While it's still not clear exactly when the electric Gullwing will debut, it does look as if Mercedes is dedicated to bringing it to market, possibly much sooner than 2015, the date that was originally indicated to us.
This official diagram indicates exactly how Mercedes is working to make the center of gravity as low as possible, is ensuring the best possible weight distribution and is including the added benefit of AWD. Four electric motors are placed near the individual wheels they power, while batteries and associated electronics are packed into the now obsolete transmission tunnel and in the behind-the-seat space formerly occupied by the fuel tank. This setup has the added benefit of necessitating zero modifications to the sexy Mercedes SLS Gullwing bodywork that also leaked last week.
No details on the battery pack other than 40Ah capacity at 400V, but since the Mercedes S400 Hybrid is the first mass-production hybrid to use Lithium Ion batteries, we'd bet on the Electric SLS getting that technology too. Li-ion batteries are good for more cycles with more stability than NiMh or Li-Po units while weighing less. That means they'll last for more miles and, possibly, the lifetime of the vehicle.
Affalterbach – Mercedes-AMG is paving the way ahead: with the new SLS AMG with electric drive, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars is developing an exciting super sports car with zero-emission high-tech drive. This model sees Mercedes-Benz and AMG displaying their expertise in the development of alternative drive solutions for high-performance super sports cars, delivering further proof of their pioneering status in this market segment.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGwith electric drive transforms the vision of powerful and locally emission-free super sports cars into reality thanks to an innovative drive system: powerful forwards thrust is provided by four electric motors with a combined peak output of 392 kW and a maximum torque of 880 Nm. The four electric motors are positioned near the wheels, substantially reducing the unsprung masses compared to wheel-hub motors. One transmission per axle transmits the power. This intelligent all-wheel-drive system allows dynamically optimised power transmission without any losses by means of Torque Vectoring – in other words the specifically targeted acceleration of individual wheels. In its first pilot phase, the SLS AMG with electric drive incorporates a liquid-cooled high-voltage lithium-ion battery of modular design with an energy content of 48 kWh and a capacity of 40 Ah. The 400-volt battery is charged by means of targeted recuperation during braking whilst the car is being driven.
Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds
When it comes to dynamics, the electrically driven SLS AMGdelivers an unequivocal statement: the swing-wing model accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds – putting it on the same high level as the SLS AMG with a 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW/571 hp.
"With the SLS AMG with electric drive, we wanted to redefine the super sports car. For us, it is not just about responsibility. We attach just as much importance to excitement and classic AMGperformance," says Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Optimum weight distribution and low centre of gravity
The purely electric drive system was factored into the equation as early as the concept phase when the new swing-wing model was being developed by Mercedes-Benz and AMG. It is ideally packaged for the integration of the high-performance, zero-emission technology: by way of example, the four electric motors and the two transmissions can be positioned near the wheels and very low down in the vehicle. The same applies to the modular high-current battery, whose modules are located in front of the firewall, in the centre tunnel and behind the seats. Advantages of this solution include the vehicle's low centre of gravity and the balanced weight distribution – ideal conditions for optimum handling, which the electrically powered SLS AMG shares with its petrol-driven sister model.
Key data at a glance:
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with electric drive
Max. output 392 kW
Torque 880 Nm
0-100 km/h Approx. 4 s
Rated capacity 40 Ah (at 400 V)
Energy content 3x 16 kWh = 48 kWh
The installation of the drive components required no changes whatsoever to the swing-wing model's aluminium spaceframe body. And there were just as few constraints when it came to maintaining the excellent level of passive safety and high degree of long-distance comfort that are hallmarks of Mercedes cars.
Strategic alliance for fast electrification of the car
The electrically powered SLS AMG sees Mercedes-Benz and AMGcontinuing to pursue their aim of minimising the amount of time it takes to bring about the electrification of the car. Their strategic involvement in Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Evonik Industries AG, will provide the battery technology required in future. Daimler has the leading role in this joint venture for the development and production of batteries and battery systems for automotive applications.