By Jason Giacchino
The words “electric” and “supercar” used to seem about as relative as “Buffalo” and “Super Bowl Champs”. But that was before AMG decided to get into the electric supercar game. If you’re going to go electric, anything less than the SLS AMG E-Cell would simply be uncivilized.
Before we get too excited about the SLS AMG E-Cell, which will likely be
available by the end of 2012, it is important to disclose that the
electric SLS promises to be atrociously expensive, suffer limited range
and may not boast production specs that mirror the current prototype
phase. Yet even still, it’s hard not to get excited when you consider
preliminary performance numbers like 526 horsepower, 649 pound feet of
torque and acceleration from zero to 60 mph in four seconds.
It appears as though the all-electric, all-wheel-drive SLS will be built
upon the same aluminum space frame as the conventional AMG SLS, with
the relocation of drivetrain components for optimal weight distribution.
The lithium-polymer battery (324 cells) will be mounted fore of the
firewall, in the center tunnel and behind the seats. A lack of exhaust
system allows Mercedes to tweak the front air splitter and rear diffuser
to provide optimal downforce for better handling at speed. Even the
four electric motors (one for each wheel) mean weight promises to stay
close to the ground.
Granted, four motors are heavier than one. And then there is the
additional weight of the lithium-ion battery packs. All the same, AMG is
confident that performance will be nothing shy of stellar. And why
wouldn’t it be? It is AMG, and the four motors give them the ability to
independently control the amount of torque going to each wheel. That’s something the current SLS can’t boast of. And that car ain’t too shabby.
Mercedes will start taking orders for the SLS AMG E-Cell towards the
middle of 2012, with test drives and deliveries slated to begin late
next year and into early 2013. As far as price is concerned, current
estimates put it at a tad above $300,000, but the good news is this is
one of but a few supercars immune to the gas-guzzler tax!
No word yet on why AMG thought the prototype needed to be painted in “Cheesy 80’s Volley Ball Movie Yellow”. Stay tuned.
What do you think? Can there really be such a thing as an electric supercar? Shout off in the Forums!