is. The battery is made of of 12 individual modules, each having 72 cells. The cells come from SK Innovation based in South Korea.

Charging on standard 230-volt European power takes 20 hours to reach full capacity. This can be cut down to 3 hours by using an optional wall box, which gives off a 22 kW quick charge. Like in Formula One racing, the battery pack is recharged on the run via braking and during in-gear coasting. The driver can select the level of recovered energy thanks to paddled mounted on the steering wheel.

AMG has redesigned the front suspension in order to accommodate the drive being direct to the front axle, thus is uses horizontally mounted dampers and springs in a pushrod arrangement, dealing away with the double-wishbone system.

The standard wheels are 19 inches wide with 265/35 profile tires in the front, and 20 inches with 295/30 profile in the back.
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