Detroit Electric unveils final design of 1st car

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Start-up electric vehicle maker Detroit Electric on Tuesday released final exterior and interior designs for its SP:01 sports car, whose production has been delayed in the past as the automaker looked for a facility to build it.

Detroit Electric says the SP:01 will be the world’s fastest pure-electric production two-seater when it goes on sale in Asia, Europe and North America next year.

Detroit Electric last year scrapped plans to build its car at an unidentified facility in Plymouth that would have employed more than 100 workers, and said it would build the car overseas in Holland later this year. It now has plans to produce the car at a facility in England and is currently testing prototypes.

It now says the electric sports car will be sold in early 2015.

Detroit Electric unveiled a prototype of the car at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, and said it tweaked the final design to ensure the car "delivers on its promise to set new standards for performance and handling in the EV segment."

Detroit Electric says the SP:01 will be the world's fastest pure-electric production two-seater when it goes on sale in Asia, Europe and North America next year. It will feature a 210 kW electric motor that produces 285 horsepower. It comes standard with carbon fiber panels and a manual transmission.

The car will be available in black, blue, green, orange, silver, white and red colors.

The final design features a fastback configuration, which replaces the prototype's flying buttresses on either side of the rear window. A large sculptural rear wing and under-body diffuser have also been added to improve high-speed handling.

The car will be available in black, blue, green, orange, silver, white and red colors.

The interior features an 8.4-inch touchscreen tablet, which replaces the prototype's analogue dials and switches. The interior offers a choice of leather or Alcantara sports seats, power electric windows and other features.

The company also announced a partnership with Integrated Energy, which will be its official importer and distributor in South Korea. The first Detroit Electric showroom is scheduled to open in Seoul in early 2015.

If it sells the 999 SP:01 cars slated for production, company officials said they would target Metro Detroit for production of a sedan in coming years.

The interior features an 8.4-inch touchscreen tablet, which replaces the prototype’s analogue dials and switches.

The company's Detroit headquarters is in the Fisher Building, where it has about 7 employees.

The Detroit Electric name, brought back after seven decades by a group of ex-Lotus Engineering Group executives, is buoyed by private investment.

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.

mmartinez@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2401

Twitter.com/MikeMartinez_DN