The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

Sun 2nd Sep 2018

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell
Okay, so here’s a concept car which kind of goes against the grain of this regular feature, by virtue of the fact that it went on to be developed as a fully functional, production model.

But what Mercedes did when they launched the SLS AMG E-Cell in 2011 is worthy of mention here because it is quite possibly the concept car that the entire motor industry had been waiting for.

When a supercar manufacturer makes a full-on commitment to electric vehicles, it’s to be expected that the motoring world would sit up and notice, and that’s exactly what the German brand did when they unveiled the SLS AMG E-Cell concept in 2011.

While the early prototype was based on the original SLS AMG Coupe, a car of true distinction and desirability, the E-Cell had one (or should that be four?) major difference, in the four electric motors which provided the power. The E-Cell was the beginning of a major three year development plan for Mercedes, one which would ultimately see the SLS AMG Electric Drive launched in 2013.

Where previously electric may have stood for milk-float slow speeds and horse and cart ranges, the E-Cell defied convention and delivered a top speed of 155mph. The whip was certainly there too, 124mph reach in a nippy 11 seconds. The E-Cell could go faster, but it was limited to preserve the level of charge. The E-Cell had a range of 112 miles, but again that was very much dependent on the kind of speeds you managed to reach.

From the outside though this was very much an identikit SLS AMG, retaining much of the classic sports car looks for which Mercedes has become synonymous.

The success of the SLS AMG E-Cell was quite possibly that it wasn’t that much different from the original petrol engine version - just a lot, lot quieter, which might explain why they decided to paint it a squint inducing ‘fluorescent AMG lumilectric mango’.