At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes admitted that its engineers are gaining a lot of progress in its goal to develop an electric version of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and to eventually have a limited production in 2015. Drawing heavily on the production version of the SLS, the new zero-emission supercar, the SLS eDrive, will be offered with the same lightweight aluminum body as the production version of the SLS. It even has its signature gullwing doors.
The new car's interior is mostly unchanged, except for minor modifications made to the switchgear to reflect the electric driveline. The SLS eDrive will use a heavily modified version of the standard SLS's rear-wheel-drive platform.
To accommodate the new hardware, the carmaker brought about the inclusion of a new pushrod front suspension, with 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.
Because of the fitment of two 98kW (133bhp) motors up front, the SLS eDrive has been turned into a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The front wheels are driven via a planetary drive set that acts like a torque vectoring device, providing drive to the wheel possessing the most traction.
The set-up at the front is mirrored 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 are unchanged. The SLS eDrive has 392kW (532bhp) and a sturdy 649lb ft of torque.
On the other hand, the standard SLS is powered by a heavily reworked version of AMG's familiar 6.2-litre V8 engine, boasts 420kW (571bhp) and 479lb ft. Wolf Zimmermann, who heads the SLS eDrive development, claims that the car can go from 0-62mph in around 4.0sec and a top speed in excess of 120mph.
The battery pack is mostly mounted low down in the space usually taken up by the standard SLS's torque tube. AMG is also planning 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 from 5-6 hours on high-density charge or eight hours on conventional mains power. Measures such as brake energy regeneration will also likely feature.