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Detroit Electric SP:01 revealed

We have a strange feeling of deja-vu...

New startup manufacturer Detroit Electric has officially unveiled the SP:01 two-seater sports car.

Based on the Lotus Exige chassis the fully electric SP:01 will enter production in August and will be…..   Whoa whoa whoa, doesn’t this all sound a little familiar? An electric sports car based on a Lotus – surely this is a Tesla Roadster isn’t it? Well no, it would appear not. Tesla has stopped making the Roadster, so it appears that the road is clear for Detroit Electric to take over.

 The SP:01 isn’t short of tech or spec either -  a mid-mounted electric motor generating 201 bhp and 166 lb/ft of torque (at 0 rpm), works together with a lightweight 37 kWh battery pack. The bodywork resembles the Elise a lot more than the Tesla, sharing the headlights, windscreen and door panels, but the entire bodywork is made from carbon fibre, helping to reduce the vehicle weight. The front intakes are so similar to those of a Ferrari 430 Scuderia we’d be surprised if they didn’t take a direct mould off one. The rear is the least successful change with some stacked rear lights and a squared-off design.

The SP:01 weighs in at 1,067 kg and comes as standard with a 4-speed manual transmission while a two-speed automatic gearbox is available at an additional cost. This manual gearbox is said to allow the driver more interaction, though it’s not exactly needed as the car can go from standstill to top speed in all gears.  Its battery is enough to provide a maximum range of almost 190 miles and takes 4.3 hours for a full charge from the proprietary home charging unit.

Detroit Electric claims the SP:01 is "the world's fastest pure electric production car" as it needs just 3.7 seconds to reach 62 mph and can achieve a top speed of 155 mph.

As standard it has AP front and Brembo rear disc brakes, ABS, regenerative braking and 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels. It also benefits from a bi-directional charge/discharge system which can turn the SP:01 into a mobile energy unit as the owner can use the car to power his home. This is possible via a system called 360 Powerback which can power your home if there are any problems in the grid.

The Detroit Electric SP:01 will be manufactured at the company's new plant in Wayne Country, Michigan. All cars will have a standard three-year, 30,000-mile warranty, with the possibility of extending the battery's warranty to five years and 50,000 miles. Production is limited to 999 units, each priced at $135,000.

Images courtesy of Detroit Electric

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more