Print 24 comment(s) - last by Samus.. on Jun 24 at 3:27 AM

AMG E-Cell Prototype  (Source: Automobile)

Gull Wing Doors FTW!  (Source: Automobile)
E-Cell is all electric and packs 526 hp

When the big push towards alternative power for vehicles first started, many enthusiasts feared that electric and green vehicles would mean the end of the performance car era. Thankfully, there are several carmakers who are intent on proving that green and performance can live on hand in hand.

The first company to offer an all-electric sports car was Tesla with its Roadster. Tesla is set to take the company public with an IPO, which can only mean more from the company in the future. The Tesla roadster proved to be a potent competitor performance wise with some of the highest performing gasoline powered vehicles on the road. Porsche has also recently been working with a hybrid 911.

Mercedes has a new all-electric sports car it is showing off that promises some very impressive performance. The car is called the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell Prototype. All an enthusiast needs to read is that the car has 526 horsepower and 649 lb/feet of torque. The beast can rip to 60 mph in four seconds according to AMG and that mountain of torque is available from the second you step on the pedal.

AMG reports that the move from gas power to electric power required no major modifications to the aluminum frame of the vehicle. The car also maintains it's near ideal weight distribution. The E-Cell uses lithium-ion polymer batteries that sit inside the center tunnel of the car and behind the seats. The battery placement helps to lower the center of gravity for the vehicle.

Each wheel has its own electric motor that can spin at 12,000 RPM. The pair of front-mounted motors did require a redesign of the front suspension. The E-Cell does retain the same handling characteristics as its gas-powered brethren. The EV uses the optional ceramic composite brakes from the gas version and they are gigantic. The front rotors are 18.5-inches in diameter and the rears are 14.2-inches. The ceramic rotors help save weight and are used to recapture energy to charge the battery.

Mercedes claims that the batteries used in the E-Cell have the industry's best power rating at 480 kW. The batteries have their own cooling and heating system to keep them inside the ideal operating range. The electric motors eliminate the exhaust system of the gas version allowing for improved aerodynamics. The car has an extending front apron that drops down three inches at 75 mph and higher to increase down force.

Important vital specs like price, range, and availability are unknown for now.

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By HotFoot on 6/22/2010 1:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
I have a couple problems with the whole electric sports car idea.

For one, sports cars are about enjoying the drive, not at all about utility. "Green", at least the non-greenwashed meaning of it, is about doing more with less. It is fundamentally about utility - ie. getting as much useful function as possible out of the resources consumed. The fact that some jurisdictions have a tax incentive to buy things like the Tesla roadster is just retarded.

And secondly, I've yet to be convinced that the cradle-to-grave environmental impact of a car such as the one in this article has a lower environmental impact than something like a Lotus Elise or a Civic.

RE: Ridiculous
By Muirgheasa on 6/22/2010 1:39:20 PM , Rating: 5
In many ways electric vehicles are actually better as high performance cars due to the way the power is delivered, as acceleration should be superb at any speed.

As for giving incentives, if you don't give incentives to buy the expensive vehicles then the R&D money that's needed to make this whole thing more affordable disappears too. You need the likes of the Tesla Roadster to sell so that Tesla can figure out how to make cheaper electric cars, and then the tech trickles down to a point where it makes a difference to everyone. Almost the opposite of retarded, you might say.

RE: Ridiculous
By Smartless on 6/22/2010 2:58:01 PM , Rating: 3
That's true but maybe I'm too practical to understand the concept here. Make a car that can go about 120mph+ but can do it for less than an hour based on the battery range. I think my fun would start and stop around the same time.... if I had a million dollars to burn.

RE: Ridiculous
By MGSsancho on 6/22/2010 4:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
look at the cars this SLS is going up against
when you look at the mpg as well as tank size they all average about 250 miles. Of course very aggressive driving will kill your mpg. Until we get official numbers on the range of the SLS we honestly can not comment. Oh I used 15mpg x 17 gal tank to get ~250mi. I'm sure cars like lambos with 8mpg ratings will do poor in mpg but I picked whats what I thought was average. Only point you made I think was notable was you can refill a liquid fuel based car and have fun once again, there batteries in the SLS have to recharge.

