Moving with a swiftness of a glacier, major car manufacturing brand gradually start to realize that there is something real behind the success of Tesla’s electric business. While most brands are still trying to increase fuel economy rating by equipping their sports cars with engines the size of a classic Coca-Cola bottle, the Tesla Roadster EVs have been selling like hot pancakes. Well, at least Mercedes-Benz starts to do something about it. Yes, the upcoming 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing supercar will really get an electric drive version. This information was officially confirmed today by the German car manufacturer.
According to the company, the electric-powered version of the sports vehicle will possibly be called 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing eDrive and will feature a rather unusual design sporting a set of whole four electric engines. Installed inside the wheels and powered by a liquid cooled 40Ah battery pack, the electric powerplants will produce a total of 526hp of power and 880 Nm of torque readily available from just about 0 rpm.
Compared to approximately 160Ah of the Tesla Roadster (I don’t really understand why Daimler prefers to use the Ampere-hours instead of the more common -and more intelligible- kWh values,) the 40Ah of the SLS AMG eDrive doesn’t look terribly impressive (with a battery pack of this size, the vehicle will be lucky to have a range of more than 50 miles,) but, hey, that’s a start and, as far as I understand, with this model Mercedes-Benz doesn’t try to make a competitor to Tesla’s revolutionary roadster: it’s more like a prof of concept, or, if you prefer, a technology demonstrator that will give the German carmaker some valuable experience before the incumbent brand can risk shareholders money and move on into the EV business with its grace of an eight hundred-pound gorilla and crush the wannabes with all of its financial and engineering might.
More than that, if you prefer performance on a closed track to the estimated range on a (boring) public road, this kind of solution will make the SLS AMG Gullwing eDrive one of the best AWD supercars in the world because the intelligent all-wheel-drive system will be to send just the right amount of torque at just the right time to each wheel according to the driving conditions. No more hassle with limited slip differentials and even the best ABS and ESP systems will look obsolete when compared to the eDrive. Wow.
Okay, may be I am overly enthusiastic here, but I am positively sure that this super-EV is going to be a hit. And, I suppose, the much over-hyped Tesla Roadster and all other actual and still planned competitors will suck a great deal compared to this supercar.
More specs. Mercedes-Benz promises that the SLS Gullwing eDrive will be able to jump from zero to 100km/h in just four seconds and will possibly have a top speed close to 250 km/h.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer stays mum as to the battery’s charging time and the expected life cycle of the pack. Well, they’d better be the best because Tesla is working on a new model right now.