Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG eDrive in the works

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

A plug-in version of the upcoming SLS AMG will soon be available as Mercedes-Benz engineers are claiming that they have made many advances in creating the zero-emission supercar. The SLS eDrive is tentatively planned for limited production in 2015. The SLS eDrive draws heavily on the production version of the SLS, which will be first revealed to the public on September 15 at the Frankfurt motor show.

Similar to the SLS production version, the SLS eDrive will be built with a lightweight aluminum body and will also have the signature gullwing doors. The new car will have standard interior but will have some minimal changes to the switchgear due to the electric driveline. Mercedes-Benz AMG has officially stated that the SLS eDrive will be using a heavily modified version of the standard SLS's rear-wheel-drive platform.

To accommodate the new hardware, a new pushrod front suspension was included. It has coilover damper units mounted horizontally in place of the standard car's more conventional upright double wishbone arrangement to free up space around the front axle. Effectively turning the SLS eDrive into a four-wheel-drive vehicle is the fitment of two 98kW (133bhp) motors upfront.

Each front wheel is driven via a planetary drive set that acts like a torque vectoring device, providing drive to the wheel possessing the most traction. The front set-up is duplicated at the rear; each back wheel is powered by a 98kW (133bhp) motor that drives through a planetary drive set, although the standard rear double wishbones have been retained without modification.

The SLS eDrive boasts 392kW (532bhp) and a sturdy 649lb ft of torque while the standard SLS possesses 420kW (571bhp) and 479lb ft. The standard SLS is powered by a heavily reworked version of AMG's familiar 6.2-litre V8 engine. Wolf Zimmermann, the head of the SLS eDrive development, asserted that the car can accelerate 0-62mph in under 4.0 sec and carries a top speed of more than 120mph.

The battery pack is mostly mounted low down in the space usually taken up by the standard SLS's torque tube. AMG also plans to use the space behind the seats, usually taken up by the fuel tank, for additional battery capacity. Range is estimated to be between 93 and 112 miles depending on the load placed on the battery, while overall recharging time is put at 5-6 hours on high-density charge or 8 hours on conventional mains power. Measures such as brake energy regeneration will most likely be added too.

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