With its launch right around the corner, which should take place in ‘late 2012’, the Mercedes-Benz SLS E-Cell was recently spotted in what looks to be production form undergoing testing in Germany. Aimed as a more-or-less direct competitor for the R8 e-tron, it features a 526 hp power output, which is achieved using four electric motors (two on each axle).

It can also travel up to 190 km (120 miles) one a single charge, drawing juice from a 48 kWh battery pack, and can reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in four seconds dead. However, being more powerful, 450 kg heavier and four-wheel drive, it will be a completely different vehicle, when compared to the regular, V8-powered car.

Also, with the weight of the batteries concentrated deep in the center of the car, it should corner just as flatly as the Tesla Model S, for instance, benefitting rather than suffering from the extra weight of the batteries, and with a weight distribution of 46:54, it should also handle decently, as well.

Check out the Spyshots: Mercedes-Benz SLS E-Cell Spotted in Silver photo gallery

By Andrei Nedelea