Normal SLS AMG, right? Wrong! This is the extremely rare and valuable SLS AMG Electric Drive, the first series production electric car ever from Mercedes-Benz. There are less than 10 in private hands, it's the most powerful ca"r Mercedes have ever made with 750hp, and thanks to Mechatronik, taking it for a drive has certainly left an impression!
Back when the SLS AMG E-cell was first launched, followed by the SLS AMG Electric Drive production model, I remember being fascinated when taking a look at it during the motorshow rounds. Despite not being that long ago, the idea of electric cars was still in its infancy and Mercedes punched high with their first ever offering based on the SLS AMG at the time. Fast forward and I'm now lucky enough to own the SLS Black Series, the most hardcore of the combustion engine variants, and despite visually being so similar to the SLS Electric Drive, it couldn't be more different.
After a recent visit to Mechantronik, near Stuttgart in Germany, to drive the SL65 AMG Black Series, we caught a glimpse of the SLS AMG Electric Drive and I was absolutely intrigued to return and find out more about what it's actually like. On paper the car boasts 4 electric motors offering a total output of 750hp and 1,000Nm with a 0-100km/h (62mph) time of just 3.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 250km/h (155mph).
With the two cars parked so by side, the casual observer would never realise that the silver car was by far the rarer and more special variant of the SLS. Of course it was not designed from the outset to be an electric body style so the batteries and motors have been shoe-horned in, with visual cues like the different grille giving away what lies beneath. Inside it's the same story, the familiar set up with the addition of gauges to show battery reserve and charge.
Technically, the car actually has a pushrod suspension setup that's visible under the bonnet and with a motor per wheel it also has a clever torque vectoring system while also offering 4WD. Being an early electric car though, it does suffer from range issues with a claimed maximum of 250km (160 miles) which of course is under very gentle use.
Without doubt, the driving experience took me by surprise. In many ways it's as dynamic as the SLS Black Series, and of course with the same seating position back towards the rear axle with an extraordinarily long bonnet out in front. The instance torque and ability to keep traction in horrible weather impresses no end, and the incorporation of technology into a familiar platform is almost eerie. This will be a car for the future, a brave move in the early days of electric but something that works very well.
A huge thanks to the team at Mechatronik for this amazing opportunity. For more content from their collection, projects being worked on and plenty more, be sure to follow at: mechatronik_official
Thanks for watching, Tim