Friday, June 14, 2013

Mercedes-Benz breaks electric car laptime record at Nürburgring with production electric sports car

Another automaker has broken the electric car laptime at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.  This is the famed huge track in Germany, the north loop (the Nordschleife) of which is 20 kilometers long (12 miles).  The new laptime, announced a week ago, was set by Mercedes-Benz with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive.

This is a series production electric sports car, the first such electric sports car, as well as the first electric car to circle the Nordschleife in under 8 minutes. Not only is it (apparently) the fastest electric car in existence, it's also available for sale.  At a price meant for the 1%.

“Mercedes-AMG impressively shows the potential of the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive with the new record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. 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 vigour“, according to Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

“For the first time, an electrically-powered series production vehicle circles the Nürburgring Nordscheife in under eight minutes. The record for the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive in 7:56.234 minutes on the Nordschleife shows the special position of our innovative and unique drive solution. With the extremely efficient battery technology deriving from Formula 1, four electric motors positioned close to the wheels, the individual wheel torques “AMG Torque Dynamics”, the SLS eSound and our ambitious "AMG Lightweight Performance" design strategy, the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive generates a breathtaking sensation unlike any other model out on the road”, according to Tobias Moers, Head of Overall Vehicle Development and member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The  SLS AMG Coupé Electric has an electric drive train with four motors totalling 552 kilowatts of power (721 horsepower) and over 1000 Nm of torque.  Additionally it as a 0-100 km/hr (0-60 miles/hr) time of 3.9 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/hr.

An overview of the most important data:
SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive
Max. output
552 kW (751 hp)
1000 Nm
0-100 km/h
3.9 s
Top speed
250 km/h*
250 km (according to NEDC)
Battery energy content
60 kWh
Battery voltage
400 volts
CO2 emissions
0 g/km
*Electronically limited

The four electric motors are connected one motor per wheel, and the Mercedes Benz designers used this fact to create a permanent all-wheel-drive system.  The system assures optimum traction to each wheel in all conditions.

According to the developers, the term "AMG Torque Dynamics" refers to individual control of the electric motors, something which enables completely new levels of freedom to be achieved. The AMG Torque Dynamics feature is permanently active and allows for selective distribution of power to each individual wheel. The intelligent distribution of drive torque has a beneficial effect on driving dynamics, handling, driving safety and ride comfort. Each individual wheel can be both electrically driven and electrically braked in accordance with the specific driving situation, thus helping to
  • optimise the vehicle's cornering properties,
  • reduce the tendency to oversteer/understeer,
  • increase the yaw damping of the basic vehicle,
  • reduce the steering effort and steering angle required,
  • increase traction,
  • and minimise ESP® and ASR intervention. 
Manufaktur hand finishing at company headquarters in Affalterbach
Mercedes-AMG has installed a dedicated Manufaktur hand-finishing section for electric vehicles at its headquarters in Affalterbach for final assembly of the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive. The electrically powered gullwing model is assembled and readied for operation at a total of seven different stations. The entire logistics process is based in Affalterbach, too. 
Production of parts such as the exterior and interior initially takes place at the Mercedes-Benz production facility in Sindelfingen. In Affalterbach, highly trained workers take charge of assembling the axles, electric motors, transmissions and cooling system components. Particular care is taken with the installation of all high-voltage components, such as the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, the accompanying cables, inverter and control units, and the onboard charger. Needless to say, the utmost standards of safety are applied during all work on high-voltage components. The operational check and extensive final inspection at the end ensure that the manufacturing and product quality offered by the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive is of the very highest order.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive celebrates its sales launch in June 2013. The purchase price for Germany (incl. 19% VAT):
SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive: 416,500 euros

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