Mercedes confirms electric AMG SLS

Published: 17 July 2009

Mercedes’ new AMG SLS – the gullwinged  GT supercar due to appear at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show – is going electric as engineers develop an emissions-free battery powered SLS as an alternative to the 563bhp V8.

The eco SLS will have an electric motor powering each wheel, producing a total of 526bhp. Needless to say, for now it remains an engineering prototype – but a spokeswoman told CAR that Mercedes was intent on putting it into production.

The electric AMG SLS isn’t just another creeping EV then?

Not by a long shot. The motors will produce around 35% more torque than the petrol powered version, and will quietly hurl the electric SLS from 0 to 60mph in around four seconds.

Like the Tesla Roadster, the SLS tries to beat the cliché of green meaning slow. Or as Mercedes-AMG chief exec Volker Mornhinweg puts it: ‘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 AMG performance.’

How do four motors work on one car?

The SLS AMG will handle its power with a separate transmission for each axle, effectively creating all-wheel-drive, and will use the Torque Vectoring system seen in other AMGs to distribute power to each individual wheel as required.

The aluminium spaceframe body from the petrol SLS will remain totally intact. The bulky batteries are stowed in front of the firewall, within the central tunnel and behind the seats. The motors, transmissions and batteries will be low slung to help keep the SLS planted.