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Auto Show:  2011 Naias

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell - 2011 Detroit Auto Show

January 2011 author photo


January 17, 2011

Last spring, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell all-electric supercar made its debut at the Geneva auto show as a concept. With four electric motors working in sync, each one driving a wheel, it seemed like an intriguing exercise to flaunt some of the company’s new technology in a way that seemed way sexier than just some little fuel-sipping city car. But surely it would go no further than the concept stage.

At this year’s Detroit show, the head of Mercedes-Benz – Dieter Zetsche – announced that the SLS AMG E-Cell has been given the green light for production. Resplendent in a kind of radioactive yellow (Mercedes-Benz calls it “AMG lumilectric mango”) this zero-emissions version of the company’s sports coupe that pays homage to the original 1950s SLR with gullwing doors, packs 526 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque.

With so much power in a lightweight body, much of which is fashioned from carbon fiber, the formula for outrageous acceleration (something electric cars do very well) is set. Mercedes-Benz claims that sprinting from standstill to 60 mph takes just four seconds.

Hiding behind those special-design black wheels are ceramic composite brake discs, a high-tech approach to eliminating any brake fade once they get hot. And whenever the anchors are applied, their regenerative energy tops up the car’s lithium-ion battery pack.

Mercedes-Benz has yet to provide any further details like recharging times, range, cost or exact availability. Although Zetsche did say that it would go on sale at some point next year. It should be ideal for anyone who thinks a Tesla Roadster (MSRP: $109,000) is too cheap.

author photoCOLIN RYAN has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell - 2011 Detroit Auto Show - Autotrader