Mercedes-Benz to Build Electric Supercar

Less than two months after taking a 10 percent stake in American electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors, Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to build an all-electric supercar.

The vehicle is to be based on the upcoming $250,000 SLS two-door coupe, which in standard form will feature a 563 horsepower 6.3 liter gasoline-powered V8 engine capable of propelling the car to speeds approaching 200 miles per hour.

Mercedes-Benz says that the battery-powered version will have four electric motors, each driving one wheel, with a combined output of 526 hp. It should be capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.

The 48 kilowatt-hour battery pack, to be developed in a joint venture with German battery cell manufacturer Evonik Industries, could conceivably give the car a range of up to 200 miles, though Mercedes-Benz has not yet revealed specifics. Tesla's involvement was not mentioned, though the company is known to be working with Mercedes-Benz on an electric version of its Smart Fortwo microcar.

A production version of the conventional version of the SLS is expected to be shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show later this year.

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