Mercedes makes a bold statement
The German automaker introduces the world's most powerful electric supercar, the SLS AMG Electric Drive. It's good to be king.
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive
Mercedes is making a bold statement here at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The German automaker is harnessing its F1-derived kinetic-energy recovery technology and blending it with electric drive technology to introduce the world's most powerful electric supercar, the SLS AMG Electric Drive
The specs are astonishing — 740 horsepower and a zero-to-62-mph romp of less than four seconds. But the most headline-grabbing fact is that this four-motor, all-electric supercar emits zero emissions. Tesla might have created the electric-supercar sector, but now Mercedes owns it.
This year, as if to support that amazing SLS EV, the company is also showing the B-Class Electric Drive. A near-production-ready model with a good range and enough shared with the mainstream car to keep the price low, it'll be Mercedes' alternative to the Nissan Leaf.
No Mercedes show stand would be complete without a far-sighted concept. This year, the S-Class Aesthetic S sculpture is that. It isn't actually even a car, just a sculpture that hints at the shape of the future S-Class.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Aesthetic S Sculpture
What is it? This isn't the new Mercedes S-Class, but merely a thought-provoking sculpture to preview the upcoming big Benz. That said, the new car will feature its fair share of tech when it eventually breaks cover, including cameras that scan the road ahead and adjust the suspension to suit.
What's hot? What can you tell from a generic swoopy shape? Not much. The new S-Class will get Benz's new signature double crease down its flanks, as seen on the A-Class and CLS.
What's not? It's a sculpture. Mercedes has a history of sculptures, with Aesthetics No. 1, Aesthetics No. 2 and Aesthetics 125. But come on, it could have at least given us something more to go on, even if it was just a clay model mock-up.
How much and when? The new S-Class is slated for a 2013 release, so expect a full-on launch at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January or, failing that, at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The current entry-level S-Class starts at $99.496; expect a marginal price increase for the new car.
Anything else I should know? On a quest for ever-greater efficiency, the S-Class is likely to use the same weight-saving technology — including the widespread use of aluminum — as the automaker's latest SL roadster. Don't be surprised to see a hybrid variant in the new car, including the 2.1-liter 201-horsepower turbodiesel engine and 27-horsepower electric motor combo from the current E300 Hybrid.
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive
What is it? Remember the lurid yellow SLS AMG E-Cell concept released back in 2010? Well, this is the outcome of two years of more tweaking and honing. It's the production-ready SLS AMG Electric Drive, and it's no less impressive than the E-Cell concept.
What's hot? It's an electric-powered SLS, for crying out loud. It's awesome. Why? Because its four in-wheel electric motors make a combined 750 horsepower and 737 ft-lb of torque, a massive 258 ft-lb more than 6.2-liter V8 SLS AMG can muster.
What's not? Electric motors mean the lack of a rumbling, barking V8 soundtrack — one of the SLS's defining characteristics. Just push that throttle a little harder, however, and that colossal torque output will get all of your attention, and you probably won't worry too much about the lack of aural drama.
How much and when? The standard SLS AMG Coupe costs an impressively wallet-lightening $272,882 without options. The Electric Drive will set you back around $518,500. If you're thinking of putting your hard-earned down, it will be available in June 2013.
Anything else I should know? All that go means a zero-to-62-mph romp of 3.9 seconds, marginally slower than the 3.8-second offering from the standard V8-engined variant. A range of 156 miles isn't bad, either. Those sensational gull-wing doors remain, too, so you'll still look ultracool exiting the car in front of that restaurant, even if nobody will hear you coming.
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What?? No faux V-12 sound emanating from the sound system in sync with increased speed? Oops, that's an option......an additional 1200 dollars please.