Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive Makes Odd 'Ring Comeback Cladded in Sensors

Do you remember the Mercedes-AMG SLS Electric Drive? Of course you do. Its image is probably still imprinted on your retina thanks to that fluorescent yellow paintwork the Germans used for their first all-electric performance car.
Mercedes-AMG SLS Electric Drive test car 9 photos
Photo: CarPix
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Mercedes only built a handful of them after the 2012 reveal at the Paris Motor Show. The luxury sports car came with an odd powertrain that consisted of four electric motors, one for each wheel, and a 60 kWh battery pack. It had 751 hp and 738 lb-ft (1,000 Nm), but the range was a complete letdown: only 155 miles (250 km) based on the very forgiving New European Driving Cycle.

The Mercedes-AMG SLS Electric Drive had a price of over $500,000, meaning you had to be really committed to either the brand or owning an electric supercar to think about buying one, and even then given their scarcity getting your hands on one might not have been the easiest of jobs.

Quite a few years later, it looks like the manufacturer has brought one it kept for itself out of retirement and sent it to the Green Hell for some testing. However, it didn't look exactly as we remembered it and we tend to believe its odd costume can't be blamed on Halloween.

You can see for yourself just how much gear the engineers mounted on the poor electric sports car. We won't even dare to claim we know what all that clutter is, but we're sure it's pretty important. And also possibly quite heavy considering the number of suction cups used.

There is no information on why Mercedes-AMG decided to use the SLS Electric Drive for whatever it is it's studying here, but something tells us it might have something to do with those weird wheel caps. They are full of white markings some of which can also be found on the stickers placed (in an apparently random manner) on the wheel arches. Plus, the sensors are sticking out right above them, so whatever it is they're reading, it definitely has to do with the wheels.

Could it be that Mercedes is simply using the SLS Electric Drive as a mere test bed for EV-related technology simply because it's the best electric vehicle it has in its stable, and not because it is, you know, an AMG SLS? No idea, but it sure makes for a much easier on the eye picture than a Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

One other explanation would be that the Stuttgart-based (or should we say Affalterbach?) manufacturer is preparing a battery-powered sports car, and since it's very early in its developing stage, it uses the SLS body as a test mule. However, the body and chassis fit perfectly, so that assumption doesn't really hold water.

Whatever it is, it definitely shows one thing: Mercedes-Benz is determined to become an important player in the electric vehicle market, and it might even drag AMG into it sooner than we expected. We don't know about you, but that goes under the "good news" tab in our book.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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