Mercedes really shocked the crowd at the 2012 Paris Motor Show when the showcased the SLS AMG Electric Drive which is now available on order for a cool VAT-included 416,500 euros, making it the most expensive model in their current lineup. Even though it looks just about the same as the regular SLS AMG, the Electric Drive is a different car since instead of a conventional gasoline engine it is powered by four synchronous electric motors that allow the electric supercar to have a four-wheel drive layout. Each of these electric motors weighs 99 lbs (45 kg) and are capable of a combined output of 740 bhp (551 kW) and an instant torque of 999 Nm (738 lb-ft).
In other words, the Electric Drive variant is 177 bhp (132 kW) and 351 Nm (259 lb-ft) more powerful than the usual SLS AMG which is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine. The SLS AMG ED features two independent gearboxes which drive each axle. There’s the AMG Torque Dynamics system which can provide selective drive to individual wheels judging by the type of available traction. This is accomplished through three modes: comfort, sport and sport plus.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive needs only 3.9 seconds from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) on its way to a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) which has been electronically limited. It packs a 60 kW lithium-ion battery which is liquid cooled and tips the scales at 1,208 lbs (548 kg). This battery pack is mounted within the transmission tunnel and sits behind the front seats, in the same location where you will find the fuel tank in the conventional-powered SLS AMG.
The engineers at Mercedes-Benz modified the car’s aluminum structure by adding more carbon fiber parts in order to shave off some of the added weight related to the electric hardware. Another weight-saving measure was to install 402mm front / 360mm rear carbon-ceramic disc brakes. While the regular SLS AMG has a double wishbone front suspension, the Electric Drive comes with a pushrod setup which has dampers and springs that are mounted horizontally. The vehicle rides on specially developed 19-inch front alloys wrapped around in 265/35 tires while at the back it has 20-inch rims covered by 295/30 rubbers.
Chris Harris from the YouTube channel DRIVE had the chance to test the car around a track: