Mercedes-Benz has officially confirmed the rumors that have been floating around in recent days – it will build an electrically powered version of its upcoming SLS gullwing coupe! The EV version of the SLS will drive all four wheels by means of an individual motor for each corner. It will not however use wheel hub motors, since those add too much unsprung mass. The motors will be mounted just inboard of the suspension components.

Energy will be stored in a 48 kWh liquid cooled lithium ion battery pack running down the central tunnel. The combined output of the electric drive system is 392 kW (526 hp) and 880 Nm (649 lb-ft), which compares to 420 kW (563 hp) and 649 Nm (479 lb-ft) for the 6.3-liter V8 in the conventional SLS. Mercedes claims it will accelerate to 62 mph in four seconds. No range is being quoted at this time, but given that the battery capacity is lower than the Tesla Roadster and the car is larger, it will likely be well under 200 miles. No timeline for the electric version is being quoted, although earlier rumors placed it at 2015.

One of the reasons that Daimler said it was investing $50 million in Tesla Motors was the upstart's ability to move quickly and develop systems faster than could be done at Daimler. Given that, we may well see the electric SLS sooner rather than later. Check out our high-res gallery of (internal combustion) Mercedes SLS prototypes below and the official press release after the jump.

Related GalleryMercedes-Benz SLS AMG

[Source: Daimler]


PRESS RELEASE:

New swing-wing model with purely electric high-tech drive system: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with electric drive – the exciting future of the super sports car

Affalterbach – Mercedes-AMG is paving the way ahead: with the new SLS AMG with electric drive, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars is developing an exciting super sports car with zero-emission high-tech drive. This model sees Mercedes-Benz and AMG displaying their expertise in the development of alternative drive solutions for high-performance super sports cars, delivering further proof of their pioneering status in this market segment.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGwith electric drive transforms the vision of powerful and locally emission-free super sports cars into reality thanks to an innovative drive system: powerful forwards thrust is provided by four electric motors with a combined peak output of 392 kW and a maximum torque of 880 Nm. The four electric motors are positioned near the wheels, substantially reducing the unsprung masses compared to wheel-hub motors. One transmission per axle transmits the power. This intelligent all-wheel-drive system allows dynamically optimised power transmission without any losses by means of Torque Vectoring – in other words the specifically targeted acceleration of individual wheels. In its first pilot phase, the SLS AMG with electric drive incorporates a liquid-cooled high-voltage lithium-ion battery of modular design with an energy content of 48 kWh and a capacity of 40 Ah. The 400-volt battery is charged by means of targeted recuperation during braking whilst the car is being driven.
Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds
When it comes to dynamics, the electrically driven SLS AMGdelivers an unequivocal statement: the swing-wing model accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in around 4 seconds – putting it on the same high level as the SLS AMG with a 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW/571 hp.
"With the SLS AMG with electric drive, we wanted to redefine the super sports car. For us, it is not just about responsibility. We attach just as much importance to excitement and classic AMGperformance," says Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
Optimum weight distribution and low centre of gravity
The purely electric drive system was factored into the equation as early as the concept phase when the new swing-wing model was being developed by Mercedes-Benz and AMG. It is ideally packaged for the integration of the high-performance, zero-emission technology: by way of example, the four electric motors and the two transmissions can be positioned near the wheels and very low down in the vehicle. The same applies to the modular high-current battery, whose modules are located in front of the firewall, in the centre tunnel and behind the seats. Advantages of this solution include the vehicle's low centre of gravity and the balanced weight distribution – ideal conditions for optimum handling, which the electrically powered SLS AMG shares with its petrol-driven sister model.
Key data at a glance:
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with electric drive
Max. output
392 kW
Torque
880 Nm
0-100 km/h
Approx. 4 s
Rated capacity
40 Ah (at 400 V)
Energy content
3x 16 kWh = 48 kWh

The installation of the drive components required no changes whatsoever to the swing-wing model's aluminium spaceframe body. And there were just as few constraints when it came to maintaining the excellent level of passive safety and high degree of long-distance comfort that are hallmarks of Mercedes cars.
Strategic alliance for fast electrification of the car
The electrically powered SLS AMG sees Mercedes-Benz and AMGcontinuing to pursue their aim of minimising the amount of time it takes to bring about the electrification of the car. Their strategic involvement in Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Evonik Industries AG, will provide the battery technology required in future. Daimler has the leading role in this joint venture for the development and production of batteries and battery systems for automotive applications.