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2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing  (Source: AutoBlog)

The SLS AMG Gullwing is going all electric, but that doesn't mean it will sacrifice performance.  (Source: Mercedes-Benz via AutoBlog)
Gullwing electric is looking hot

For now, Tesla may have the electric sports car market cornered, but that may soon change.  First there's the upcoming Fisker Karma that will soon be crashing the party.  And perhaps more exciting is the electrified version of the SLS AMG Gullwing, which Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to launch in 2013.

German engineering at its finest, the 2010 SLS AMG Gullwing model was one of the most popular sports cars of the year, garnering the "Golden Steering Wheel 2009" award.  Its upward swinging doors harkened back to the classic 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing and it offers blistering performance with a top speed of 196 mph and 0-to-60 mph acceleration time of 3.8 seconds.

The electric version is shaping up to be every bit as hot, yielding little in the way of performance.  Featuring similar stylings to the conventional model, the electric version is just beginning testing now, in preparation for the 2013 launch according to AutoCar.

Mercedes-Benz is targeting a flat 4 second 0-to-60 mph split and a range of 110 miles.  To accomplish that, the car is equipped with four individual electric motors -- one on each wheel -- that offer a combined 525 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque.  Those motors are fed by three lithium-ion packs.

Tweaking the performance of the beast will be a good challenge for Mercedes-Benz engineers.  The three lithium-ion packs bump up the weight of the vehicle by 500 lbs. from the gasoline version bringing total weight to 4,100 pounds.

AMG head Volker Mornhinweg says that while the electric AMG will be a bit chunky, it will still be fun to ride.  He describes, "Effectively being four-wheel-drive does alter its character, but our torque vectoring systems give us opportunities to make it as good. It's important to get the emotional level of an EV right and we have some solutions."

The price of the supercar has not yet been announced.  Given that the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing retails for around $270,000 and electric cars typically cost more than gasoline cars, the price could be quite astronomical, though. 

One thing is for sure -- this one could end up on more than one DailyTech editors' Christmas list... though, sadly, we doubt anyone will buy it for us.




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Targeting Tesla?
By glennforum on 12/15/2009 9:40:38 AM , Rating: 3
How does a $300k car target Tesla? It would be like Ferrari targeting a marketing effort against a go-kart.




RE: Targeting Tesla?
By mdogs444 on 12/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Iaiken on 12/15/2009 10:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
The analogy is a bit off the mark, but the message is essentially that I could drive down to the new Toronto dealership and buy a Tesla tomorrow if I wanted. $100,000 is not out of reach if your making six figures. A $300,000 Merc (much like a Ferrari) is far out of reach for all but the super rich.

The Roadster is an amazing little beast whose job is not so much to be a mass market commercial success, but to be a marketing piece whose job is to show people that electric cars can offer performance. Ultimately we've hit the upper limits of what IC engines can offer for performance with vehicles like the Veyron. Even current electric motors in direct drive mode could offer up more power, more torque and higher speeds so long as we can figure out a way to deliver the juice in ways that make that power controllable.

The electric car is inevitable, it's just a matter of sorting out the last few major issues.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Spuke on 12/15/2009 12:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
$100,000 is not out of reach if your making six figures.
I make 6 figures. A $100k car is WAY out of reach and this income bracket is NOT the typical buyer for this kind of car. Although if you have above a 700 credit score, you can get a 12 year loan on one at 5.9% with 10% down. That would bring the payments down to $1000 a month (they also offer 0% for 60 months). Maintenance costs on these things? LOL! Save up about $10k a year. The clutch jobs and tires are killers.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Spuke on 12/15/2009 2:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
The average income for a Porsche buyer is $310,000. I'm willing to be that's the typical income for most $100k cars. And the buyers for $200k+ cars are an entirely different income bracket.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Iaiken on 12/15/2009 3:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
I was quoted $12,000 down and $845 bi-weekly for 5 years including having a charger installed in my house after all taxes, rebates and credits. That's only 30% more than what my Mini Cooper JCW costs me ($680 bi-weekly) over 3 years and I am quite comfortable. Though, I am young and I don't have a family so my living expenses are only about a grand per month which likely means we are each in very different financial situations.

However, my eccentricity has it's limits and I would be better suited by the practicality of a Tesla Model S (which IMHO is very sexy for a sedan). What I'm waiting for is something with a wheel hub motor design like the PML Mini QED or the SLS mentioned in the article (yeah right).

Unfortunately, there are significant challenges in bringing wheel hub motors to the masses, such as bringing the unsprung weight to about what a typical wheel assembly weighs (~36lbs).

Until then I'll just stick to my little go-juice sipper.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Spuke on 12/15/2009 7:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's only 30% more than what my Mini Cooper JCW costs me ($680 bi-weekly) over 3 years and I am quite comfortable.
Holy crap!! Where do you live where you pay $1700 a month on a Mini Cooper? That's an a$$raping!!!!!


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Iaiken on 12/16/2009 10:17:36 AM , Rating: 2
Math Fail! Even if you average out my bi-weeklies for the year, I only paid $1485 a month for three years for a total of $53k of which $4k was interest and $6k was sales tax with. L2MATH!

Consider the following:

- I am currently living in Canada
- My loaded 2006 MCS JCW was $50k after all applicable taxes
- The exchange rate back then was closer to .80 CAD on the USD
- $0 down
- A financing rate of 4.9%.
- A financing term of only 3 years.
- the car is 1 of 250 factory JCW's in Canada.
- A 5-year term would have cost me another $3000 in interest

Such is the price of fun... Upgrading a normal MCS to JCW spec, trimline, interior after market it would have cost far more than the $14,000 premium I had to pay over a normal MCS. Add in that the Mini dealer offered me $32k in trade when I was looking at a 2010 JCW and the car is doing pretty well on a starting cost of $44k.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Spuke on 12/16/2009 5:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Math Fail! Even if you average out my bi-weeklies for the year, I only paid $1485 a month for three years for a total of $53k of which $4k was interest and $6k was sales tax with. L2MATH!
Oh my mistake. I just checked Mini's website and options really add up on the JCW. I can now see why you paid so much. Last I checked, I couldn't get much above $35k on them. Now you can option them up to $45k or so. Way too much money for a Mini. I'd rather have a used Lotus Elise.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/15/09, Rating: 0
RE: Targeting Tesla?
By yomamafor1 on 12/15/2009 1:29:27 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Merc usually refer to Mercedes, not Mercury. Been that way for a long time.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/16/2009 7:37:23 AM , Rating: 2
As in '49 Merc? Or did you mean Merkur? But why not Merse? There is no K sound in Mercedes?


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By sxr7171 on 12/15/2009 1:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
Mercury as an auto brand is irrelevant to anything right now. It was at its best a slightly higher end Ford. In fact there really were no differences except for one grade better fabric seats - maybe.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/16/2009 7:40:49 AM , Rating: 2
Is that why you get the name? Relevance? Merse it is, as in purse since there is no K sound in Mercedes. Perhaps the Benz owners want to be as cool as the old Mercs.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By croc on 12/15/2009 5:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
Uh.... What's a Mercury?


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Suntan on 12/15/2009 11:17:04 AM , Rating: 2
The market they are trying to move into are the buyers that are willing to throw money at the appearance of being “green” but don’t want to be seen driving around in a sh!t-bucket, egg shaped Prius. For them with the money, a Pruis is no longer a green “enough” status symbol as regular, abet liberal, housewives are driving them. Further, they do not desire the Prius as an actual toy to play with on its own automotive merits, thus they need a toy that is more fun, and appears more “green.”

That market is pretty much full with just the Tesla right now.

-Suntan


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Spuke on 12/15/2009 12:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That market is pretty much full with just the Tesla right now.
IMO, Mercedes will probably sell about two of these and then stop production on them. More than likely the typical buyer will be one that already has the gas version.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By glennforum on 12/15/2009 2:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well actually you are probably better off buying an H2 and having a high efficiency Duramax outfitted. You would have great gas mileage, low emissions and about 700-1000 HP and the motor and platform would be good for 100's of thousands of miles.

You can also run bio-diesel and other alternative fuels in the diesel. You can push these to over 35mpg now...at least 25mpg and maybe even higher.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Spuke on 12/15/2009 2:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can push these to over 35mpg now...at least 25mpg and maybe even higher.
An H2 is not going to get 35 mpg even fitted with a Duramax.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By glennforum on 12/17/2009 12:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
With a properly tuned Duramax you will get 25mpg for sure. With Biodiesel you can get a lot more. I believe that platform could achieve over 50mpg if the efficiency is achieved and it would ran pretty darn clean.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By ajoyner777 on 12/16/2009 1:33:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well actually you are probably better off buying an H2 and having a high efficiency Duramax outfitted. You would have great gas mileage, low emissions and about 700-1000 HP and the motor and platform would be good for 100's of thousands of miles.


You will NOT get 700-1000 hp out of a diesel engine. Diesels are known for their torque. Even a Semi Truck only puts out around 400hp, but with a lb-ft rating of about 1000.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By glennforum on 12/16/2009 11:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry...you are completely wrong.

http://www.hlineconversion.com/

It is done every day and with great success.

Maybe you should take a few minutes and learn something new than the kool-aid you have been fed for years.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By Spuke on 12/16/2009 5:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is done every day and with great success.
Yep. I got a buddy with a 900hp Cummins TD Dodge. It sure as hell can be done.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By ajoyner777 on 12/17/2009 1:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
Those vehicles are not putting out that kind of power all the time. They are more than likely using propane, which is like using nitro in a gasoline engine. It's not something you want to be using all the time.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By glennforum on 12/17/2009 9:22:02 AM , Rating: 2
You just don't know what you are talking about and you are too arrogant to admit it. Yes you can inject with propane, etc but that isn't what we are discussing. These are high horsepower diesels running at high efficiency.

They typically have over 600-700 HP and well over 1000 ft lbs of torgue. These are every day driving cars that run great, have very little problems and don't require ancillary injection of propane to achieve this HP. If you required secondary injection then you wouldn't get the mileage they get - they get the mileage and HP because of the improved and increased efficiency.

Even the GM engineers when they reviewed what Jonathan was doing over at H-LINE couldn't believe it. It works, it is sound and anyone who wants to pay for it can have it.


RE: Targeting Tesla?
By ajoyner777 on 12/17/2009 10:41:05 AM , Rating: 1
I doubt they have high efficiency, unless you plan on running it at idle down a hill. You will see at the most 20 - 25 mpg if you keep your foot out of it; hardly ground breaking. The only way they can achieve that much HP is either by propane injection, or running at low compression ratios and boosting the shit out of it. Both of those techniques will have a negative impact on reliability. If you think they are magically getting this kind of horsepower by just tweaking the ECU, etc, you are sorely mistaken.


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