The idea of an eco-friendly supercar is no longer an oxymoron thanks to Mercedes-Benz: it revealed the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive at the Paris Motor Show proving that fast can be green, too.
Well, in this case fast and green may be blue – the SLS Mercedes unveiled is painted in a vivid shade of blue featuring the Electric-Drive exclusive AMG electricbeam magno paint scheme. Aside from the special paint job, there are few aesthetic changes to the electric supercar from its internal-combustion compatriots: a carbon fiber front splitter, new rear diffuser sans tailpipes, 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, honeycomb-patterned front grilles, and Electric Drive fender badging will help bystanders spot the gas-free SLS.
Gone is the naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 engine and in its place is a quartet of electric motors that route power through an axially-arranged transmission and draw on a high-voltage lithium-ion, 60-kWh battery pack. Thanks to the transmission setup, each of the four wheels can be powered individually; when things need to come to a halt, the SLS ED is equipped with 15.8-inch front and 14.2-inch rear ceramic composite disc brakes. In case you were worried about the added weight from the electric components, worry not – the electric motors weigh just 99 lbs, the monocoque is crafted from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, and the body is made of aluminum. Total output stands at 740 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque, meaning that 0-62 mph is accomplished in a scant 3.9 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph; driving range is estimated to come in at around 155 miles on a full charge.
Because of the electric all-wheel drive system, the SLS' front axle has been completely redesigned. The double wishbone has been replaced by a multi-link suspension setup with pushrod damper struts. Power steering is no longer hydraulic, but electrohydraulic; however, Mercedes promises no compromise in steering feel or feedback.
Mercedes-Benz used the same technology it used to develop its KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) for F1 racing to craft the battery pack in the SLS AMG Electric Drive. The high-voltage battery consists of 72 lithium-ion cells within each of the 12 modules, for a total capacity of 4000 volts. A full charge takes around 20 hours on a standard European household outlet, but Mercedes will offer a 22-kW quick-charge box that will juice up the SLS ED in just three hours.
The SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive goes on sale next year, but only to well-heeled European customers. At a starting price of $536,202, the all-electric supercar costs roughly 2.7 times as much as the base 2012 SLS AMG.