Automotive

Detroit Electric unveils "fastest pure-electric production car on the market"

Only 999 SP.01's will be built
Only 999 SP.01's will be built
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Teaser image of the SP.01
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Teaser image of the SP.01
SP.01 front angle
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SP.01 front angle
The SP.01 uses an AC motor
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The SP.01 uses an AC motor
The SP.01 does 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7seconds
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The SP.01 does 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7seconds
Detail of the SP.01
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Detail of the SP.01
the SP.01 is rear-wheel drive
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the SP.01 is rear-wheel drive
Detroit Electric claims that the SP.01 is the world's fastest all-electric production car
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Detroit Electric claims that the SP.01 is the world's fastest all-electric production car
The SP.01 uses lithium polymer batteries
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The SP.01 uses lithium polymer batteries
The SP.01's infotainment system can be controlled by the integrated smartphone
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The SP.01's infotainment system can be controlled by the integrated smartphone
SP.01 detail
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SP.01 detail
The SP.01 comes with a choice of alloy wheels
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The SP.01 comes with a choice of alloy wheels
SP.01 motor compartment
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SP.01 motor compartment
SP.01 detail
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SP.01 detail
SP.01's battery compartment
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SP.01's battery compartment
The SP.01 has a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h
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The SP.01 has a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h
Only 999 SP.01's will be built
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Only 999 SP.01's will be built
The SP.01 is set for production in August
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The SP.01 is set for production in August
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High-performance electric cars have been around for some years now, but despite the fact that Detroit and the electric car go back a long way, no all-electric supercars have been built in the Motor City. That is, until now. After giving us a bit of a tease last month, Detroit Electric has taken the wraps off its Limited-edition SP.01. According to its maker, the SP.01 is not only the “first pure electric sports car” to come out of Detroit, but it's also reportedly the fastest, and the first to be fully integrated with a smartphone.

Referred to by Detroit Electric as the “world's fastest pure-electric production car,” only 999 units of the SP.01 are scheduled to be built. The two-seat, rear-wheel-drive, open-top roadster has a mid-mounted motor and a lightweight, purpose-designed battery pack. It uses a re-engineered sports car platform with a bonded aluminum unitary structure with front and rear subframes and carbon-composite body panels, and boasts a kerb weight of 2,403 pounds (1,090 kg), which is on the lighter side for electric supercars.

The SP.01 uses an AC motor
The SP.01 uses an AC motor

It was styled by Detroit Electric's Head of Design, Jerry Chung, and standard equipment includes a body-color hardtop with a choice of alloy wheels, and carbon trim. Inside, the SP.01 is kitted out with carbon fiber-effect leather with body-color leather inserts and contrast stitching, while the center console is done in aluminum and carbon fiber.

An integrated smartphone sits in the center console where it does more than place calls. According to Detroit Electric, the SP.01 is the first car to use smartphone applications to manage the in-car infotainment system. The Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment system (SAMI) allows the driver access to a wide range of functions, including the music player, sat nav system, regenerative braking adjustment, interior lighting and vehicle systems status. It can also be used as a remote control to locate the car, turn on the climate control system and check the charge status.

This being an all-electric, the SP.01 uses a motor rather than an engine. In this case, it’s an air-cooled asynchronous AC motor behind the passenger cabin. Weighing only 110 pounds (50 kg), it pumps 201 bhp (150 kW) and 166 foot-pounds (225 Nm) of torque with an efficiency rating of 91 percent. Top speed is 155 mph (249 km/h) and it does 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a respectable 3.7 seconds.

SP.01's battery compartment
SP.01's battery compartment

The SP.01's electric motor delivers its power through the re-engineered gearbox carried over from an unspecified petrol-fueled donor car. It was originally a six-gear, but the fifth and sixth gear have been blocked off. However, the fifth gear is available as an option and there’s also a Twinspeed automatic gearbox available. The reason behind this arrangement is that the SP.01 uses an AC motor instead of a more expensive permanent magnet motor, which needs only a single-speed transmission.

