Mercedes-Benz showcased its SLS AMG E-Cell concept car at the Detroit Motor Show, however, the big news wasn't the presentation of the all-electric supercar but the announcement that it will enter production within the next couple of years.
"The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL is the most technically advanced super sports car in the 125-year history of the automobile, and shows just how fascinating electromobility can be," said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the press conference. "Our customers will be able to order it from their Mercedes-Benz dealers from 2013 onwards."
At the heart of the all-electric supercar are four, high-revving, synchronous electric motors, which can reach 12,000 rpm, producing a combined output of 526 hp (392 kW) with a peak torque of 880 Nm (649 lb-ft) of torque, enough to catapult the E-Cell to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4 seconds or almost as fast as the stock SLS’ 571 hp V8 gasoline engine (3,8 seconds).
The E-Cell’s drive is also comprised of a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery featuring a modular design and a maximum electric load potential of 480 kW. Aside the power outlet, the 400-volt battery can also be charged by the regenerative braking system.
It might be a green machine, but the E-Cell is also a thoroughbred sports car. By positioning the electric motors as close to the wheels as possible and carefully placing the battery modules throughout the chassis, engineers managed to obtain a near-perfect weight distribution. The new front suspension, boasting a multilink setup with pushrod damper struts, is another feature usually found on high performance cars, alongside the oversized ceramic composite brakes.
Finished in a fluorescent “AMG lumilectric magno” paint, the body has been fitted with an extensive aerodynamic kit. The 10-spoke 19-inch AMG alloys, shod in 265/35 front and 295/30 rear tires, round up the exterior appointments.
Inside, there’s a new instrument cluster and center console housing a 10-inch display, used to operate all audio, climate and navigation functions. Other touches include the black/white nappa leather combination, sport seats and steering wheel.