|Detroit Electric SP:01. Click to enlarge.|
Detroit Electric unveiled the SP:01, a limited-edition, two-seat battery-electric sports car. With a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) and a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 3.7 seconds (the same acceleration time as the Tesla Roadster), the SP:01 claims the mantle of the fastest pure-electric production car.
The new SP:01 was launched under the brand’s mantra of ‘Pure Electric Excitement’ and was revealed at Detroit Electric’s new headquarters in the Fisher Building in downtown Detroit. Only 999 examples will be built at Detroit Electric’s new production facility in Wayne County, Michigan, with cars sold worldwide through a network of specialist retail partners.
The rear-wheel-drive SP:01 features a compact, mid-mounted 150 kW (201 bhp) electric motor delivering 225 N·m (166 lb-ft) of torque, a lightweight, purpose-designed battery pack and all-new carbon-fibre bodywork. Total weight is 2,354 lb (1,068 kg), contributing to the SP:01’s driving dynamics and handling.
The electric motor sits just behind the cabin, while the battery pack is positioned between the transmission and the cabin firewall bulkhead, which is moved forwards to make the ‘engine bay’ of the SP:01 more spacious. A second battery pack is located on top of the electric motor.
The 37 kWh lithium polymer battery pack gives the SP:01 a range of almost 190 miles (306 km) 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 via a 240V and 32A chargepoint. (The charger is an 18 kW max charger, with the car limited to 7.7 kw.) Charging with a 13A power source will take 8 hours.
The SP:01’s electric motor drives the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. With the motor’s instantly available torque, the fifth and sixth gear ratios in the gearbox are redundant and are blocked off. For those wishing to explore the vehicle’s top speed there is a cost option to reinstate the fifth gear, or to specify the Twinspeed automatic gearbox.
Available as an option, the Twinspeed Automatic gearbox is a two-speed powershift transmission developed specifically for electric and hybrid vehicles.
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.
The motor bay features its own cooling system and the SP:01 is fitted with a special thermal management pack developed in-house by Detroit Electric. The SP:01 also has a telemetry-link to the maker so that the health of the battery packs and electric powertrain can be monitored and checked.
The vehicle is based on a strong yet lightweight aluminium platform, and is being launched following a five-year development and road-test program. As well as the all-new carbon-fibre bodywork, similar to that used in Formula 1 vehicle chassis, the SP:01 also features specialized performance-tuned suspension, steering and brake systems to provide class-leading ride and handling characteristics.
Energy consumption (under different cycles) is:
- EUDC: 0.12 kW/km
- FTP: 0.11 kW/km
- HAIZAM: 0.15 kW/km
The SP:01 uses smartphone applications to manage the complete in-car infotainment system. Named ‘SAMI’ (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment system), SAMI provides access to a wide range of functions, including music player, satellite navigation, interior lighting adjust and vehicle systems status—such as the level of battery charge, range to recharge and other vehicle telemetry. SAMI can also act as a remote control unit (via GSM), enabling the user to locate the vehicle, turn on the climate control system and check the charge status.
The SP:01 also features a bi-directional charge and discharge feature for a vehicle-to-home (V2H) function. The V2H feature is made possible through the patented Detroit Electric home charging and power back-up unit, named ‘360 Powerback’. It is a smart home-charging and power back-up unit that enables the SP:01’s battery to be charged at 240V @32A. This smart unit can also detect any power failure of the grid and provide the option to the user—via SAMI and the GSM network—to instruct the vehicle to restore power to the home using its stored energy.
The SP:01 sports car is the first production vehicle to be marketed under the Detroit Electric brand since 1939. The price of SP:01 starts at US$135,000 and will vary according to specification and local taxes.
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.