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First Look: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

Putting the battery car on steroids.

by on Jan.11, 2011

The battery-powered version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar will reach dealers in 2013.

Who said battery cars are for geeks?  Well, rich geeks, perhaps, because it will take a Silicon Valley entrepreneur to afford the battery-powered supercar Mercedes-Benz is formally introducing at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell is not a Nissan Leaf.  Like the conventionally-powered 2-seater, this is a car designed for those who put a premium on performance, but it will also offer the owner some green bragging rights.

“It’s our most exciting way of cutting emissions ever,” proclaimed Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and head of its Mercedes brand during a preview at the North American International Auto Show.  “It’s like climbing out of an F4 Phantom jet and into an X-Wing fighter in Star Wars – except this is not science fiction.”

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Ignoring, for the moment, the neon lime green matte paint the prototype revealed at Cobo Center is visually very much in keeping with the gasoline-powered version of the Mercedes SLS, notably including the supercar’s striking gull-wing doors.  There are only subtle revisions to improve the efficiency of what was already a highly aerodynamic body.