Detroit Electric rolls out electric sports car SP:01 in Shanghai

Detroit Electric formally introduced its high-performance two-seater electric sports car, the SP:01, at the Shanghai Auto Show. The SP:01 sports car is the first production vehicle to be marketed under the Detroit Electric brand since 1939 and will be sold in many of Detroit Electric’s target markets by end of August. It is is the first in a new family of all-electric production cars, including two other high-performance models that will enter production by the end of 2014.

The SP:01 went on sale in early April and 35 orders were placed within an hour. Clearly, the customers were smitten by the impressive 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed and 0-62mph (0-100km/h) run in 3.7 seconds, making the SP:01 the world’s fastest pure-electric production car.

The SP:01’s power-to-weight ratio is the reason for its high-performance qualities. The rear-wheel-drive features a compact, mid-mounted 201 bhp electric motor (with166 lb-ft of torque), a lightweight, purpose-designed battery pack and all-new carbon-fibre bodywork. The car weighs 2,354 pounds.

The car’s energy storage capacity is 37 kWh and the battery gives the SP:01 a range of almost 190 miles between recharges. Detroit Electric’s home charging unit will enable drivers to charge their SP:01 in 4.3 hours. To deliver torque faster, the SP:01’s powertrain creates an electromagnetic field around the rotor shaft, which then spins at varying speeds to drive the wheels.

“The SP:01 will be exclusive, luxurious and technologically advanced,” said Albert Lam, Detroit Electric’s chairman and group CEO. “It is a milestone in the history of the Detroit Electric brand, but also a significant development for the international EV sector. The car will allow us to demonstrate to the world our ability to build an exciting and innovative product, one that displays outstanding performance coupled with strong green credentials, and which delivers an exhilarating driving experience.”

The SP:01’s carbon-fibre body was designed with angular lines and a compact rear light cluster to recall classic American sports cars. Inside, the car uses smartphone applications to manage the complete in-car infotainment system, which is named SAMI (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment system).

“SP:01 is more than just a sports car, it is a mobile energy unit, allowing the user to use its stored battery energy to power not just the car but even an entire home,” Lam said. “SP:01 is equipped with bi-directional charge and discharge capability, allowing it to release its stored electrical energy to power a home.”

The SP:01 will be produced at the new Detroit Electric production site in Wayne Country, Michigan. The dedicated facility will have an annual capacity of 2,500 vehicles. The SP:01 will retail at approximately RMB 1,250,000 ($202,343) after additional local taxes and duty.

Photo Credit: Detroit Electric

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