SLS becomes electric


Mercedes SLS E-CELL and Dr Dieter Zetsche at Detroit
Mercedes SLS E-CELL

AN electrically powered Mercedes SLS gullwing supercar will be on sale in the next two years.

The German car maker announced at the Detroit Motor Show that it intended to put the experimental SLS E-CELL car into production from 2013.

Powered by four electric motors developing the equivalent of 525bhp, the car retains the same sort of blistering performance of the 6.3-litre V8 SLS AMG.

Its 0 to 60 acceleration time of 3.9 seconds is only a fraction off the 3.7 seconds set by the V8 while top speed is claimed to be in the region of 150mph.

Mercedes says that the electric SLS will have a range of around 125 miles and will take two hours to recharge.

Unveiling the car at Detroit, Mercedes chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche said: "It's sort of like climbing out of a Phantom F4 and into an X-Wing from Star Wars."

With its motors positioned close to each wheel, the SLS E-CELL will have all-wheel-drive.

It will also feature lightweight construction and a low centre of gravity thanks to the positioning of the battery pack under the centre of the car.

Launched last year the £150,000 V8 SLS AMG is a modern take on the classic Mercedes gullwing sports cars of the 1950s.

The AMG became a regularly sight during the 2010 Formula 1 season where it appeared as the safety car in many grand prix television broadcasts.

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