Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mercedes 740HP SLS Electric Supercar

Wired reports: [edited]

While it’s visually indistinguishable from its fuel-burning counterpart, virtually everything beneath this two-seater’s skin is bespoke and bleeding edge. From the so-called “zero-intrusion” carbon fiber and aluminum housing that protects the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack to the Porsche-developed stability control software that orchestrates the inboard-mounted motors which drive and brake all four wheels. Oh, and there’s also an F1-like pushrod suspension up front, which reduces unsprung mass to more deftly tackle handling duties.

Inside the cockpit, few clues beyond EV-specific instrumentation betray the electrically driven aspects of the SLS’s powertrain, which consists of four 99-pound synchronous motors, spinning at up to 13,000 rpm. Each draws power from a 1,208-pound, 60 kWh lithium-ion battery with a load potential of 600 kW and a maximum of 400 volts. The battery can be recharged in around three hours using a high-capacity 22 kW quick charger and this SLS is good for an estimated cruising range of 155 miles on the European cycle. Needless to say, your eMileage may vary.

Turn the dial to 'S' mode, and the SLS becomes something it has never been before: an imperviously flat, apex slicing track tool with a physics-defying ability to negotiate corners.

Thanks primarily to the aforementioned stability control software, each of the four electric motors know exactly how much torque to apportion or absorb from each wheel, effectively creating a perfect power storm of forward and lateral propulsion that helps whisk the car ahead as though it’s suction cupped to tarmac.

Price: €416,500

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