The New Mercedes-Benz Supercar
For those with the patience and the pocketbook, a powerful car is about to hit the markets in the year 2015. Without a doubt, Mercedes-Benz has ambitions to lead several other high-end auto companies, should the race for plug-in automobiles really take off. To that end, company representatives have announced a zero-emission supercar, which is a newer version of the SLS AMG, that will be publicly unveiled on September 15th of this year.
The development of the car is still a work-in-progress, as revealed by the engineers of AMG. However, such an advanced model could potentially have an impact on multiple fronts, from limiting environmental damage, to reducing breakdown cover costs. The officials let it be known that the same signature gullwing style doors and aluminum-based lightweight body would be offered for the SLS eDrive. Even the interior of the car would be standard with minor changes in the switchgear in order to accommodate the underlying electric driveline.
According to the head of AMG, “The great thing is we haven’t had to alter the styling in any way.” He also pointed out that “The very nature of the SLS, with its sizeable engine bay, sturdy torque tube running back along the backbone of the car and the mounting point for fuel tank, lends itself perfectly to adaptation for electrification.”
The Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS eDrive will be a modified version of the standard rear-wheel-drive SLS. It will be driven by a total of 392kW, coming from four 98-kW motors powering each wheel, providing a sturdy 649 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, the SLS, powered by a modified version of AMG’s 6.2-liter V8 engine, provides 571 hp and 479 lb-ft. The new zero-emission car would also include a new pushrod front suspension compared with the standard car’s double-wishbone arrangement.
The plug-in vehicle will use lithium-ion batteries. As stated, they would require 8 hours to recharge on standard outlets, and 5-6 hours if hooked up to a high-density power source. Moreover, the fuel tank space behind the seats would be utilized for further battery capacity in the car. All this means a range between 93 and 112 miles, supplemented by captured brake-energy. Wolf Zimmermann, the head of SLS eDrive, asserts that the top speed of the car would be 120 mph and it would be capable of achieving an acceleration of 0-62 mph in under 4 seconds.
In the words of Mornhinweg, the ultimate goal of the car is being sporty along with electrification. He said, “The goal is to redefine the one-dimensional way electric cars drive today.”
“We didn’t want to do another concept car without any real relevance to what we’re doing today. Instead, we decided to bring the future to us by applying advanced technology we’d already been looking at to a car we’re just about to launch. “
With an expected release date of 2015, that advanced technology is sure to change in the meantime. And with a long charge-time, limited electric range, and the hefty price-tag that is sure to be attached to any Mercedes plug-in model, one will wonder if this announcement is just meant to bring attention to its green-credentials at a time when every car company is flouting them. On the other hand, it is possible that Mercedes really sees potential in the technology. Even if it is just a marketing ploy, this announcement is a first step in getting acquainted with the engineering challenges that face every electric-car manufacturer.