RE: Ridiculous
By Spuke on 6/22/2010 4:41:37 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure cars like lambos with 8mpg ratings will do poor in mpg but I picked whats what I thought was average.
Lambo's have 26-28 gallon gas tanks not 17 gallons.

RE: Ridiculous
By MGSsancho on 6/23/2010 1:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
28 gal tank times 8 mpg = range of 224 miles. Over overall they average out to similar ranges of 225 to 250 miles.

RE: Ridiculous
By lelias2k on 6/23/2010 1:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
28*8=224 miles. Congratulations, you just reinforced his point. :)

RE: Ridiculous
By Samus on 6/24/2010 3:27:52 AM , Rating: 3
Time to refill a Lamborghini 28 gallon tank = 6 minutes

Time to refill a AMG EV battery pack = 6 hours

The range per charge/fill is irrelevent. Range per day is another story.

RE: Ridiculous
By BurnItDwn on 6/22/2010 3:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
Not only can an electric car in theory deliver better forward acceleration, but with the lower center of gravity, substantially better handling and stability is possible too...

RE: Ridiculous
By Spuke on 6/22/2010 4:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
substantially better handling and stability is possible too.
Having individual motors at each wheel makes for crappy steering and handling. Having the mass of the car as far as possible towards the center makes for great handling.

RE: Ridiculous
By Howard on 6/22/2010 8:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's not impossible to move the motors inboard. It will encroach on cabin space a little, but the shortening of the "engine" bay could perhaps allow for a 3x2 rather than a 2+2/3.

RE: Ridiculous
By Spuke on 6/22/2010 2:30:38 PM , Rating: 2
For one, sports cars are about enjoying the drive, not at all about utility.
I agree wholeheartedly. Buying new things is trendy green but no actually green. My stepdaughter buys nearly nothing new. She prefers used when possible. That does WAY more for the environment, IMO, than buying Prius', Leafs, and any of the other trendy BS things that people claim is "doing their part". Mind you, I'm NOT an environmentalist or conservationist.

My personal philosophy is that I do whatever I please within my own morals and norms (which are based on environment, experience, knowledge, upbringing, etc.). I don't follow this rigidly as I like to remain flexible.

RE: Ridiculous
By BZDTemp on 6/22/2010 4:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
For sure buying used does help by taking away the impact of building the original item. However it is not necessarily best for the environment if the item in question uses resources during it's use.

If we compare a new environmentally friendly car with a somewhat old gas hungry car then it depends on how many miles is driven, what it takes in parts to keep the cars running and finally how clean the exhaust of either car is.

I think it is good almost everyone is being aware that one actions has some sort of impact on the environment. Some of us may have learned that as kids while other are getting the concept recently but for sure future generations will have it as a parameter in much of the life choices.

With some products the choice is easy.

For example I know that the insulation materials made from melting stone and making it into stone wool is a good example. The amazing process of melting the stone takes lots of energy but that is offset within little more than a week of use as housing insulation!

Another good example is two speed toilets. Those are the norm many places in Europe and it makes a lot of sense. Simply put there is a flush button for #1 and flush button for #2 and that saves a lot of water. So much water in fact that house owners save in utilities, the community has less dirty water to clean and less water needs to be pumped. Everybody wins and as more and more areas sees water shortages something like this makes even more sense.

RE: Ridiculous
By Spuke on 6/22/2010 4:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
For sure buying used does help by taking away the impact of building the original item. However it is not necessarily best for the environment if the item in question uses resources during it's use
I disagree. How does building a new factory with new tools with new materials more environmentally friendly than just keeping the old stuff running? Reusing the old does not introduce anything new. Sorry, not buying that one. I'm not against anything new (not by any means LOL) but buying a new car is NOT more environmentally friendly than keeping your old one running.

RE: Ridiculous
By OCedHrt on 6/22/2010 9:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
It's all relative. The new factory is not only for your one car. The environmental impact/car of the new factory could easily be offset by the reduction of environmental impact in one week of operation of an older vehicle.

RE: Ridiculous
By MGSsancho on 6/23/2010 1:13:24 AM , Rating: 2
sometimes spending a few bills you can retrofit an aging factory or vehicle to satisfy local EPA requirements. maybe swapping out an engine, transmission and new drive drain with new suspension might be a lot and not worth the returns but for most people there are things they can do in addition to driving less aggressive.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
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