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Merc’s most potent AMG a hybrid?

2012-09-28 12:00

TAKING ELECTRIFYING F1 TO THE STREETS: Merc's SLS AMG with electric drive uses technology developed by its F1 team to make this the most powerful series production electric model yet.

Mercedes-Benz’s stunning electric SLS AMG being shown at the 2012 Paris auto show is also the most powerful AMG yet with a devastating 552kW and 1000Nm of torque.

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Merc reckons it's entering a new era with the announcement of its emission-free supercar, the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive.


Described as the most powerful AMG yet, the electric SLS is also said to be the world’s fastest electric series production vehicle. With its four electric motors producing a total output of 552kW, the electric SLS accelerates to 100km in 3.9 seconds, has a top speed limited (electronically) to 250km/h and a range of 250km.

Assisting the driver in containing all that power and torque, this SLS is equipped with an AMG Torque Dynamics system with three transmission modes not unfamiliar to Merc drivers: Comfort (C), Sport (S) and Sport plus (S+).

The four compact synchronous electric motors each weigh 45kg and are able to achieve a maximum individual speed of 13 000rpm. They drive the four wheels selectively via an axially-arranged transmission design that enables the unique distribution of torque to individual wheels.

This arrangement, Merc said, would normally only be possible with wheel-hub motors. They, however, have the disadvantage of generating “considerable unsprung masses”.

This gullwing has been developed in-house by Mercedes-AMG with even the high-voltage battery being supplied by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains where the company’s Formula 1 experts were able to apply their knowledge of Kers hybrid concepts – essentially taking F1 technology to the streets.

The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery has a maximum voltage of 400, weighs 548kg and has an electric load potential of 600kW. It consists of 12 modules each comprising 72 lithium-ion cells. As in F1, the battery is charged during deceleration.

Ideally the electric SLS is charged via a “wall box” that is installed in a home garage and allows for a 22kW quick-charge and enables a full charge in around three hours. Without the optional wall box, a charging session can last as long as 20 hours, Merc said.


The electric SLS is slowed by AMG high-performance ceramic composite brakes that show more direct brake responses and are more fade resistant. They are also 40% lighter than conventional cast-iron brake discs. The over-sized discs measure 402x39 mm at the front and 360x32 mm at the rear.

The electric SLS AMG also has a characteristic soundtrack, the automaker said, created by AMG experts to convey a range of driving situations – depending on road speed, engine speed and load conditions – conveyed by 11 speakers. The “engine sounds” range from a start-up rumble to a more “dynamic” sound when accelerating and a “subdued” note when cruising.

This SLS, as part of AMG’s “Lightweight Performance” design strategy, uses a carbon-fibre monocoque bolted and bonded to an aluminium spaceframe body, to provide a high-strength structure that is also lightweight and rigid.

Ola Källenius, chairman of the Mercedes-AMG GmbH board, said: "The SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive is setting new standards for cars with electric drives.
“As the most powerful gullwing model ever, it is also representative of the enduring innovational strength of Mercedes-AMG. Our vision of the most dynamic electric vehicle has become a reality.”

The SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive, Merc said, is aimed at “technology-minded super sportscar fans who are open to new ideas and enthusiastic about ambitious high-tech solutions for the future of motoring.”

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