Mercedes has confirmed it is developing an electric version of the Mercedes SLS AMG, admitting at the Frankfurt motor show that AMG Mercedes engineers are well advanced with a concept car.
Tentatively planned for limited production in 2015, the new zero-emission supercar draws heavily on the production version of the SLS.
The SLS eDrive is planned to be offered with the same lightweight aluminium body as the production version of the SLS, complete with its signature gullwing doors.
The new car is also set to take the standard interior, albeit with some minor changes to the switchgear to reflect the electric driveline.
The SLS eDrive will use a heavily modified version of the standard SLS’s rear-wheel-drive platform.
Among the changes aimed at accommodating the new hardware is the inclusion of a new pushrod front suspension, with coilover damper units mounted horizontally in place of the standard car’s more conventional upright double wishbone arrangement to free up space around the front axle. This allows the fitment of two 98kW (133bhp) motors up front, effectively turning the SLS eDrive into a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Each of the front wheels is driven via a planetary drive set that acts like a torque vectoring device, providing drive to the wheel possessing the most traction. 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.
All up, the SLS eDrive possesses 392kW (532bhp) and a sturdy 649lb ft of torque. By comparison, the standard SLS, powered by a heavily reworked version of AMG’s familiar 6.2-litre V8 engine, boasts 420kW (571bhp) and 479lb ft.
Wolf Zimmermann, the man heading up SLS eDrive development, claims 0-62mph acceleration in around 4.0sec and a top speed in excess of 120mph. 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. Measures such as brake energy regeneration are likely to feature too.