Electric Vehicles detroit-electric-sp-01

Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Detroit Electric SP:01 Sports Car Production Begins This Summer

detroit-electric-sp-01When Tesla Roadster production ceased, the world was suddenly left without a fast, fun, and (comparatively) affordable all-electric sports car. The revival of the Detroit Electric name hopes to change that with the SP:01, a Lotus-based electric coupe that will begin production this summer. In many ways, this is like the Tesla Roadster 2.0…but with a hardtop roof.

Let’s skip all the hyperbole and get straight to the meat and potatoes. The Detroit Electric SP:01 uses a custom made carbon fiber body based on the Lotus Exige, a hardtop version of the Lotus Elise, which underpins the Tesla Roadster. Power comes from two 37 kWh battery packs motivating an AC electric motor that makes 201 horsepower and 166 ft-lbs of torque.

That doesn’t sound like a lot, but its apparently enough power to sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, the same time as a Tesla. The Detroit Electric also offers between 150 and 180 miles of driving range, depending on how you measure range. Again, this is comparable to the Tesla Roadster.

But there is one key difference that enthusiasts are sure to appreciate between the Detroit Electric and Tesla, and that is the transmission. Where the Tesla uses a one-speed automatic, Detroit Electric will use a 4-speed manual with an optional 5th gear, as well as a two-speed automatic. For my money, the 5-speed is the only way to go in an electric sports car that weighs just 2,400 pounds. Who couldn’t have fun with that?

What this will all come down to, however, is price. With the Tesla Roadster no longer in production, the market for a $100,000 electric sports car is wide open. Sure other companies are offering electric supercars, like Mercedes and Rimac, but those cars cost anywhere from $500,000 to almost a million bucks. Can Detroit make a name for itself…again?

Source: Autoblog



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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Miller/100000952005408 Bruce Miller

    With a transmission? a deja vue antiquity from yester-year system? Very disappointing Detroit. Seeking very light and hub mounted 4 wheel drives with highest voltages possible from nano carbon capacitors or better, ultralight bodies, and taking full advantage of weight savings with the electric three moving part power train. Klutzing up the SMART – not good America. KISS for Fruck’s sake! KISS.

  • Mark Forsythe

    I love it. This is a driver’s car. Part of the fun of owning a sports car is shifting gears. Every car I have ever owned has had a manual transmission; not for fuel economy but for fun. Sure a manual transmission isn’t “needed” in an EV but it’s “wanted” by some of us. Let’s face it, there’s nothing practical about a $100K two seater so why not throw all the fun stuff in there as well? I say nicely done Detroit Electric. Now if the major manufacturers would take a page from this playbook and put an electric drive in “fun” vehicle for the rest of us. Remember the Chrysler Crossfire? Why not bring that back as an affordable EV sports car for the masses? What about the Pontiac Solstice? Heck even the Fiero would make a great sport EV!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Watkins/629637578 Daniel Watkins

    The manual transmission is sure an interesting move but I hope they have an automatic as optional

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