Electric SLS sets new Nurburgring record | Top Gear
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Electric SLS sets new Nurburgring record

Published: 07 Jun 2013

7:56.234 minutes. That's how long it took the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive to get round the Nürburgring Nordschleife, breaking the lap record for fastest production electric car.

Which we imagine hasn't gone down terribly well in Ingolstadt. Firstly, because Audi's R8 E-tron previously held the title with an 8:09.099 time, some 12 seconds slower than the Benz. Secondly, because Merc was first to bring a super EV to dealerships with the SLS Electric Drive (albeit for £350,000), while Audi's just told us it won't be selling any of the ten R8 EV prototypes it's built.

But it won't all be sweetness and light in Stuttgart. Largely because the 6.2-litre petrol V8 version can get round 12seconds faster than the electric version (7:44.42 minutes), and it costs half as much...

That's not to say the SLS ED isn't an impressive bit of kit. Despite its denim-growing credentials, it gets to 62mph in 3.9 seconds (0.7 seconds quicker than the Audi), and on to a limited 155mph thanks to its absurd 740bhp and 738lb ft output. That's an enormous 118bhp and 270lb ft more than the Black, making it the most powerful AMG on sale.

To lay it down, it uses four motors (one for each wheel) connected to two gearboxes, and there are 12 battery modules, most of which are mounted nice and low in the unused space where the transmission tunnel would normally be.

But, most importantly, you can walk into your local Mercedes dealership and buy one. Your move, Audi...

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