Mercedes has revealed the first running prototype of its electric Gullwing Supercar – the Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell – resplendent in its tennis-ball yellow paint job.
We called it the Mercedes SLS AMG eDrive when we first talked about an electric SLS Gullwing last year. Although to be fair that’s what Mercedes called it when they gave us some info and confirmed they were working on creating an electric version of the SLS. But it now appears to have become the Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell Prototype. Different name – same thing.
Appropriately – in the week Wimbledon kicks off – the first prototype of the SLS AMG E-Cell comes in a nice shade of tennis ball yellow and is – as expected – powered by an electric motor at each corner. The electric motors produce a total of 526bhp and 649lb/ft of torque which should deliver a 0-60mph of around 4 seconds.
Interestingly, the fitting of a motor on each wheel has meant Mercedes having to re-think the front suspension. There wasn’t enough room for the motor and the double wishbones of the regular SLS, so this electric Mercedes SLS gets a multi-link setup with push-rod dampers.
Other changes – apart from the fitting of the electric motors and the bank of lithium polymer batteries housed in the centre tunnel and a box behind the cockpit – include an extendable front splitter which works with a reshaped rear diffuser to up the available rear downforce beyond the standard SLS, thanks in no small part to the lack of an exhaust system. Inside, the SLS E-Cell gets a 10″ touch screen in the centre console which displays the flow of power from the four electric motors as well as the usual infotainment stuff.
Interesting concept, even if it will never be anything more than a short-run, novelty item to show what can be done with a BEV car. Apparently this first prototype actually drives, so you can probably expect it to start turning up at car shows in the coming months.
Which in its striking Slazenger-Tennis-Ball yellow will make it hard to miss.