Mercedes teases SLS AMG E-Cell vehicles

For many years, I worried the green vehicle movement was going to do away with performance cars.

Then again, I’m also glad that a number of green cars have hit the roads which are as focused on performance as fuel efficiency. One such performance focused vehicle that also happens to be green is the Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS E-Cell.

The E-Cell employs an electric drivetrain system that boasts four synchronous electric motors – each located near the wheels with a peak power output of 392 kW and torque output of 899 Nm.

The car uses a carbon-fiber transmission tunnel for strength. The transmission tunnel also serves as a monocoque housing the high-voltage battery modules.

“The ground-breaking drive system of the technology vehicle boasts some outstanding features: powerful traction is provided by four synchronous electric motors with a combined peak output of 392 kW and a maximum torque of 880 Nm,” a Mercedes rep recently explained.

“The four compact electric motors each achieve a maximum rotational speed of 12,000 rpm and are positioned close to the wheels. As a result, compared with wheel-hub motors, the unsprung masses are substantially reduced. One transmission per axle transmits the power.”

A small production run of the SLS AMG E-cell vehicles will be launched in 2013. The car is expected to accelerate from 0 to 100 KPH in 4 seconds, only a couple ticks off the 3.8-second time the 6.3 L V8 version of the car delivers. The car uses three 16 kWh battery packs. With each wheel having its own motor, the car offers all-wheel drive and uses torque vectoring for optimum traction in any condition.

The battery packs in the car are liquid cooled and leverages a modular design. The battery pack was the first cooperation between Mercedes-AMG GmbH in Affalterbach and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. With the high performance potential of the electric vehicle, AMG fit the car with oversized disc brakes measuring 402 x 39 mm in front and 360 x 32 mm in the rear. The brake rotors are made from carbon fiber strengthened ceramic and are 40% lighter than conventional cast-iron disc brakes.

Remember, weight is the enemy of any electric vehicle since it reduces driving range, and the above-mentioned brakes also perform better than traditional models.