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Friday, July 10, 2009

Mercedes developing SLS EV Supercar for 2015

Tentatively planned for limited production in 2015, AMG Mercedes engineers are well advanced on a plug-in electric version of the upcoming SLS. The EV version of the SLS supercar is planned to be offered with the same lightweight aluminium body as the production version, complete with its signature gullwing doors.

According to official Mercedes-Benz AMG information seen by Autocar, the SLS EV will use a heavily modified version of the standard SLS’s rear-wheel-drive platform.

With the standard 6.2L V8 and transmission removed the upright double wishbone front suspension is replaced by a new pushrod front suspension, with coilover damper units mounted horizontally to free up space around the front axle. The extra space allows the fitment of two 98kW (133bhp) motors up front, effectively turning the SLS EV into a four-wheel-drive.

Each electric motor drives the wheels through a planetary gear set. The set-up at the front is mirrored at the rear; each back wheel is powered by a 98kW (133bhp) motor that drives through a planetary drive set, although the standard rear double wishbones have been retained without modification.

In total the SLS EV will have 392 kW (532 bhp) and a sturdy 878 Nm (649 ft/lb) of torque. By comparison, the standard SLS, powered by a heavily reworked version of AMG’s familiar 6.2-litre V8 engine, boasts 420 kW (571 bhp) and 648 Nm (479 ft/lb).

The battery pack is mostly mounted low down in the space usually taken up by the standard SLS’s torque tube. AMG is also planning to use the space behind the seats, usually taken up by the fuel tank, for additional battery capacity.

Range is put at between 93 and 112 miles depending on the load placed on the battery, while overall recharging time is put at between five and six hours on high-density charge or eight hours on conventional mains power.

With an independant EV motor on each wheel brake energy regeneration will be a major feature of the cars performance and may lead to the development of features such as ABS and ISC.

Performance figures aren’t official yet, but Wolf Zimmermann, the man heading up SLS EV development, claims 0-60mph acceleration in under 4 sec and a top speed in excess of 120mph. With 4WD, 400 Kw of EV power and a relativley small, light weight battery pack, we expect the SLS EV will be capable of sub 3 sec 0-60 times and may in fact give the 1000 hp 4WD Bugatti Veyron a close run.

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