Detroit Electric SP:01- Exterior And Final Interior Designs Revealed

JAN 7 2015 BY MARK KANE 26

Detroit Electric released a few of the latest photos of two pre-production SP:01 vehicles, which were tested outside of Detroit Electric’s UK facility at Leamington Spa, UK.

Interior and exterior designs are finally confirmed and production is scheduled to begin in early 2015. Specifications and the whole concept for SP:01 reminds us of the Tesla Roadster.

“The lightweight SP:01 will be the world’s fastest pure-electric production two-seater sports car when it goes on sale in Asia, Europe and North America next year. The SP:01 features a 285 HP / 210 kW electric motor, carbon fibre body panels and manual transmission as standard. An optional single-speed and twin-speed automatic transmission are also available. The SP:01 promises to deliver blistering acceleration, reaching 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds) and an impressive top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).

Editor’s Note: We do have to mention there has been a lot of slippage in production and delivery for the SP:01 of late, and also of Detroit Electric’s use of the phrase “two-seater sports car” to claim fastest pure electric car – as perhaps a way insulate against any Tesla Model S P85D comparisons as an “over-the-air firmware upgrade” will see the Tesla match, if not exceed that top speed figure well before the SP:01 is delivered; and we already know about how fast the P85D is to 60 mph (3.2 seconds) in comparison.

Range will be some 180 miles / 288 km under NEDC. Well, the battery pack of 37 kWh will be close to half the capacity of the 70 kWh pack in the Tesla Roadster 3.0.

Separately, Detroit Electric announced the appointment of Integrated Energy of South Korea as its first importer and distributor in Asia.

“As Detroit Electric builds up to the start of full-scale production, the company recently announced the appointment of Integrated Energy as its official importer and distributor in South Korea. As part of the agreement, the first Detroit Electric showroom in Asia is scheduled to open in Seoul in early 2015. Detroit Electric and Integrated Energy will further extend their cooperation to develop V2X (Vehicle-to-Grid and Vehicle-to-Home) technology by establishing a pilot programme in Jeju Island, South Korea, with a fleet of vehicles supplied by Detroit Electric.”

Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric, stated:

“This is a strategic step in the development of Detroit Electric business in the global market and we are delighted to partner with Integrated Energy to deliver our high performance vehicle and services to Korean customers. With the vision beyond the EV business, the joint V2X pilot project in Jeju Island with Integrated Energy will certainly be a showcase of our innovative technology and sustainable business model.”

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric SP:01

 “Exterior design

The design of SP:01 has been subtly updated since the prototype was unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, to further improve the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance. The changes to SP:01’s design ensure that it will deliver on its promise to set new standards for performance and handling in the EV segment.

The most striking element of the design is the new 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 incorporated to reduce lift and improve handling at higher speeds.

A range of exterior styling options will be available from launch, including a carbon-fibre rear spoiler, diffuser and battery cover. Metallic paint options for the SP:01 include Performance Black, Performance Blue, Performance Green, Performance Orange and Performance Silver, as well as ‘Special White’ and ‘Special Red’. Customised paint colours are also available.”

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric SP:01 – interior

Interior design

In harmony with the bold exterior, the cabin of the SP:01 evokes the brand’s mantra of ‘Pure Electric Performance’ through a futuristic, sporty design, with sweeping lines and bold shapes suggesting speed, agility and athletic poise.

In order to create a clean, streamlined cabin, the SP:01’s centre console features a prominent 8.4-inch touchscreen tablet, which replaces all analogue dials and switches on the fascia. Detroit Electric’s SAMI (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment) application utilises an open-source Android operating system, which provides access to a wide range of functions, including music player, HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), satellite navigation and vehicle systems status, such as battery charge, V2X (Vehicle-to-Grid and Vehicle-to-Home) and other vehicle telemetry.

Via mobile connectivity, SAMI can also be used to make mobile telephone calls, stream data and access the internet, while providing remote access to a range of vehicle functions, including the control of charging/discharging, climate control, and full vehicle telemetry. The open-source platform will enable Detroit Electric’s customers to access apps developed by third parties via SAMI’s in-car interface, providing numerous opportunities to enhance the user experience.

