If we’re talking rare birds, this one would be the queen of them all

Its full name was the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive, and it was supposed to mark a new era for Mercedes-Benz, one that brought to market emission-free super sports cars with technology borrowed from Formula 1. Unfortunately, the all-electric SLS didn’t quite kick it for the carmaker, who would need almost a decade more to unveil the EQC, its first all-electric road car. Which happened to be an SUV, not a sports car.

Here’s all you need to know about the SLS AMG EV.

This Mercedes SLS AMG EV Is Just 1 of 9 Made - Here's What You Need to Know Exterior
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First off, let’s just say that an electric SLS AMG just popped up for sale. It passed through the hands of two owners after being delivered new to Switzerland, and it only has 3,800 kilometers (2,361 miles) on the odometer, which makes it a mind condition unit. A mint condition extremely rare unit, that is.

You see, it was initially believed that Mercedes-Benz wanted to build under 100 SLS AMG EVs. However, the car’s auction card on RM Sotheby’s says just nine such examples were ever made.

The SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive was initially shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with assembly plans slated to kick off in 2013.

The donor car was obviously the ICE-powered SLS AMG, which was already built around a carbon-fiber monocoque that acted as a “spine” for the whole car. To the monocoque was bolted an aluminum spaceframe body.

This Mercedes SLS AMG EV Is Just 1 of 9 Made - Here's What You Need to Know Exterior
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In developing the all-electric SLS, Mercedes-Benz asked for help from AMG, which in turn went to its High Performance Powertrains division in Brixworth, U.K. where Formula 1 engineers used their experience with KERS hybrid systems to come up with the 400-volt battery pack with a max capacity of 60 kWh.

Four electric motors set the SLS AMG EV in motion, each of them tasked with spinning one wheel. Overall, the supercar was good for 552 kW (740 horsepower) and up to 1,000 Newton-meters (738 pound-feet) of torque. At that time, the SLS AMG Electric Drive was the most powerful series-produced electric car.

This Mercedes SLS AMG EV Is Just 1 of 9 Made - Here's What You Need to Know Drivetrain
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With so much performance on tap, the SLS EV could effortlessly accelerate from zero to 100 kph (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds on to a top speed (electronically limited) of 250 kph (155 mph). Each electric motor weighed 45 kilos (about 100 pounds) and had a maximum speed of 13,000 rpm. The Li-ion battery, on the other hand, was way heavier, as it tipped the scales at 548 kilos (1,208 pounds). It was also of the liquid-cooled variety and split into 12 modules, each containing 72 Lithium-ion cells for a total of 864 cells.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive specifications
Powertrain four electric motors
Power 740 HP
Torque 738 LB-FT
0 to 62 mph 3.9 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

Stopping power came from ceramic-composite (carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic, as Mercedes-Benz put it) brakes. The front discs were 402 by 39 mm, while rear ones measured 360 x 32 mm.

This Mercedes SLS AMG EV Is Just 1 of 9 Made - Here's What You Need to Know Exterior
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AMG even fitted the SLS EV with what it called the “SLS eSound”, basically a set of pre-recorded sounds that chimed in whenever the on/off power button was pressed or when the driver switched the gear lever from P to D.

What’s more, the eSound was able to adapt to a multitude of other factors, not just acceleration and speed, as it could change according to the cornering situation, load changes, and during those instances when the driver went full kickdown on the accelerator or just decided to cruise at constant speed on the highway.

This Mercedes SLS AMG EV Is Just 1 of 9 Made - Here's What You Need to Know Exterior
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Charging-wise, you could replenish the battery from a 22-kW quick-charge wall box, which took about three hours. Plugged in to a domestic power outlet, the AMG SLS Electric Drive needed 20 hours for a full charge. Range was rated at 250 kilometers (155 miles) according to NEDC standards.

Source: RM Sotheby’s (Photo Credit: Dirk de Jager ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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