Boston-Power juices up electric Mercedes Benz hot rod

Sep 13, 2011, 12:29pm EDT
Photo of an electric car based on the Mercedes Benz E-Class.
Courtesy photo.

Amp my ride? At the Frankfurt Motor Show, BRABUS, a German company that tricks out luxury cars, debuted a Benz-based electric car that will run on batteries made by Boston-Power and British electric engine maker Protean Electric.

James M. Connolly

Westborough, Mass.-based battery maker Boston-Power Inc. and two European partners say they have worked together to develop two new high-performance electric vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Boston-Power, UK-based electric engine maker Protean Electric and German automobile tuner BRABUS made the announcement at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Frankfurt Germany.

The announcement came on the same day the Boston Business Journal reported a top-level management shake-up at Boston-Power, including the departure of CEO Keith Schmid.

Offered under the BRABUS label, one vehicle is called “Four-wheel-drive Full Electric,” and features an electric vehicle system designed to offer a peak combined 320 kW and 2,350 ft.-lbs. torque from pure electric power using a direct-drive Protean electric motor on each wheel. The second vehicle is a BRABUS rear-wheel drive sedan using a hybrid drive system working in conjunction with an internal combustion engine. The companies said the in-wheel electric motors can add 110 horsepower, enabling an acceleration of 0 to 62 MPH in 7.4 seconds.

The vehicles utilize Boston-Power’s 1.2kWh liquid-cooled module known as Swing Medley.

BRABUS’ website lists a variety of cars for sale, based on vehicles originally from companies such as Mercedes, Volkswagen, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce at prices ranging from about 80,000 euros to more than 400,000 euros, plus the 19 percent EU value-added tax, and citing performances of up to 100 KM/H.