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Sunday, August 15, 2010
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Car
Image: © 2010 Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz's SLS Goes Electric Powered

KRISTIANSUND, NORWAY - Mercedes-AMG have installed an electric drive powertrain into their prototype SLS AMG electric car that gives an almost equivalent performance to the gasoline (petrol) version that they currently market. The Mercedes-Benz AMG E-CELL electric sports car (see photo) is a development vehicle and it has 392 kW (533 hp) of output power with an acceleration torque of 880 Nm. Mercedes-Benz say that the SLS electric sports car supports their "AMG Performance 2015" strategy towards reduced emissions and improved fuel efficiency for the future.

With its distinctive gullwing doors, fluorescent "AMG lumilectric magno" paint, and zero-emissions credentials, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL is an electric sports car that shows that Mercedes-AMG can create a supercar that trends towards the protection of the environment whilst still delivering exceptional driving performance.

Mercedes-AMG have designed into the SLS E-CELL a total of four synchronous electric motors, with each motor positioned by each wheel. The SLS electric has all-wheel drive with a transmission at each axle taking power from the two pairs of electric motors - front and rear. Arranging the powertrain in this manner has given the SLS AMG E-CELL an overall low centre of gravity for quick handling turn in performance. Each electric motor can reach a maximum of 12,000 rpm and the torque from the motors is available instantaneously at all wheels at the actuation of the throttle.

In comparison to the 3.8 second zero to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) acceleration time of the gasoline powered 420 kw (571 hp) SLS AMG 6.3-litre V8 model, the SLS AMG E-CELL electric hits 100 km/h (62 mph) just a fraction slower in 4.0 seconds. The SLS's aluminium spaceframe required no further modifications from the gasoline (petrol) version when the E-CELL's electric drive components were installed. One significant chassis change, however, was to accomodate the front-wheel drive in the electric version. Here the vertical damper struts from the SLS gasoline model have been switched to F1 style horizontal struts operated via push rods and transfer levers.

The battery system on the SLS AMG E-CELL is very advanced. A high-voltage 400 V lithium-ion battery pack is used that is rated at 40 Amp-hours. The liquid cooled battery pack is made up of 324 lithium-ion polymer cells. In very cold weather, heater elements bring the battery pack up to operational temperature, and once operating a separate liquid cooling system cools the battery. If needed, further battery cooling can be delivered using the vehicle's air conditioning system. For the electric motors, two liquid low temperature cooling circuits are employed which stop the motors from overheating and maintain optimum temperatures for the electronics.

The brakes on the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG electric supercar have been upgraded to large AMG ceramic composites. Carbon fibre is used in the ceramic discs to strengthen them and make them more durable. These same ceramic brakes are available on the SLS AMG 6.3-litre gasoline model as an optional accessory.

For the exterior, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL electric car is appointed with AMG 10-spoke alloy wheels with the tire dimensions measuring 265/35 R19 (19-inch) on the front and 295/30 R20 (20-inch) on the rear. Front headlights are Full-LED type with integrated daytime running lights. Inside there is a large multi-function 25 cm touch screen in the central console that provides information about the battery charge status, power flow, audio, climate control, and satellite navigation. The sport seats are made of high-quality nappa leather in the dual colours of black and white, and the same leather combination is also used on the door panels, the steering wheel, and on the central tunnel.

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