Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why Mercedes got it wrong again with the new SLS

This autumn Mercedes will present its brand new SLS to the public. The car has (almost) everything what a super car needs, i.e. gullwing doors, strong engine, good design with roots back into the 50ies (aka 300 SL Gullwing). And it even will be "affordable", at least if you apply super car standards. You will be able to buy one at a price that is in the lower Aston Martin area. I actually like the car, as I always loved gullwing doors and it seems to be a no-nonsense sports car.
And now they even announced an electrical version (see first picture) of it! With its cleverly distributed extra weight for batteries and four electrical motors at the wheels this seems like a serious attempt to bring electricity to super car buyers, you would think.
Well, maybe, but the range of course is not satisfactory and the top speed is limited to 200 km/h. Which is certainly good enough for most countries, but hey, this is a super car. But actually I think the "standard" car is missing the point too. Mercedes should fit the 6 cylinder direct injection engine (maybe with a small turbo charger) to this car, but not this big old age 8 cylinder. The engine is actually a good one, but for today's time it's just too big. And the car is too heavy and probably to large. What I said about the 6 cylinder R8 Audi should build is also applicable here. Dear marketeers from Mercedes, Audi, BMW and others, please build a super car that still makes 0-100 km/h in less than 6 seconds but has a consumption of substantially less than 10 liters per 100 km. That will be a SUPER car.

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