Six words... “Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive”. This small collection of
letters could change the public's perception of electric vehicles overnight. Why? Because
most battery powered cars are less exciting than a power cut - but the SLS AMG is as
thrilling as an electric shock. This predator therefore produces 740bhp and 1,000Nm of
torque from four, forty-five kilogramme, electric wheel motors. The result is 62mph in a
battery busting 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. But for how long? As with every
electric car, the SLS AMG's range varies according to the conditions. Racing uphill like a
possessed electron clearly consumes far more juice than cruising downhill at 30mph. That
said, Mercedes-Benz suggests this rocket ship has a range of up to 155 miles. It can then
be charged in twenty hours via a standard plug socket, or in three via an optional wall box.
One word... “noise”. Electric vehicles tend to be quiet.
This, some say, makes them feel
tame compared to thumping petrols. Mercedes-Benz has a solution. The SLS Coupé
Electric Drive therefore has eleven speakers. These relay traditional engine sounds to the
driver including “characteristic” start-up and acceleration. This, of course, is supposed to
make it feel more electrifying than the National Grid. But to me it seems less enticing than
cataloguing batteries. Why? Because listening to pre-recorded fake pistons seems silly.
Surely it is better to embrace what it actually is – a fantastic electric car. That said, there
is a case for playing noise externally to warn pedestrians when the SLS is nearby. Okay,
end of rant. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive charges into Germany in
June 2013 priced at 416,500 Euros. It could hit the UK soon after. How electrifying. Bzzzz.
By Stephen Turvil
Thu, 04 Oct 2012