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Mercedes-Benz Gullwing electric car revealed


The first prototype of the battery electric version of the SLS AMG Gullwing supercar is now on show

Not demure in bright yellow paint (AMG Lumilectric Mango), the SLS E-Cell is propelled by four electric motors with a pair at each axle integrated with reduction gears to drive all four wheels.

Topping out at 12,000 rpm, these motors combine to apply 526 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque to the wheels – sufficient to push the coupe to 60mph in four seconds.

The double-wishbone suspension has been replaced with a multi-link setup with push-rod dampers.

The lithium polymer batteries can provide a combined output of 480 kilowatts (643 horsepower). Two separate cooling circuits can manage the temperature of the battery packs and related power electronics by either heating or cooling the units as needed.

An extendable front splitter works with the reshaped rear spoiler to increase downforce beyond what's possible with the standard 6.2-litre V8-powered SLS.

Other exterior additions include LED headlamps with daytime driving lights, a wider radiator grille, revised air outlets on the hood, matte black accents where the standard SLS has chrome or silver, and ten-spoke wheels.

Inside, the electric SLS gets a 10-inch touch screen in the center console, which operates audio, climate, and navigation functions. The screen also displays the flow of power from the four electric motors.

According to reports, this is a drivable prototype, so expect driving impressions to arrive before the production model goes on sale in 2013.

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