Mercedes officially announces the SLS Electric Drive

Mercedes has finally made it official that it plans to put an all-electric version of the SLS into production after announcing it at the Paris Motor Show.

The SLS’s already iconic exterior styling will not be altered massively and the infamous gullwing doors will remain. It’s underneath where it all changes; the SLS Electric Drive will have four synchronous electric motors placed at each corner driving each individual wheel and giving four-wheel drive in the process.

Each motor will deliver a staggering 740bhp and an incredible 738lb ft of torque, 177bhp and 259lb ft more than the V8 powered SLS that has been with us for three years now.

The car is expected to do 0-62mph in an impressive 3.9sec and carry on all the way to a limited 155mph.Two separate gearboxes will provide direct drive to each axle and AMG’s Torque Dynamics system will provide selective drive depending on the amount of traction available at each wheel.

A 60kWh lithium-ion battery pack will power the four motors and has been co-developed between AMG and a side company that produces Mercedes’ Formula 1 engines and their KERS recovery battery systems; the very same packs that are also found in Force India and McLaren’s cars.

Obviously, there will be the compromise of having to charge the car being all-electric and to get the Electric Drive to full capacity, a charge time of 20 hours through standard mains will be required. However, an optional wall box will offer a quick-charge function and will be able to reduce that to just three hours.

As with the KERS system in Formula 1, the Electric Drive will be able to recoup power under braking and during in-gear coasting. The driver will be able to change how the amount of energy saved via wheel-mounted paddles.

There is no official release date as of yet, but expect a cost north of £400,000 when it begins production, possibly at the end of 2013.