Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive breaks Nurburgring lap record for EVs

June 17, 2013

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive is a fascinating bit of kit. For starters, it boasts 740 hp from four electric motors, each one powering a separate wheel. This allows the car, and driver, to selectively chose how much power goes where at any given time, a unique set-up for electric cars. This accounts for handling akin to its combustion-engined twin, despite weighing 1,200 lbs. more than the standard SLS AMG. But don't just take my word for it, take a look at the video and see for yourself, as Mercedes snatch the EV lap record at the Nurburgring, posting an amazing time of 7:56.

I've had the pleasure of driving the SLS AMG Electric Drive at Paul Ricard in southern France. Despite it breaking down during my run, it shocked me how much fun the car was to drive, and how wild it was. It remains the only electric car I've ever drifted, a fact I'm extremely proud of, and yet mildly confused. EVs aren't, by nature, "fun" but this one most certainly was. "Fun," however, costs $522,000, so I suppose it should be for that.

Below is the on-board footage of the entire record lap at the 'Ring, and you can see how squirmy the car remains under braking and corner entry. There are three settings in the car to adjust the amount of torque sent to the outside wheels, one being exceptionally aggressive (I call it drift mode). It appears this was the setting of choice, and while it certainly looks a handful at times, the lack of understeer and heavy rotation set the car up for a mega lap. Which is exactly what the driver delivered.