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Mike Stevens | Dec 15, 2009

EARLIER THIS YEAR, Mercedes-Benz confimed that it had begun development of an all-electric version of the recently-revealed SLS AMG supercar. New reports today suggest that road testing is now under way.

Speaking with Autocar, AMG chief Volker Mornhinweg said that the electric SLS is on track for a 2013 launch and that the brand expects to meet all of its technical and performance goals.

Figures revealed in July included a 0-96km/h (0-60mph) time of 4.0 seconds and a battery-powered driving range of 177km from one full charge.

Mornhinweg said that despite the electric SLS AMG's significantly different layout under the skin, performance and handling is expected to be on par with the regular model.

"Effectively being four-wheel-drive does alter its character, but our torque vectoring systems give us opportunities to make it as good," Mornhinweg told Autocar.

"It's important to get the emotional level of an EV right and we have some solutions."

According to official details issued earlier in the year, the all-electric SLS AMG will be powered by four electric motors, arranged in pairs with two motors driving either the front or rear axle via a common gearbox.

The combined power of all four motors is listed as 392kW and 880Nm - not far short of the V8-powered SLS AMG’s 420kW.

Power is supplied by a 400-volt bank of lithium-ion batteries, which are also topped up during driving by a regenerative braking system.

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