Mercedes Electric Supercar

by Nate Torvik on October 4, 2012

Throughout the history of the automobile, there have been changes, manipulations, and alterations that have moved vehicles from one era into the next. The Veteran era began with the introduction of the first automobile from Karl Benz in 1888. The Brass era, appropriately named for the wide use of brass in vehicles, preceded World War I. The Vintage era ran from the end of WWI through 1929, which began the Pre-WWII era. Fully closed bodies began to take shape during these eras, as well as front-mounted engines. The Post-WWII era began, believe it or not, after WWII, followed by the Modern era, which is defined as the 25 years preceding today’s vehicles.

Throughout all of these eras, the vehicle went from a novelty to a necessity, from simplicity to complexity, and it continues to move forward into the future. Mercedes-Benz, the name that started it all in 1888, may well define the next age in the automobile history books, and it may start with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive.

With so much emphasis placed on alternative energy and fuel sources throughout the automotive industry, more and more vehicles are being designed with engines that define a new phase for the automobile. Mercedes has begun to play its hand, releasing vehicles that run on natural gas, such as the B200 Natural Gas Drive, as well as those that run using electric motors. As the next step in Mercedes electric progression, the SLS AMG Electric Drive will be the fastest and most powerful electric car on the market upon its release.

Using four electric motors, one for each wheel, the SLS AMG Electric Drive can produce a mind-boggling 740 hp, nearly 200 hp more than the current fastest gas-powered SLS AMG on the market. Its 0-60 mph speed might be slightly slower (3.9 seconds vs. 3.6 seconds), but a 1,200 lb., 60kWh lithium-ion battery pack will have that effect. If you put 1,200 lbs. onto the back of a cheetah, I can guarantee that it will not run as fast.

To counteract some of the added weight, Mercedes has intertwined carbon fiber with aluminum in the car’s structure. The vehicle’s range is around 150 miles per charge with a charge time of nearly 20 hours, but an optional wall box for a quick-charging three-hour alternative will be available.

The production version is debuting at the Paris Motor Show, which runs through October 14, 2012. After multiple years of conceptual versions of the vehicle, the debut of the SLS AMG Electric Drive is just one more step into the future for Mercedes-Benz. Of course, a vehicle of this magnitude will come at no small price, but for a high-performance sports car mixed with this innovative technology and the Mercedes moniker, this price tag should come as no surprise. As Mercedes continues to push forward into the future, we can all wonder which era Mercedes will usher in next.

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