Mercedes AMG E-Cell
Mercedes AMG E-Cell
Who has the fastest, badest electric super car?

How fast can electric cars go? AMG E’s, electric supercar new Nurburgring record should convince even skeptics that electric vehicles show performance beyond what anyone thought.

The race for the fastest, with the most hyperbole, electric car is on. Still, don’t look at it as pure technology pitting itself against another manufacturer. The name of the game is who talks loudest and in this case, who can run the fastest lap with the electric vehicle. If you recall, a few weeks ago Audi boasted its R8 e-tron broke a lap record for an electric car at the Nurburgring. While it stretched the definition of the fastest production electric car, it was nonetheless impressive. For those of you who haven’t read the latest sage from Audi, the electric R8 e-tron is once again a no-go.

How Fast Is Fast? It didn’t take long for Mercedes and AMG to counter the Audi claim with another electric supercar that is destined for production. The SLS AMG Electric Drive broke the last record. Can you say sizzling hot?

In the SLS’ case, fast means a whole minute faster than Audi’s previous lap record. The SLS ran the Nurburgring in 7 minutes, 56.234 seconds. Not only is it spectacular but it also breaks another record. It is the first time an electric production car runs the lap in under 8 minutes.

Technically Speaking. Using an electric all-wheel drive configuration developed after 2 years of cooperation between Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains of Brixworth, England, the SLS AMG E-Cell will sprint the 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds. That’s 2.2 seconds slower than its conventional gasoline powered version. The electronically limited top speed is 155 MPH, also slightly below the gasoline SLS AMG’s 197 MPH. With no less than one electric motor per wheel, the independently driven shafts use the four synchronous motors electronically limited to 12,000 rpm. The total peak output is impressive, 740 HP and no less then 737 LB-ft of torque.  The peak 650 foot-pounds of torque is readily available starting at 4,000 rpm giving this electric monster plenty of pickup at any speed.

On the flip side, the Audi almost looks anemic with 374 HP with but makes up with over 600 LB-ft of torque. Its top speed is limited to 124 MPH, 200 km/h. In its 2009 iteration, the R8 e-tron showed four UQM Technologies motors, in a four wheel drive configuration. With a 0 to 62 MPH time three-tenths quicker than the Audi at 3.9 seconds, it was easier for the SLS to break the 7 second lap time.

Reading Between The Lines. What can we learn from all of this? Most likely that we won’t see too many SLS and probably never a R8 e-tron, unless Audi decides to change its mind again. It’s too bad because Anthony Ingram at Green Car Reports  has nothing but great driving reviews about it. Nonetheless, arch-rival Mercedes will not let Audi, or even BMW steal the thunder. AS in everything Mercedes does, it is methodical, a tad slow but the numbers speak for themselves.

One thing is clear, neither of these cars are meant as the bread and butter of both companies. These cars are news performance mouth pieces destined to get you to buy Mercedes or Audi. It’s interesting to see how Tesla and BMW are negotiating the media dance in comparison. BMW is more interested in setting up a complete user experience around its well thought out iDrive and Tesla, well Tesla is having fun disrupting the automobile industry by building charging and selling green carbon units to other companies.

In the end, Mercedes here deserves the winning flag for now with its AMG E’s, electric supercar. Who will break the next production electric car Nurburgring lap record? Rimac anyone?

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Born and raised around classic cars, it wasn't until Nicolas drove an AC Proulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Eager to spread the news about those amazing full torque electric vehicles, he started writing about this amazing technology and its social impacts in 2007. Today, Nicolas covers renewable energy, test drives cars, does podcasts and films. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he made in those industries. His articles are also published on Teslrati, CleanTechnica, the Beverly Hills Car Club and Medium. "There are more solutions than obstacles." Nicolas Zart

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