Before the emergence of the Tesla Roadster, electric cars were in danger of becoming a victim of an undeserved stigma. As most electric vehicle is built to feature a minimized carbon footprint, the common belief was to think of battery-powered cars as lacklustre performers. In truth, the characteristics of electric powertrains lends surprisingly well to preppy performance attributes for a vehicle.
Planning to change minds on the way all-electric vehicles will be viewed is German automotive performance company Brabus. Having already worked magic on the Tesla Roadster in late 2008 and showing off an electric powered Smart Fortwo in 2009, the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show served as the premiere for Brabus’ latest zero emissions concept car.
Honed from a Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric invokes the initial reaction of allure as the fuel-powered examples from this German car customizer. Brabus body enhancements, including aluminum front fenders with carbon fiber inserts, not only allows the prototype sedan to command performance authority but also assists in aerodynamic efficiency. Brabus has also outfitted LED daytime running lights to the vehicle achieving minimal energy consumption. When looking at the rear of the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric, a notable item is the exclusion of the exhaust pipe.
A suspension system for the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric was created in cooperation with Bilstein featuring gas-pressure shocks and adjustable height settings. Perhaps some of the most dramatic wheels ever to be found on an electric wheel, 19-inch Brabus Monoblock Q wheels spins on this unique technology showcase.
Rather than Mercedes-Benz 4Matic drivetrain, the Brabus has turned to Protean Electric to showcase in-wheel electric drive on the converted E Class sedan. Providing acceleration and braking assist, the total 320 kilowatts of electric current is fed by a 56 kWh lithium-ion battery. An electric motor connected to each wheel, all-wheel drive on the Brabus car is supplied with assistance of individual computer controls. Weighing 68 pound each and perfectly located behind the sporty Brabus wheels, the in-wheel system displayed on the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric is the latest application of an automotive design theory popularized on General Motor’s Autonomy concept car in 2001. Along with the deceleration handled by the wheel hub mounted electric motors, a Brabus high performance braking system stops the sedan promptly.
To be driven in one of two modes (Eco and Sport), the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric most aggressive manoeuvring is approached in the Sport setting. The initial acceleration of the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 6.9 seconds is not bad for an all-electric vehicle but a little longish for a luxury performance sedan. In fact, the current Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan 0 to 60 mile per hour launch is 6.5 seconds. Though the effort from the standing start may not immediately excite, Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric peak power at only 1,000 RPMs kicks in for impressive performance at speed. From 37 to 74 miles per hour, the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric accelerates in 5 seconds flat (faster than a Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic). The Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric top speed is 137 miles per hour.
In Eco mode, the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric sedan maintains a tamer 118 mile per hour top speed but provides greater traveling distance. Under the best driving scenario, the Brabus electric sedan can run 217 miles on a single charge. To recharge the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric vehicle, the prototype tuner car presents two enticing options. The Delta ES three-phase on-board charger replenishes the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric’s lithium-ion battery in a very reasonable 5-hour time cycle. Using a 380-volt, 3-phase RWE Combi Station, Brabus touts the High Performance 4WD Full Electric sedan can be charged in only 1.5 hours.
Only a prototype show car, the course of automotive propulsion technology could see a vehicle similar to the Brabus High Performance 4WD Full Electric wetting performance appetites soon.