Controversial automaker Detroit Electric has finally unveiled the revamped look of the SP:01. The electric car, which is based on the Lotus Exige, made its world debut in early 2013 as a concept, generating both praise and derision from various sources.
There’s no doubt that Detroit Electric won’t win any design awards. The car is still obviously based on the Exige, despite the reworked front- and rear-end appearance. That’s not to say that Lotus designed an ugly car, just that the SP:01 won’t come to market with any crazy, wild looks.
The really important part of the SP:01 is the electric powertrain, because that’s why anyone will purchase the car. The 150kW electric motor is to be mounted in the middle of the car, providing better balance that will help with tight handling maneuvers. The battery pack is custom made for the car, while the body is made of Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP) for durability and lightness. Only the rear wheels will be powered, which will help deliver that sports car experience Detroit Electric keeps promising.
Speaking of a sports car-like driving experience, Detroit Electric says that the new vehicle is pretty quick. The claimed 0 to 60 mph acceleration time is 3.7 seconds, which pretty respectable. As for pure speed, the electric car tops out at 154 mph.
Of course, the big question with electric cars is how far you can drive without having to stop and plug the car in. While one could just assume that a sports car wouldn’t be efficient or highly capable, Detroit Electric has produced something that is truly compelling. The SP:01 has the ability to travel about 174 miles on a single charge. That puts it in a league that is well beyond the capabilities of just about every other electric vehicle on the market today.
While production of the Detroit Electric car is set to fire up soon, don’t expect to see too many rolling around on American streets. The company says that it will be concentrating on establishing itself in key Asian and European markets before taking on the market in the United States.