Detroit Electric’s new high-performance electric sports car, the SP:01, received its global public reveal at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.
The Shanghai event is the first time that members of the public have been able to view the SP:01’s bold design and innovative EV technologies first-hand.
Since it went on sale in early April, Detroit Electric has received 35 orders within an hour of the SP:01 going on sale.
The new SP:01 was launched under the brand’s mantra of ‘Pure Electric Excitement’ at the company’s headquarters in Detroit on 3 April. Boasting an impressive 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed and covering the 0-62mph (0-100km/h) sprint in a blistering 3.7 seconds, the SP:01 is the world’s fastest pure-electric production car.
The SP:01’s exceptional performance is owed in large part to its excellent power-to-weight ratio. The rear-wheel-drive SP:01 features a compact, mid-mounted 201 bhp electric motor (delivering 166 lb ft of torque), a lightweight, purpose-designed battery pack and all-new carbon-fibre bodywork. Total weight is just 2,354 lb, contributing to the SP:01’s superior driving dynamics and class-leading handling.
The vehicle is based on a strong yet lightweight aluminium platform, and is being launched following a five-year development and road-test programme. As well as the all-new carbon-fibre bodywork, similar to that used in Formula 1 vehicle chassis, the SP:01 also features specialised performance-tuned suspension, steering and brake systems to provide class-leading ride and handling characteristics.
To deliver instantaneous torque for breath-taking acceleration, the SP:01’s innovative powertrain creates an electromagnetic field around the rotor shaft, which then spins at varying speeds to drive the wheels. Drivers can select one of four gear ratios for optimal acceleration, but unlike a manual shift in a conventional car, there is little need to change gear regularly to ensure brisk progress.
With an impressive energy storage capacity of 37 kWh, the battery gives the SP:01 a range of almost 190 miles between recharges, when tested to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standard. Detroit Electric’s home charging unit will enable drivers to charge their SP:01, with full charge achieved in 4.3 hours. Rigorously tested by Detroit Electric for use in the SP:01, the battery technology also has been deployed successfully in other highly demanding applications, notably in helicopters and submarines.
An all-disc braking system, coupled with ABS (anti-lock braking) and ESP (Electronic Stability Control) is fitted as standard, ensuring excellent stopping power. But it is the SP:01’s Regenerative Braking technology that sets the car apart, underpinning superb stopping performance while ensuring greater energy efficiency. The car’s energy recovery mechanism uses the motor as a generator, recovering kinetic energy when acceleration is interrupted and using it to recharge the vehicle’s battery packs, while imitating the retardation characteristics of a gasoline engine.
The SP:01 electric sports car is the first production vehicle to be marketed under the Detroit Electric brand since 1939. On sale in many of Detroit Electric’s target markets by end of August, the SP:01 will herald a new family of all-electric production cars, including two other high-performance models that will enter production by the end of 2014.
In China, the price of SP:01 starts at around RMB 1.250.000 (about $200.000) after additional local taxes and duty. Each SP:01 will come with a three-year, 30,000-mile warranty with an optional extension for the battery to five years and 50,000 miles.
The SP:01 will be produced at the new Detroit Electric production site in Wayne Country, Michigan. The dedicated facility will have an annual capacity of 2,500 vehicles and create over 180 manufacturing and sales-related jobs over the next year.