Detroit Electric finalizes first car design

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News
  • The car will reach 155 mph and can go 0-to-60 in 3.7 seconds.
  • The company said it will use the dealer franchise model, & is currently seeking dealers in the U.S.
  • The electric car will be made in Leamington Spa in England, and will go on sale in 2015.

Start-up electric vehicle maker Detroit Electric unveiled Monday the final exterior design of its battery-powered SP:01 sports car before the company’s promised production start early next year.

The design varies slightly from versions shown since the car’s prototype unveiling at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. It features a fastback configuration designed to enhance airflow and reduce turbulence, and includes changes to the front air intake and outlet ducts, which have been reshaped to optimize airflow to the heating and cooling system.

The electric car will be made at a facility in Leamington Spa in England, and will go on sale in Asia, Europe and North America in 2015.

“The final design of SP:01 incorporates signature Detroit Electric design DNA, carried over from the prototype model we revealed last year,” Jerry Chung, Detroit Electric’s head of design, said in a statement. “Coupled with many motorsport visual cues, the new fastback design, bold face and sharp contours evoke the company’s vision of pure electric performance.”

The car will reach 155 mph and can go 0-to-60 in 3.7 seconds, the company said. The vehicle’s battery packs have been placed in a protective composite casing which forms an integral part of the vehicle’s structure and protects the battery in a crash.

Detroit Electric said it plans to use the dealer franchise model and is seeking dealers in the U.S.

Earlier this year, Detroit Electric scrapped plans to build its car at an unidentified facility in Plymouth that would have employed more than 100 workers; it said then it would begin building the car overseas in late 2014.

The company said last year it hoped to sell 999 of its $135,000 SP:01 two-seat sports cars, built on the same platform as the Lotus Elise. The company said it would use revenue from that to build a second sports car, and later produce higher-volume, less-expensive electric cars.

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