Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive is World’s Fastest, Most Powerful EV


After first showcasing concepts in an electric yellow and then a chrome blue, Mercedes has given the go-ahead to send the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive into production.

As though an electric sports car of this caliber wasn’t impressive enough, Mercedes is boasting that it’s both the fastest and most powerful series production EV in the world. Total output from the electric motors is 740 hp (552 kW) and 738 lb-ft of torque, enabling a 0-62 mph time of just 3.9 seconds.

As for the electric motors, there are four of them, (one at each wheel) weighing roughly 100 lbs. Mercedes worked with its F1 division to build the car and came up with the solution of using individual transmissions at each end to control power output rather than using hub-motors as they significantly increase unsprung mass. Weight is of particular concern on a car like this as the electric battery pack alone tips the scales at over 1,200 lbs.

To help match this weight gain, the structure of the SLS Electric Drive is unique from its gasoline counterparts with a carbon fiber monocoque forming the frame, to which aluminum body components and suspension items are attached. And speaking of the suspension, as Mercedes needed to make space in the front of the car for functional axles that could handle half of the motor’s torque, the old suspension setup was tossed aside in favor of a horizontal pushrod setup, similar to that found on Formula One cars.

In total, Mercedes claims a zero-emissions range of 155 miles with a top speed of 155 mph. Charge time for the over 800 individual battery cells isn’t quite as fast as the cars acceleration, taking three hours using a special quick-charger that comes with the car.

Mercedes says the car is, “aimed at technology-minded super sports car fans who are open to new ideas and fascinated by ambitious high-tech solutions for the future of motoring.”

Still, AMG knows buyers are going to want their high-performance electric car to still sound like a high-performance car and so they’ve outfitted it with something called “SLS eSound” which is essentially a sound generator that affects all aspects of the drive experience, from a unique start-up noise, to a different sound when the driver puts the car in Drive, using a special E-SELECT lever. It will change what the driver hears based on road speed and even synthesizes transmission changes masking the natural, “hushed, high-frequency sound pattern that seems inappropriate for a super sports car.”

Pricing and availability for the SLS AMG Electric Drive has yet to be announced, however, you will be able to order it in the ‘AMG electricbeam magno’ neon yellow shade shown on the concept car as well as three other colors, though it’s not yet clear if chrome blue will be one of them.

GALLERY: SLS AMG Electric Drive


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1 Comment

Pat Bahn says:

“utput rather than using hub-motors as they significantly increase unsprung mass. Weight is of particular concern on a car like this as the electric battery pack alone tips the scales at over 1,200 lbs.”
I think the writer was unclear. Automotive designers try to minimize unsprung mass because it keeps the “Natural Frequency” of the wheels high, and as a result makes the wheels more responsive to bumps in the road. This improves ride quality and handling as the wheel holds better to the road surface after hitting a bump. Total vehicle weight is a concern because it reduces acceleration, deceleration and makes the vehicle lumber into turns. These are separate issues and should be thought of differently.