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It’s time to buckle up as Mercedes-Benz‘s tuner AMG confirms that they are working on three halo projects for their halo SLS AMG.
No greater truth has been spoken than when Head of Vehicle Development at AMG, Tobias Moers, says, “We absolutely have to do a Black Series.” Yet to be officially confirmed, chances are likely that the SLS Black Series will make it to the U.S. market.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for the other two projects. In order to fulfill regulatory homologation requirements, AMG has confirmed a street-going version of the SLS AMG GT3 race car. As its motorsport efforts are focused in Europe, AMG has no plans to bring this hardcore version to other markets.
AMG’s third project, and perhaps its most ambitious of all, is to bring the SLS E-Cell electric sports car to market by 2012 as a 2013 model.What makes the project so ambitious is that it will not have the handbuilt V8 that AMG is famous for. Instead, the SLS E-Cell will take on electric motors and a battery cell that will add another thousand pounds to the car’s curb weight. In order to manage the issue, weight saving measures were taken to lighten the SLS elsewhere in order to bring the weight difference from the standard model down to a more manageable 200 odd pounds. Tobias Moer assures us that the lower center of gravity benefited from the battery will alleviate the handling shortcomings caused by the extra heft. Power is taken just as seriously, as the electric motors produce an estimated 525 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
Unfortunately, chances are slim for the SLS E-Cell to make it into the American market as well. Mercedes-Benz is concerned that the cost to certify the car for the United States wouldn’t make financial sense given the SLS E-cell’s production volume will be extremely low.
Tobias Moers adds, “AMG does not do money losing projects. We can’t afford to.”
GALLERY: Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
Mercedes-Benz unveiled its second-generation B-Class at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show along with a concept for an E-Cell version of the front-wheel drive compact sport tourer.
The new B-Class is almost two inches shorter than the previous version yet has more leg room thanks to a lowered floor. The seats are also more upright but still offer a lot of head room.
European customers will have the choice of two new gasoline and two diesel options, all with ECO start/stop. The turbocharged 1.6 liter B 180 offers 122 hp while the B 200 version offers 156 hp. The 1.8 liter diesel options include the B 180 CDI with 109 hp and the B 200 CDI with 136 hp. B-class models will come with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled their A-Class E-Cell electric car, with an extremely limited production run of 500 units. Available only to customers in Germany, France and the Netherlands, buyers will be able to lease the cars only, but terms have not been disclosed.
While the gasoline powered A-Class has always been a bit of a slowpoke, the electric version will hit 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, giving it straightline acceleration on par with some high-end sports cars. The electric motor itself is good for 95 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque, with a 124 mile range and a 93 mph top speed.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell
After signing a pact to develop electric cars in April, Daimler has announced that they will expand their alliance with Renault-Nissan, as automakers scramble to bring alternative fuel vehicles to the market.
According to Daimler research chief Thomas Weber, the company’s partnership “will be expanded to include all three partners as far as electric motors, batteries and powertrains are concerned.” The first project will be a collaboration on certain systems contained in the next generation of Smart Fortwo and Renault Twingo superminis.
The deal would see Renault-Nissan help develop two and three cylinder engines as well as electric vehicle technologies, while Mercedes would send the French-Japanese company their highly-lauded diesel engines. Mercedes-Benz is looking to reduce their fleet average CO2 emissions by 2012 and meet even more aggressive targets by 2020.
“We won’t be able to meet the target of 95 grams CO2 in 2020 without electric vehicles with batteries and fuel cells,” Weber said. Vehicles like the SLS AMG E-Cell and their S400 Hybrid are being developed in house as a stopgap measure.
[Source: Automotive News]
Three versions of green car planned: Electric, Hydrogen Fuel-Cell & Hybrid
Mercedes-Benz says it will develop three blueZero models, including an electric model, a hydrogen fuel-cell model and an extended range hybrid-electric model. Some of the versions will even begin production this year.
Dr Thomas Weber, the man in charge of corporate research and development at Mercedes-Benz Cars says that, “From 2009, we will be producing the first Mercedes fuel-cell cars on a small scale. Small-scale production of Mercedes-Benz cars with battery-electric drive alone will then commence in 2010.” The extended-range hybrid-electric blueZero is expected after that.
The blueZero E-Cell will be a pure electric vehicle and will have an operating range of 124 miles. Mercedes estimates a 0-62 mph time of 11 seconds for it and the other models.
The blueZero F-Cell will be powered by an electric motor and lithium-ion batteries as well as a hydrogen fuel-cell – all of which will be located below the passenger compartment. This is due to Mercedes’ Sandwich architecture floor architecture, first developed for the A-Class and later used in the B-Class. Mercedes claims it will have an operating range of more than 250 miles.
Finally, Mercedes is still working on an extended-range blueZero, called the E-Cell Plus, which will use a battery and electric engine as well as a standard internal combustion engine. The gasoline engine will be the three-cylinder turbocharged motor found in the Smart fortwo. It will, however, operate on just the electric motor for 62 miles, at which point the gasoline motor will kick in to charge the batteries – much like a standard hybrid system. In total, Mercedes says the E-Cell Plus will achieve a range of 375 miles.