The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG represents the German automaker’s focus on power, style and performance. This sports car features gull-wing doors, a lightweight body and a V8 engine capable of hitting 197 miles per hour. Mercedes-Benz notes that this car can hit 60 miles per hour from a dead stop in 3.8 seconds while achieving fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon. Representatives from the automaker presented the E-CELL version of the SLS AMG at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The SLS AMG E-CELL is slated for production in 2013 with targeted sales to consumers in Europe and North America.
Mercedes-Benz has swapped out the V8 engine in the standard SLS AMG with four electric hub motors totaling 392 kW of output. These motors are located adjacent to the wheel wells to reduce energy waste typical in other electric vehicles. The automaker is remaining faithful to the original vehicle’s power, promising a 0-60 MPH speed of 3.9 seconds and a comparable top speed for this model. The SLS AMG E-CELL is powered by a 48kWh lithium-ion battery with 324 cells that are sustained with regenerative braking. This battery pack features intelligent parallel switching to maximize power from individual cells, thus allowing for consistent performance at high speeds. The E-CELL drive system is spread from the front axle to the rear axle to keep the vehicle’s profile low.
Improvements to the vehicle body, steering and braking will allow this sports car to excel on the track. The Magna Steyr aluminum body has been streamlined to eliminate extraneous components that could slow down the vehicle at high speeds. Mercedes-Benz noted that the E-CELL features electro-hydraulic steering that can handle quick maneuvers and sharp turns with little difficulty. The SLS AMG E-CELL will rely on two-piece ceramic brakes that cut down braking distance without sacrificing durability. These brakes are also 40% lighter than the iron brakes used in the standard SLS AMG.
The SLS AMG E-CELL is intended for auto racing teams as well as collectors with some disposable income to burn. Mercedes-Benz prices the SLS AMG at $185,000 in Europe with comparable pricing in the United States during its 2011 release. Pricing for the E-CELL will no doubt exceed $185,000 with the price premium typically placed on electric vehicles. The E-CELL stood out amongst the concept vehicles and futuristic sketches presented at Detroit as Mercedes-Benz built off the reputation of the original SLS AMG.