We may associate ludicrous acceleration in EVs nowadays with Tesla (although other manufacturers are catching up), and it’s easy to remember that Mercedes-Benz was a pioneer of crazy-fast EVs too. Back at the 2012 Paris motor show, it revealed a limited production version of its SLS coupe, called the SLS AMG Electric Drive.
It was a fully-electric version of the retro-inspired SLS that had 751 PS (740 horsepower), 1,000 Nm (738 pound-feet) of torque and it could accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds. Granted, its straight-line pace wasn’t quite a match for the quickest Teslas, but it had something no Tesla has ever had: individual motors powering each wheel separately.
With this setup, Mercedes engineers were able to give the SLS proper and very precise torque vectoring that allowed the car to be driven extremely aggressively. To this day, for me the Top Gear video featuring the SLS AMG Black Series and SLS Electric Drive video is still one of the most memorable I’ve ever seen.
What struck me was just how crazy things got in the electric SLS compared to the gas-burning model. That video changed my perception of EVs forever and I am actually surprised that today, nearly 10 years on, there are have been no cars released to match the SLS ED’s controlled waywardness – sure, we have electric cars that are much faster in a straight line, and even ones that go around corners really well, but there’s nothing quite like the electric SLS…
Which is why I am happy that Mercedes reminded us its electric supercar exists, via a short video showing it driving through Dubai. What’s a much better watch is the original Top Gear video, which I have also embedded in this article (above the previous paragraph) – if you haven’t seen it before, prepare to be amazed by the electric SLS’ ability to be absolutely bonkers, yet still in control.