Mercedes-Benz SLS E-CELL Smashes Electric Vehicle Stereotypes
Think an electric-powered sports car can’t compete with its gasoline-fueled cousins? Take a look at the Mercedes-Benz 2013 SLS E-CELL prototype, able to reach 62 mph in four seconds and a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Who says an electric vehicle has to be slow, dull, or impractical? The Mercedes-Benz SLS E-CELL sets out to destroy that myth.
This winged electric vehicle, a modification of the SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz introduced last year, includes four lithium-ion fueled electric motors, two per axle, to be modified to a 60kWh battery on production models. Current distance for the SLS E-CELL without recharging is 90 miles, but production models will be able to travel 130 miles. Recharging at a quick-charge location would take about one hour.
Mercedes-Benz engineers have modified the front axle on the SLS E-CELL from the original gasoline-powered SLS AMG, using a pushrod system to replace the original control arm. Electro-hydraulic steering and a regenerative braking system are built into the electric vehicle. The driver will have control of modes on the brake system, modifying their resistance. There will also be a torque vectoring system on the production model to control individual wheel speeds.
Mercedes-Benz will produce a 2013 model of the SLS E-CELL in late 2012 or early 2013. The prototypes will be available for driving, so reviews of the electric vehicle will be available prior to production, although final specs on consumer models will be somewhat different.
Kudos to Mercedes-Benz for modifying the award-winning SLS AMG and not leaving “well enough” alone. Producing a consumer model of the SLS E-CELL that can compete with gasoline engine sports cars will help open the electric vehicle market to formerly skeptical race car enthusiasts.