2013 Mercedes SLS Electric Drive

Chris Harris issued an interesting challenge at the end of his review of the electric Renault Twizy¬†last year. The Twizy is essentially a beefed up electric golf cart made for city commuting. Harris reviewed the car and found it competent but boring despite of the fact that he was able to get it to drift. He then ended the video with some fast driving in one of Renault’s hot hatchbacks because he felt his viewers expected more excitement. That led him to pose a question/challenge of “The Twizy has slightly put the writing on the wall for me. If I’ve got to test electric cars and generate exciting content for you guys to watch, how the hell do I do it if the thing makes no noise and doesn’t do much? I’m kind of out of a job.” He then asked for people to post suggestions.

It probably didn’t happen this way, but I like picturing somebody at AMG tweeting Harris and telling him to try their 750 horsepower SLS Electric Drive (most powerful AMG built to date) if he wanted help generating exciting electric content. Either way, I’m glad Chris got the chance to drive the car and tell us what it’s like. The SLS Electric Drive looks like the standard SLS AMG (if you don’t count the chrome blue paint job), but the actual body in white has been changed to¬†accommodate the battery pack which lives in the center of the car. The front suspension was also changed to make room for the front drive axles. Each wheel has its own independent drive motor. Electronic control does the job of traditional differentials as well as providing advanced torque vectoring thanks to the ability to generate instant negative torque (like braking) of the electric motors. Harris ends up saying the car’s ability to change chassis balance with the torque vectoring is actually more interesting than the fact that it’s electrically driven. Chris marvels at the car’s ability to apply the tires’ maximum grip on the wet track and then has a blast drifting the car with the torque vectoring shut off.

Thanks to AMG for making a car that proves that electric performance isn’t an impossible concept. If Chris Harris can be convinced of it, then maybe there’s hope for the rest of the gearheads out there, too.

Source: DRIVE on YouTube