The Mercedes-Benz AMG division has historically been about ungodly power and torque, space shuttle-like acceleration and street legal race car performance. Each AMG engine is hand built by one engineer from start to finish. With so much emphasis on making cars fast and exclusive, fuel economy has often been an afterthought. Not anymore.
AutoWeek has reported that the AMG engineers are developing a plug-in electric version of their upcoming SLS supercar. The German automaker hopes to be at the forefront of zero-emissions performance vehicles.
The “eDrive” SLS will pull much of its design from the gas-powered version, which is expected to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15. The eco-friendly vehicle will retain the lightweight aluminum structure, the gullwing doors, and much of the gas vehicle’s interior.
Riding on a modified rear-wheel-drive SLS platform, the eDrive supercar will employ a 98-kilowatt electric motor for each wheel. Torque will be regulated based on which wheel has the most grip, effectively giving the electric SLS all-wheel-drive.
In place of the standard SLS torque tube, a lithium-ion battery pack designed by the German energy company, Evonic, will store the power required to move the vehicle. That’s right, folks. Despite Daimler AG’s recent purchase of a 10% stake in Tesla, the California based EV company’s technology will not be used here.
AMG expects the eDrive SLS to make 526 horsepower and 649 lb-ft of torque. While this represents an 8% reduction in power from the fossil fuel burner, torque increases 35% in the electric car. Top speed will exceed 120 miles per hour and 0-60 should fly by in four seconds. A full charge on a standard outlet will take eight hours and provide about 100 miles of range.
“We didn’t want to do another concept car without any real relevance to what we’re doing today,” says AMG boss, Volker Mornhinweg. “Instead, we decided to bring the future to us by applying advanced technology we’d already been looking at to a car we’re just about to launch.”
Look for the eDrive SLS in 2015. In the meantime, wipe the drool off your chin.