The power source for the SP.01 is a pair of lithium polymer battery packs, with one located behind the gearbox and the other on top of the electric motor. They weigh in at 660 pounds (300 kg) and generate a maximum of 37 kWh for a range of 180 miles (288 km). Charging from a 240 volt/32 amp outlet charges the packs in 4.3 hours, and a 13-amp source does the job in eight hours. In addition, there’s a telemetry link that allows the car maker to monitor the health of the battery packs and drivetrain from anywhere in the world where a data link can be made.

the SP.01 is rear-wheel drive
the SP.01 is rear-wheel drive

Detroit Electric claims that the SP.01 can also reverse the charging in the event of a power failure. Using its 360 Powerback feature, the car can detect a loss in current and feed electricity from the batteries back into the home. Given that an emergency generator plugged directly into a house requires special wiring and that utilities dislike them for safety reasons, how practical this is remains to be seen.

The SP.01 has front and rear double-wishbone suspensions with coil springs, telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar. Steering is non-assisted rack-and-pinion with a 2.8 turn lock-to-lock movement.

The SP.01 uses lithium polymer batteries
The SP.01 uses lithium polymer batteries

Brakes for the SP.01 are front and rear 11.3-inch (282-mm) ventilated and cross-drilled discs with assistance from ABS and electronic stability control. The SP.01 also uses regenerative braking technology to send recovered energy to the battery while decelerating. The system also imitates the retardation characteristics of a petrol engine in gear when the foot is taken off the accelerator.

Production of the SP.01 is set to start in August, and Detroit Electric says that it will be the first in a line of new all-electrics including two high-performance cars scheduled for production in 2014.

The price of the SP.01 starts at US$135,000.

Source: Detroit Electric

31 comments
sk8dad
Wait, how's this different from the original Tesla?
Bob Ehresman
Looks like this one has a good bit of Lotus DNA.
robotlogic
Looks exactly like a Lotus Exige to me.
Slowburn
If just for giggles and grins we put up against a 87 Testarossa at Nurburgring racetrack how many laps would the SP.01 complete before running out of juice.
Bill Bennett
always negative Slowburn, it is called evolving technology, things change, that is why Gizmag is here, word I hate, dude why must you always be negative?
Facebook User
Great technology and performance but it is such an angular and ugly body design, maybe just my taste but to my way of thinking, it could have looked prettier and sexier with smoother lines. Electromotive propulsion is certainly the way to go and with the new generation of air batteries we are looking good for the future.
Miros
Of course it is Lotus body! Wrong GIZMAG, you should not misinform your readers! For Detroit it is normal. At least two years ago before the Detroit electric in small Croatia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rimac_Automobili
sutski123
This is such a blatant copy of the Tesla. Why do they think we need another Tesla ?? Detroit would be better off sticking with it's roots and making an electric truck with 500 miles range rather than a poor copy of a not that successful electric sports car with a tiny battery. How about an RV with a big bank of cells to get you 1000 miles of range? All RV parks have multiple electric hook-ups too, so you can always charge it overnight wherever you end up. While I'm here, why haven't these people used "4" batteries and four plug points instead of "1"? Wouldn't that 1/4 the charge time? (I can charge 4 phones at home at the same time, why not 4 "different" car batteries?) Sorry Detroit. Fail.
Synchro
I quite agree Bill, and also a stupidly inane (and wrong) example. An '87 Testarossa has a 28 gallon fuel capacity, and on a track would get about 6mpg, if you're lucky, giving it a range of 168 miles, or about 2 laps less than the SP.01.
QuEP
Wait a moment now, this is a very interesting development. I enjoy driving my Toyota Prius Plug-in. Because it performs much better around cities in full electric mode compared to running on the engine when the small battery is depleted. The lithium-ion battery for this Prius Plug-in weighs 80 kg (180 lb) for just 3.4 kWh), which is grossly under-dimensioned: Electric top speed is limited to 55 mph and range to 10 (winter) or 14 miles (summer). This Detroit sports car can drive full throttle on a 37 kWh battery which only weighs 300 kg / 660 lb. That is an astounding 10.9 times as much capacity for only 3.75 times the weight. The estimated miles per kWh is probably optimistic or only valid for 55 mph speed though. At full throttle driving it might be depleted in 15 minutes. That is 35 miles on a deserted salt plane or 20+ miles racing on the Nurnberg ring ;-). Anyhow, this is clearly a big step up for practical driving circumstances. Although I don't know how heavy the battery of the sparsely available Volvo plug-in is ( car weight 4300 lb, electric speed 75 mph, range 31 miles).
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