We covered the rumour on our blog a couple of months back that Mercedes were working on an all electric version of their new supercar, the SLS AMG. Recently these rumours have been brought to light as Mercedes have been spotted testing a working prototype of the electric car Called the 'E-Cell' now backed up by some official photos.
Painted in 'Lumilectric Mango’ (also know as bright yellow) the prototype has an electric motor on each wheel to propel the car along via a pack of rechargeable lithium polymer batteries that give it all of it's power, and it really does have some serious poke!
Those of you a little sceptical of electric car and thier musch slated perfromance need not worry, this new iteration of the SLS will not be lacking in performance. Spinning up to 12,000 rpm, all four electric motors push out the equivalent of 526bhp and 649lb ft of torque, only 37bhp less than the existing petrol model but more than making up for it through it's extra 170lb ft of torque over it's conventional cousin.
So what does all this mean? Well, with the addition of the battery pack and 4 heafty motors at each wheel the E-Cell weighs in at just over 4,600 pounds, thats nearly 1000 pounds more than the current SLS AMG...Ouch. However, all is not lost, all of this trick technology and extra torque gives the electrc SLS AMG a 0-60mph of just over 4sec - just behind the claimed 3.8sec of the petrol model, pretty incredible really. A testiment to the power of the electric motor!
To accommodate the addition of thelithium polymer batteries in what is essentially the exisiting body of the SLS, their locations have been split between the transmission tunnel and also in the boot, and engineerd so that the centre of gravity is kept as low as possible. With all electrci cars the need for the convnetional gas guzzling engine is removed and so left with a load of space. The removal of the 6.2 litre V8 has also allowed AMG’s engineers to rework the aero of the SLS. A reshaped rear diffuser and extending front splitter has endowed the E-Cell with superior downforce compared to its petrol counterpart. Heat management of the batteries comes courtesy of integrated cooling units.
Now, the setback with every electric car at the moment is the notorious battery charging time, and a good comparison to this is always the Tesla Roadster as from 'empty' to 'ready' it can take 16 hours fora full charge. I know i know it still pains me each time i write it. Despite all the above fantastic performance figures then you would expect the electric iteration of the SLS to be around the same time or even worse due to it needing extra power to pull the giant mass that it is along. But you would be wrong. Using the same lithium-ion batteries as found in all current and future production electric cars, the electric SL AMG can reach an 80% charge in... wait for it... 20 minutes! Now this has to be based on input from a Level 3 440 volt charger, but nonetheless this is incredible stuff.
The final production model of the E-Cell SLS is expected to go on sale in 2013, 2 years earlier than expected, but don't rush into buying one just yet, it is also expected to retail for near to £250,000. mind you, the UK Governement is offering £5,000 towards the purchase of all electrc cars...Every little helps!