Automotive

Detroit Electric begins production of the SP:01 electric roadster

Detroit Electric begins produc...
The Detroit Electric SP:01 in production
The Detroit Electric SP:01 in production
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The Detroit Electric SP:01 in production
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The Detroit Electric SP:01 in production
The two-seat roadster has a stated 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds
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The two-seat roadster has a stated 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds
Based on a Lotus Exige, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is all electric
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Based on a Lotus Exige, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is all electric
Surprisingly, a six-speed gearbox is available for this EV
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Surprisingly, a six-speed gearbox is available for this EV
Top speed in the SP:01 is 155 mph
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Top speed in the SP:01 is 155 mph
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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 two-seat roadster has a stated 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds
The two-seat roadster has a stated 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds

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."

Based on a Lotus Exige, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is all electric
Based on a Lotus Exige, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is all electric

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.

Source: Detroit Electric

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8 comments
gizmowiz
Definitely 2nd fiddle to any Tesla model.
SoundRacer
"a single-speed automatic transmission" What is that? Add an EVSoundSystem with a selection of exciting engine sounds like V8, V10 and V12 to provide some fun and enhanced driving experience.
GiolliJoker
A six-speed manual? Probably useless on an electric... but it interests me WAY more that any automatic or single speed...
Mirmillion
The Michigan-designed Lotus Elise/Exige at a great platform for conversion to electric. The tub chassis and good amount of capacity under the rear hatch (engine out) make it relatively easy to maintain good weight distribution. The thing already handled like it was on rails, thanks to the Lotus guys and adding a couple of hundred pounds in the exchange may only have required slightly stiffer springs and/or better shocks. I hope Detroit Electric is successful in its endeavors and would be interested in their out-the-door pricing. When we were in Detroit looking at the same car and A-123 Systems for batteries (now out of bankruptcy and refocused on starter batteries), we also asked two micro-turbine engineers from Denmark to figure out whether they could drop in a recuperated turbine with high-speed AC charger, as a range extender. They could, but the development costs were a bit high. I think battery tech will turn the corner shortly such that range extenders (of any sort) will be unnecessary.
Daishi
It makes sense that they aren't actually based in Detroit. Parts of Detroit are so dangerous to go near now that you might be better off in Syria. There are neighborhoods that even EMT's can go into without being attacked in broad daylight. I don't think many people in the US familiar with the Detroit of today would use the name in marketing. What ever it used to be it's a sewer now. To me "Detroit Roadster" elicits a mental picture of a vandalized car on cinder blocks with the rims stolen and graffiti on the sides or maybe something with 24" rims and tinted windows parked outside the projects.
It's clear that they are copying the Tesla Roadster a bit but imitation is the best form of flattery. I think Musk said they ended up replacing nearly all of the components in the original Lotus for the Roadster so one of his regrets was not just building a car from the ground up in the first place. It would be cool to see Tesla launch a 2nd gen roadster in 2020 implementing improvements and what they have learned along the way.
Mr. Hensley Garlington
Too little, too late.
ljaques
I WANT ONE! Price is almost definitely out of my range, what with my Social Security income, but DAYUM, those look fun! I'd go with the 2sp auto since they didn't have a 3, and have it delivered in blue. Ooh, lovely, lovely.
Don Duncan
Well it has been almost a year since production began. Where is it? What is the progress? Why no roll out date? Could it be "in production" was code for: looking to suck in some investors?