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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Electric Mercedes Gullwing Lands In 2013

The latest word on the electric AMG SLS “Gullwing” has Mercedes offering the car in 2013 and giving it enough power to leave a whole lot of cars in its dust.

Mercedes already confirmed it’s building an electric Gullwing, but the timeline had it reaching production in 2015. Now AMG managing director Volker Mornhinweg says the electric supercar will be here two years sooner. He’s driven the prototypes — he didn’t say how many there are — and promises the car will be as exciting as the Mercedes AMG SLS it’s based on.

“I can tell you that it is an amazing kind of experience,” he told Australia’s

That’s exactly what you’d expect him to say, of course. But the numbers coming out of Germany suggest the electric Gullwing will be a sweet ride. The plan calls for four motors with a combined output of 400 kilowatts (536 horsepower) and 649 pound-feet of torque. The all-wheel drive electric car will wear the same sexy bodywork as the conventional SLS (pictured), which has a 571-horsepower V8 that produces 479 pound-feet of torque.

“We can take (out) a combustion engine and transaxle and make no changes to the body, and we can put in two motors with the gearbox in the rear, two motors and the gearbox in the front and we can take the center console as a battery place – it looks like a T and it is perfect,” he said.

The gasoline model’s double-wishbone front suspension is tossed in favor of a pushrod-actuated system using coilovers. The car is said to have excellent handling because the electric motors can vary the power going to each wheel.

All that extra tech carries a weight penalty, and the electric SLS weighs 4,629 pounds — 992 more than the gasoline model. But Tobias Moeres, AMG’s head of vehicle development, says it “covers its weight very easily,” according to the Sydney Central newspaper. Again, that’s what you’d expect them to say. But with all that torque, Moeres says the car will do zero to 62 mph in less than 4 seconds — putting it on par with the Tesla Roadster. Top speed will be limited to 118 mph, presumably to maximize range.

Speaking of, Mercedes says the lithium-ion battery will be good for about 112 miles and recharge to 80 percent in as little as 20 minutes, a figure that’s gotta be dependent upon using a Level 3 (440-volt DC) charger. There aren’t a whole lot of those around, but maybe by 2013…

Price? With the SLS going for more than a quarter mil, look for the electric version to be as pricey as it is quick. Those of us without Swiss bank accounts can always get the electric Mercedes A-Class that’s said to be coming.

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Zsolt said...

Why are they putting gearboxes in the car? The way I understand it its pointless.

Sergius said...

I can't imagine a sport car, even more electric, weighing 4.629 pounds, unless the Eliica/Godzilla eight wheels, of course.
I'm wondering that the highperformance Megacity BMW microsportcar is going to end up doing the electric SLS AMG eat dust ...

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