Car Reviews, Comparison

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive VS Tesla Model S P85D

Among the various gearheads who are into the high end fuel guzzling machines there is another emerging division in automobiles these aficionados might take notice of. This relatively new market is the electric versions of cars that can almost compete with their petrol counterparts. Many automobile manufacturers are realizing this is a division of cars that is untapped with huge potential to become mainstream. Another beneficial aspect to these electric cars is that they are environment friendly and leave a minute carbon footprint retaining the performance that is expected out of these vehicles. A common misconception is that these cars cannot keep up with their petrol counterparts at all but with the constantly developing technologies, they have a chance.

Two car makers are taking this market very seriously and have created two machines that have a formidable chance to stand out among the many cars that are available. German automaker Mercedes-Benz have come into action with their electric car the SLS AMG Electric Drive which is an electric version of their own 6.2L V8 petrol SLS. The Electric Drive version is a limited edition variant that claims to be one of the fastest electric production cars that are available right now. Another American car maker that challenges the SLS AMG Electric Drive is Tesla’s Model P85D an all wheel drive variant of the original Model S.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive Engine: The SLS AMG E-Drive is powered by four independent synchronous motors each churning out  185bhp and 184lb ft of torque for a total of 740bhp. Each motor weighs in at about 45kgs and has a rev count of 13,000 rpm. Taking all this into account, this is one of the most powerful model that Mercedes-Benz has ever developed. The battery that carries out all this is a liquid cooled 400 lithium-ion battery and weighs 548 kg. Utilizing the power of these components, the SLS AMG E-Drive hits 100km/h in around 3.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 250kph. This car is  just 0.3 seconds slower than Mercedes-Benz’s own SLS AMG Black series which is a very impressive feat. 

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive engine view
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive battery

Exterior: Mercedes-Benz are known for their intricate, appealing body designs for their cars. The SLS AMG Electric is paid the same attention and detailing work as expected. There are no extreme changes done to the design as it retains the unique SLS AMG guise. The body’s frame is made of ultra light carbon fiber and connected to an aluminium space. The front grille also possesses the honeycomb design with the Mercedes badge plastered on it and the air intakes which are next to it receive the same body paint as the rest of the car. The SLS AMG comes in a few color variants, two new colors that are exclusive to the E-Drive version are a distinct hue of glossy blue,  that is shown in the photos, and a matte neon known as electric beam.

Front three quarter viewof SLS AMG E-Drive
Mercedes-Benz glossy blue color variant

Interior: The interiors of the E-Drive also maintains the exclusive design from the internal combustion counterparts. The interiors comprises of lush upholstery that is expected and has new rotary switch labeled as AMG Drive Unit by Mercedes used to select the three transmission modes. The modes that are included are the Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Sport plus modes. With each having varied performance levels from the motors, which in turn changes the accelerator pedal response and top speeds. In addition to this it also includes the AMG media system with neat little additions such as engine performance and a lap time’s feature for those racing enthusiasts out there.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive interior
The interiors of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive

Tesla Model S P85D Engine: This beast houses a dual motor engine which stands for the D in the P85D, that retains the high power rear drive unit from the older P85, while a brand new front drive motor boosts the overall power by about 50% resulting in an increase in acceleration and top speed. It consists of a 85kwh battery with lithium-ion cells like the SLS AMG. The P85D propels itself with the electric motor that generates 691 hp; that is a combination of 221 hp from the new front motor and 470 hp rear motor making the P85D one of the fastest sedans in the world. It can achieve a insanely fast top speed of 250kph and hits 100km/h in 3.2 seconds.

Exterior: The P85D’s design is relatively simplistic but still includes that classy, elegant but mean look that will appeal to most car buyers. It’s body is designed from carbon fiber which always helps in the weight reduction. The headlights are angled and the front grille is wide with Tesla’s badge on it. The rear tail lights are also sleek and are distinct. The P85D model also has optional carbon fiber spoiler that improves stability at high speeds and Brembo red brake calipers.

Tesla Model S P85D
Tesla Model S P85D

Interior: Tesla is a company that innovates constantly and pushes it’s boundaries. The p85D is no exception to this with the company adding a brand new Autopilot system which introduces an autonomous capability to their lineup of cars. The autopilot mode uses a camera that is mounted atop the windshield and ultrasonic sonar sensors that detects obstacles and also has a self-parking feature. The instrument cluster is a LCD display that indicates the basic functions speed, charge level etc. Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, stated during the unveiling of the P85D a new mode will be added to the existing Normal and Sport modes. This new addition is the Insane mode which unleashes the entire power of the P85D’s engine achieving increased acceleration time and a very high top speed.

Final Thoughts: Each of these electric motor powered cars have pros and cons that  help in deciding which of these would best suit buyers that are looking into these cars. The SLS AMG E-Drive starts at a cool 535,869 US dollars and the Tesla Model S P85D comes in at a much more affordable price at 120,170 US dollars. Based on the prices of these two cars the Tesla seems like a clear choice, but for the elite they would look at the SLS AMG E-Drive too which is a very formidable car. The common factor between these two are the electric engine that leaves a negligible carbon footprint while maintaining the performance that is expected from these vehicles, and the usage of electric motors in cars is inevitable in the years to come.

8.1 out of 10
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