The new Mercedes SLS AMG supercar gets its big unveil at the Frankfurt motor show in September, and it’s set to be quite the technology fest.
As well as a 564bhp 6.2-litre V8 version there’ll be an all-electric SLS. It’s a bold move for Mercedes and AMG, but it doesn’t mean they’re belying their performance focus – power comes courtesy of four electric motors, with 526bhp and 649lb ft on tap. Those figures aren’t far short of the petrol SLS, and with thrust likely to arrive from zero revs, it’ll probably feel more powerful. The 0-62mph dash arrives in the same circa 4sec as the V8.
Those motors are cleverly applied, too. There’s one positioned beside each wheel (rather than in the hubs), reducing unsprung masses. It also means the car’s effectively all-wheel drive, with a transmission at each axle and torque vectoring sending power to the wheels that will use it best. It’ll means the electric SLS could have quite a different character to previous AMGs that send copious amounts of power to the rear wheels.
The 400-volt lithium ion battery is recharged by way of energy recuperation during braking. In its current early stages it’s not known what range will be like, but it’s likely that plugging your SLS into the mains will be another source of recharging.
Dynamics should be pretty sharp, too, with a low centre of gravity achieved by placing the battery and motors very low down in the car. Weight distribution should be fairly close to neutral, too. Impressively, no changes have had to be made to the gullwing car’s aluminium spaceframe chassis to accommodate the new setup.
While the petrol SLS is due next year, expect another few years to pass before the electric version comes to fruition. It could signal a stable future for high power AMGs, though. Volker Mornhinweg, CEO of AMG, said – ‘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 AMG performance.’
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