Reveal

Detroit Electric Reveals SP:01

A revived American automaker has revealed its first model, the SP:01, an EV with a supposed 150-mile range.

It was announced last month that the reborn Detroit Electric car company was on the verge of releasing an all-new EV, and here it is. The company was originally founded over 100 years ago and by 1912 it became America’s most successful electric car builder. It went out of business in the 1930s but around five years ago it was revived by the former Lotus engineering chief Albert Lam. Now its first EV has been revealed just ahead of its official debut at the Shanghai Motor Show.

If it looks to you like a Tesla Roadster painted blue, that's because it's also an EV based on the Lotus Elise. The SP:01 is a rear-wheel-drive coupe with a removable roof built on an aluminum chassis. The SP:01's body, however, is made of a lightweight carbon-composite that helps keep the curb weight down to 2,354 lbs. The juice comes from two military-grade 37 kWh lithium-polymer batteries. The US-built mid-mounted electric engine produces 201 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque and is mated to either a four-speed manual or an optional twin-speed automatic gearbox.

Interestingly, the manual has an optional fifth gear and it's not necessary to apply the clutch when starting from a standstill or when coming to a stop. The engine is covered by a transparent hatch that's integrated into the body. The SP:01 is quoted to run 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds and top out at 155 mph, with a claimed range of 150 miles on a single charge. It also has regenerative braking technology along with a bi-directional charge and discharge system, called 360 Powerback, which also makes it a mobile energy unit that can power a house. The SP:01 will go into limited production shortly with 999 units set to be built for a price of $135,000 each.

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