Petrol vs Electric | Mercedes SLS AMG Battle | Series 20 | BBC

Petrol vs Electric | Mercedes SLS AMG Battle | Series 20 | BBC

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Jeremy drives the Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series and the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive. The SLS ED is possibly the most brilliantly revolutionary thing that the already-bonkers lot at AMG have ever created: a fully electric AWD supercar. For the full review click Subscribe for more awesome videos: YouTube channel: TopGear.com website: Facebook: Twitter:

The standard car is just a huge laugh.
It scampers about wagging its tail every time you go near the accelerator. You just know
it was built to make a lap fun. This, though,
this was built to make a lap fast. And then when you start cornering… it's so much more focused and direct. This is a serious car. I bet it doesn't know a single joke,
not one. Of course, if you turn
the traction control off and stamp on the throttle,
you can get it to misbehave. But you sense immediately
that it doesn't want to do this. It doesn't like that. "I am a serious racing car, English sir!
Don't drive with your clown shoes on!" Happily, even though
it is a serious racing car, Mercedes hasn't felt compelled
to make the interior as bleak as a Swedish police drama. You still get sat-nav and air-con
and many buttons that do… things. So, it's luxurious and fast and very, very good, but today, it is rather overshadowed by this. Partly, that's because
this is the first car ever to come with its own high-visibility jacket, and partly it's because it produces
739 horsepowers. Want to hear what that sounds like? Well, turn up the volume on your TV
and listen to this. Welcome, everyone,
to the world's first electric supercar. I am astounded. It is as quiet as a library
for church mice. It's so quiet, in fact, they fitted
a device in the audio settings that generates a bit of noise to keep you
awake. Let's just turn that on. It doesn't really work. It's just a hum. Still, it isn't the end of the world, because there is another way
of staying awake in this car. You put it in sport-plus mode
and put your foot down. Holy moly! That is 100 miles an hour. 120. 130. 140. This is mind-boggling! And listen. To find out just how fast it is,
I lined it up for a drag race against its petrol-powered twin. I have 117 more horsepowers than he does, but I still can't believe I'll win,
because under here, there are 864 batteries,
so, this is half a ton heavier. And it's electric,
like a food blender, or torch. And how can a glorified torch
possibly beat a 6.2 litre V8? Three, two, one. It's not a torch! It is a rampant rabbit! What in the name of God
is powering this thing? Well, this is what
an electric SLS looks like if you take its high-visibility
jacket off. And this is the key. That is the electric motor.
It's the size of a melon. It has one moving part
and it produces all of its torques, and there are many,
the instant you touch the throttle. Now, all electric cars,
the G-Wiz, the Nissan Leaf, the lot, have one of these, but the SLS has four. There's one for each wheel,
so, it's four-wheel-drive, and it has Formula One-style
pushrod suspension and a low centre of gravity,
because all the batteries are mounted in the spine of the chassis. So theoretically, this should have
the handling to match the immense grunt. In comfort mode,
it feels like any other car, really, but when you put it in sport mode, all sorts of electronic witchcraft
starts to happen. In a corner, the motor's powering
the inside wheels and I can feel this happening. They use the sort of brakes
to keep the line tight. I can feel the car being pulled in. Then you have a system
that pumps juice into the batteries every time you slow down, so it
feels like you have engine braking. Even though you don't. And then there's a computer that decides
which wheel should have what amount of power at any given moment.
And the upshot is… this doesn't feel like anything
I've ever driven before. It feels twitchy and nervous.
It feels like a thoroughbred. It feels brilliant. So, let's sum up, then. Instant torque, savage power,
mesmerising speed. Mercedes quality, no noise
and a petrol bill of exactly nought. It sounds, then, like the stuff of dreams,
but there are drawbacks. Range, for example. If you wanted to drive this car
from London to Manchester, you'd have to stop in Stoke-on-Trent
and spend 20 hours charging it up. Mercedes themselves say
that at full chat it wouldn't be able to do two laps of the Nurburgring
and they may have a point. I've only been out here
for seven minutes on this run and I've used 44% of the juice. And there's more. The electric SLS is £360,000 and for that you could have an SLS Black
and 20,000 gallons of petrol, which is enough to take it
from here to the moon. As a result, you'd have to be soft
in the head to buy the yellow car rather than the V8. But when there's no choice,
when the oil has run out, this car does at least show us
that the speed machines will live on.

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