Hemmels, based in the Welsh capital Cardiff, restores historic Mercedes models. The Welsh people promise not to leave any screw untouched and to recalibrate each of the original analog instruments. And even if the car looks almost exactly the same as the original after the restoration (only the exhaust system and the motorization lettering on the rear are missing on the 280 SL electric), the specialists from Hemmels can install amenities such as seat heating and the brakes on request and they improve the power steering anyway. Air conditioning and a new infotainment system are also part of the standard equipment.
This does not change anything in the original design. Customers can also ask for any imaginable paint or leather color. When the SL was still new in 1972, metallic paint cost 699 marks extra and leather upholstery cost 1,048 marks. Incidentally, the car phone from Becker or TeKaDe was really expensive for 9,934 marks. Hemmels is moving away from the original under the hood: The combustion engine of the 280 SL comes out, but an electric motor and a battery come in.
Electric motor with similar performance data
Mercedes produced the convertibles of the W 113 series from 1963 to 1971. The most powerful variant, the 280 SL, is equipped with a 2.8-liter in-line six-cylinder that develops 170 hp and generates a maximum torque of 240 Newton meters. Hemmels replaced the engine with a 120 kilowatt electric motor (163 hp). When it comes to torque, the Hemmels specialists are once again sticking to the specifications made by the original: the engine management system maintains the torque curve of the combustion engine in the electric motor, and here too the maximum torque is 240 Newton meters. In terms of performance, the electric version should be better than the original – with a combustion engine, the 280 SL sprints to 100 km / h in 9.0 seconds and has a top speed of 200 km / h.
Hemmels has not yet announced the battery capacity – but one charge should be enough for a three-hour drive in the city. The manufacturer specifies the average range as 257 kilometers, the maximum range is 323 kilometers. On the quick charger, the battery should be charged to 70 percent within an hour.
Order books open for second batch
Hemmels began developing the 280 SL electric in 2018 – the design is now complete. It takes a year to manufacture a car and consumes around 4,000 hours of work. The specialists want to finish building twelve cars in 2021 – all of which have already been sold. The order books for 2022 are currently open. The Welsh people give the price in US dollars (after all, the USA was one of the largest markets for the W 113): 215,000 (currently the equivalent of around 180,000 euros). The basic vehicle is already included in the price – the customer chooses whether he wants it in a right-hand or left-hand drive version. Since battery costs are constantly falling, the first batch of the 280 SL electric was significantly more expensive at $ 295,000 per copy.
In any case: there is no longer such a chic, classic design – and I can still drive it locally emission-free.
No, I don’t want to get used to classic vehicles with a new electric motor.
With the conversion of the Mercedes 280 SL to an electric car, the specialists at Hemmels have succeeded in creating a stunningly stylish vehicle that also has a modern drive. Visually, the W 113 differs from the original only in the smallest of details; even the radio still looks like a new car from the 1960s and 1970s.
Hemmels delivers the Mercedes 280 SL electric in a new car condition (and provides it with a one-year guarantee). This means that the Mercedes converted by the Welsh should actually belong to one of the currently most desirable electric cars – it is not for nothing that the specimens planned for 2021 are already sold out.