Detroit Electric begins production of the SP:01 electric roadster

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The Detroit Electric SP:01 in production(Credit: Detroit Electric)

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Detroit Electric has announced that the first SP:01 battery-electric sports roadster has rolled off the assembly line, now located nowhere near Detroit. Today, the company is based in the United Kingdom and is aiming for sales in the European and Asian markets. It's taken pre-orders and is soon to begin shipping to fill those.

Billed as the world’s fastest two-seat electric car, the SP:01 is impressive and, by all accounts, picks up where the Tesla Roadster left off. When it was first announced in its final form, which we covered previously, the Detroit Electric SP:01 was something of a dream. Although steadily working towards reality, the numbers underneath this Lotus body are phenomenal.

The two-seat roadster has a stated 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds, doing 0-100 km/h in only 3.9 seconds. Its top speed is 155 mph (249 km/h). It does all of this thanks to the massive output of a 285 horsepower (210 kW) electric motor with 280 Nm (207 lb-ft) of maximum torque through a single-speed automatic transmission. A twin-speed automatic or even a six-speed manual transmission are also available.

The energy-dense battery in the SP:01 serves two purposes: it’s the power for the car and also an integral part of the carbon fiber chassis. It’s positioned low on the frame and acts as a stressed member for chassis stiffening. It’s also very energy-dense, offering 140 watt hours per kilogram. Its total storage is 37 kWh while the weight of the SP:01 is a mere 1,175 kg (2,590lb) in its heaviest configuration. Total range for the roadster is 288 kilometers (179 miles) under normal driving conditions.

Another unique feature is a charge and discharge capability, allowing the SP:01 to act as a power source in an emergency or as a grid-stabilizer, offering power to a home during high-demand grid times and pulling power to recharge during low-impact periods. Detroit Electric calls this and the accompanying home charging/power backup unit "360-Powerback."

A new app-based system on the car, called SAMI (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment), is an Android-based technology. It is compatible with Android Auto and gives access to the car remotely via the user’s smartphone. Functions include vehicle location services, climate control system pre-start, vehicle charge status updates, and more. In-car apps include a wide range of Android Auto-enabled options as well as built-in navigation, adjustments for regenerative braking, and more.

Retail prices for the Detroit Electric SP:01 have not yet been released.

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