Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

Remember the bright yellow Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell prototype we wrote about back in June? Equipped with a four-motor, all-wheel-drive system the SLS AMG E-Cell is capable of putting out more than 525 horsepower onto the road and packs electric supercar performance into the iconic gullwing body.

As our sister site MotorAuthority announced earlier this week, the official press release from Mercedes has finally been made public.  Confirming many of the details which have found their way onto the Internet in past months, Mercedes press release gives a preview to the 2013 SLS AMG Electric, or E-Cell as it has become known.

The official press release and photographs from Mercedes set out the familiar gull-winged curves of the SLS AMG, as well as details of the car's battery system, drivetrain and chassis layout.

Of particular interest is a diagram comparing the 6.3 litre V8-powered SLS AMG to the E-Cell. Both cars share identical chassis components as well as identical body panels.

However, front suspension on the E-Cell differs from its gas-guzzling sibling in order to accommodate the E-cells four-wheel drive transmission system.  Mercedes appear confident that this change will do nothing to the SLS's legendary handling.

The interior of the E-Cell is appropriately finished, with a race-inspired two-tone black and white trim setting off an appropriately lavish center console, complete with Carbon-fiber and touch-screen display.

Much like the 2011 Tesla Roadster, the E-Cell uses a battery pack made up of 324 individual lithium ion cells capable of providing a massive 480kW of instantaneous power.  This is well above the 392 kW continuous power rating of the combined motors in the E-Cell.

0-62 mph is achieved in just under 4 seconds, 0.2 seconds slower than the gasoline SLS, putting the two cars on an even keel for all but the most skilled of drivers

Mercedes haven't said if the battery pack is its own design, or one developed in collaboration with Tesla as part of the Mercedes Tesla partnership into EV drivetrains, but we expect at least some influence from still cash-strapped Tesla, even from a distance.

Mercedes let the SLS AMG E-Cell out last month with AutoBild.de's Bernhard Schmidt who was impressed with the car's handling and styling.

Despite a positive driving experience Schmidt observed that the E-Cell would most likely find itself placed in garages alongside equivalently priced gasoline sports cars,  easing the conscience of those wealthy enough to spring the $307,000 price tag.

Our conclusion? The E-Cell is certainly one to watch.  We have yet to experience it in the flesh, but if our Nelson Ireson's experience with the 2011 Mercedes 6.3 litre SLS AMG in March this year is anything to go by the E-Cell should prove one intoxicating ride.