Is the Mercedes-Benz 2014 SLS AMG Electric Drive the Supercar of the Future?

It’s the most powerful AMG yet, and it’s also the most fuel-efficient.

May 18, 2014 at 12:12PM

2014 SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive Production Car. Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz. 

It has 740 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, it can go zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds, and it's the most powerful SLS AMG ever made. More importantly, it has a range of approximately 120 miles on pure electricity. What is it? It's Daimler's (NASDAQOTH:DDAIF) electric supercar, the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive.

Supercar of the future?
Supercars aren't known for being easy on gas consumption. However, thanks to its advanced Formula 1 technology and high-voltage, lithium-ion battery -- which consists of 12 modules with 72 lithium-ion cells, for a total of 864 cells -- gas consumption isn't a factor.

Moreover, Mercedes' states, "The high-voltage battery in the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive boasts an energy content of 60 kWh, an electric load potential of 600 kW and weighs 548 kg -- all of which are absolute best values in the automotive sector." 


Mercedes SLS AMG. Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz.

Further, thanks to its four compact permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors capable of achieving a maximum individual speed of 13,000 rpm, torque can be selectively distributed to individual wheels. This improves driving dynamics, and means the SLS Electric Drive is all-wheel drive.  

The bad news is the SLS AMG Electric Drive starts at around $544,000, is a limited edition electric version of the SLS AMG, and isn't available in the United States. Consequently, it's not going to make much, if any, impact on Mercedes' bottom line. The good news is that while the SLS AMG Electric Drive isn't going to become a mainstream vehicle anytime soon, the technology it uses is impressive, and could find itself making its way into other vehicles in the future. Here's why.

Mercedes' green future
It's no secret that internal combustion engine, or ICE, vehicles are detrimental to the environment. As such, the search for an alternative solution is in full swing. For Mercedes, this means expanding its vehicle lineup to include hybrids, clean diesels, fuel cells, flexible fuel, and battery-powered, vehicles -- and not all of them are outrageously expensive.

For example, in July 2014 Mercedes is scheduled to release its B-Class Electric Drive, which has a starting price of $41,450. Additionally, it comes standard with a 28-kWh lithium-ion battery, its drivetrain is built by Tesla Motors, and it has an all-electric 177-horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. Plus, it can go zero to 60 in 7.9 seconds, with an EPA estimated driving range of 85 miles. That's good news for people wanting to move away from ICE vehicles but still drive a Mercedes.


Mercedes SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive. Photo credit: Lebubu93 via Wikimedia Commons.

What to watch
The SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive is an impressive supercar. Moreover, it's a "green" supercar, with what could arguably be called the most advanced battery system in a production car. That's quite an achievement for Mercedes. Further, the technology that the SLS Electric Drive uses could be modified for use in future "green" vehicles. Still, regardless of whether or not Mercedes goes that route, the fact that Mercedes is invested in so many types of alternative solutions to ICE vehicles is great news for long-term investors.

Additionally, so far this year, Mercedes has reported a 6.1% U.S. sales gain compared to the same time last year -- which just happened to be a record-breaking year for Mercedes. Consequently, if you're looking to add to your auto stock portfolio, you might want to give Daimler a closer look.

Are you ready to profit from this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Katie Spence has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information