It may be an electric car out of the range of most price wise, and it isn’t likely to turn up on American shores anyhow, but the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive is notable for what a high performance electric vehicle of its ilk can do. In this case it means setting a record electric vehicle lap time around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany.
The SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive, which will price for €416,500 (around $555,000) in Germany when it debuts this month, mastered the legendary race track in a sub-eight minute time of 7:56.234. The production model hitting the streets will be the same as the one which broke this record, according to Daimler, boasting four synchronous electric motors that put out 552 kilowatts (740 horsepower) and a maximum torque of 1000 Nm (737 pound-feet).
Mercedes-AMG establishes lap record in the “Grüne Hölle”: SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive masters Nordschleife in 7:56.234 minutes. (image via Daimler)
What one gets in terms of performance from this all-electric, gullwing supercar is pretty staggering – zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) is 3.9 seconds and a top speed that’s electronically controlled at 250 km/h (155 mph). A 60 kilowatt-hour battery allows for 250 km (155 miles) of driving range.
In comparison, the most powerful Tesla Model S moves at a more leisurely pace of 4.4 seconds to reach 60 mph in the same time frame.
Also of note on the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive besides all of the electric muscle under the hood is the sounds it will make. Mercedes-Benz said the AMG team created different sounds that interact with the vehicle’s natural noises to create an aural ambiance in tune with the driving situation. Dubbed the SLS eSound system, it offers up over 20 different sounds that
“starting with a characteristic start-up sound, rings out on pressing the ‘Power’ button on the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The occupants can experience a tailor-made driving sound for each driving situation: incredibly dynamic when accelerating, subdued when cruising and as equally characteristic during recuperation.”
As we noted back in late September of last year, you don’t get that for the price you’d pay for an entry level electric vehicle after tax breaks. You can, if you want, turn off the sounds to listen to the natural whir of the Electric Drive’s motors and road noise from the 19 (front) and 20 (rear) inch tires.
“Mercedes-AMG impressively shows the potential of the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive with the new record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife,” said Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, in a statement. “Mercedes-AMG is the first vehicle manufacturer which makes it possible to circle the Nordschleife in under eight minutes with an electrically-powered series production vehicle. This record run is another proof for our constant innovative vigor.”