Detroit Electric Officially Delivers its First SP:01 Sports Car
The path from a conceptual drawing on a scrap of paper to a real-world production car is a long and understandably expensive journey. But one of today’s most buzzworthy upstart automakers has finally achieved that feat, and it’s looking to expand. This week, Detroit Electric announced it has delivered its first production-specification SP:01 sports car to China's Jowett Motors. The Chinese company will handle Detroit Electric’s vehicle importation and distribution within the large Asian country, and this initial white SP:01 will serve as Jowett’s first customer demonstration vehicle. The Detroit Electric SP:01 was first debuted to the Chinese market at last year’s Auto Shanghai 2015 event, after which the firm admits it has seen a flood of interest. RELATED: Take a Closer Look at the Detroit Electric SP:01 Sports Car
In development since 2008, the Detroit Electric SP:01 stakes its claim as the fastest and lightest two-seat pure-electric sports car, capable of notching 155 mph top speeds and shots from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The SP:01 draws part of its underlying architecture from fellow British car company Lotus and its Elise sports car (both factories are less than 150 miles apart), leveraging 285 horsepower from an electric motor mounted at its rear wheels. The firm is currently headed by former Lotus CEO Albert Lam.
What makes the SP:01 slightly different in design however is its choice of transmissions: a two-speed automatic or six-speed manual (a single-speed automatic is standard). The SP:01 also aims to innovate by integrating its lithium-ion battery pack into its chassis as a stressed member, in the process cutting weight and increasing rigidity. The car's battery pack can also be used as a mobile power unit, capable of supplying a home with energy in the event of a power outage.
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The official hand-off of this first vehicle took place at the company’s Leamington Spa factory in the United Kingdom, at which vehicle production operations initiated in October 2015. Detroit Electric has been mum of late on its future plans and subsequent new models, however the group previously hinted to other “high performance” models sold from 2016 onward. Time will tell whether US-market availability is offered.
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