There’s been plenty of chatter over the last few months about Mercedes-Benz’s next EV release, but all the speculation was put to rest today at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show where the famed company made the public unveil of their SLS AMG E-Cell prototype! The new supercar features four electric motors, and has a killer kick of 526 hp and 649 lb-ft of torque and is capable of reaching zero to 62 mph in just four seconds flat, all features that no one was really paying attention to because we were too busy ogling the jaw-dropping paintjob on this sweet ride – a screaming electric yellow!
Aside from its color, the SLS AMG E-Cell is a prime example of the boundless possibilities in the realm of alternative fuel automotives. The driving program is incredibly flexible, simple and effective. In the Comfort setting, the SLS shows its soft side, utilizing just 40 percent of the motors’ capability and is hyper aware of inputs. However changing over to the Sport drive, the throttle response gets a bit sharper, and 60 percent of the power and torque are up for grabs. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can take it a step higher with the vehicle’s highest performance mode: Sport+. With Sport+ you get a super-aggressive throttle and 526 hp, which is the car’s total capacity. An additional mode, Manual, simulates Sport+, but forgoes any use of regenerative braking.
The vehicle also features four options for regenerative braking in addition to the possibility of shutting it off completely in Manual mode. Paddles on the steering wheel let you adjust the resistance to give a feel that will range from coasting to something that is a bit more aggressive. In fact at the highest resistance, Mercedes considered switching on the brake lights as the driver would release their foot from the accelerator.
Monitoring the vehicle is as easy as touching a screen, where the SLS hosts a new instrument cluster with 9-inch LCD touch screen for situation awareness. And given that there no gears to shift, the driver can easily maneuver between Park, Drive, and Reverse with a push of three large buttons on the center console.