The SP:01 offers a choice of leather or Alcantara sports seats (black, with body-colour accents), power electric windows, power central locking, ambient cabin lighting, embroidered floor mats and Bluetooth connectivity. Customers can also choose to personalise their vehicle with seating and interior décor options, including coloured leather seats (red, beige, tan and black) or two-tone leather seats (black with a choice of red, beige, blue, orange or grey), and optional leather trim for door panels, door sills and dashboard.

A selection of bespoke alloy wheels, designed by Detroit Electric’s Head of Design, Jerry Chung and named ‘Anderson Diamond’, ‘Anderson Satin’ and ‘Anderson Gloss’ after the founder of Detroit Electric, William C. Anderson, will be available at launch.”

Detroit Electric SP:01

Detroit Electric SP:01 – interior

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26 Comments on "Detroit Electric SP:01- Exterior And Final Interior Designs Revealed"

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An EV with a manual transmission? Sign me up! (Hey, I can dream!) It’s a good looking car. For a Tesla copy-cat, though, it has a rather short range. What are the specs on charging this thing? Is it limited to 6-7kW? Or can it quick charge?

Brammo Empluse is the only other EV with a manual I can think of. Besides home builds.

You can add Exagon Motors to the list of EV with a manual transmission.

I remember 32 amps, so that could be as little as 6600 watts or as high as 8000 watts (207 to 250 volts) – the question is where is the power limit if more voltage is available? I believe in the volt it is 16 amps (207 volts). It was also going to be V2G, which most prospective owners could care less about. The price tag was going to be $135,000, so I wish they’d have a DEDUCT option to knock off $5K OR so, like cars years ago used to have for the radio. I was trying to avoid buying the UMC for the S and was seeing if Tesla would therefore lower the price by $400 to $500 but they said no deal. That said, it is a beautiful car, and it is probably more reliable at 155 than the S would be since this thing can have the motor slow down where as the gearbox pinion in the S would be screaming. The Evora is more upscale, but there would be all kinds of places I’ve taken the Roadster that I couldn’t take this car. The 32 amp charger is fine, its that dinky battery I dont… Read more »
For me, the irony of a sports car is that the roads nearby are bland to drive. The land is flat and the roads are straight in Central NY. The much more interesting drives are in the Hudson Valley where my mother still lives. But that’s 250 miles away, and I would never visit her without bringing her grandkids (she wouldn’t let me! 😉 ). For me, this car is a non-starter anyway due to the price. If they would build a roadster EV with a range and price similar to the Leaf, I’d be all over it. But this is still a highly desirable car. The Tesla roadster upgrade is great, but doesn’t help you if you don’t have a roadster already. The lack of quick charging may not turn out to be too big of a deal. Most people don’t take a car like this on a long road trip. At least those whose last name isn’t Howland, anyway 😉 I suspect they will find a large enough market to sell their full production of these. The question is, do they plan to remain a niche company producing only high-end sports cars, or do they plan on growing… Read more »
When I was a kid, I always wanted a VW Karman-Ghia convertible (I was constantly looking at that RED one in the latest EVWEST show). When others wanted a high horsepower model, I would have been more than satisfied with an older (at the time) early 60’s one with around 40 hp. This wouldn’t be enough for you but it is for me. The tesla roadster, basically an Elise, was the closest electrified thing to this many decades later. It had a lot more power, but the important thing for me was that the battery was large enough that I could go someplace, although visiting you in Syracuse is somewhat more of a chore than it should be because the battery isn’t quite big enough. But its fine for southern Ontario or places just shy of Syracuse. I wouldn’t have purchased the Roadster if it had a much smaller battery than it has, and I’ve used it to capacity many, many times. I don’t think I’m unique amounst Roadster owners that way either. Tesla used to say “Roadsters are meant to be Driven”. So they advertised the relatively long range. I have 41000 miles on the roadster, but only half… Read more »
I don’t doubt that many Roadster owners drive their cars long distance, but this is a bit of a special case. When it was made, it was really the only EV one could go buy. Even as the Volt and Leaf hit the scene, it was the only car that could go long distances on electrons only. If instead would look at the mature ICE market, most people who buy the Lotus Elise probably don’t drive that car long distances very often. They probably have another, more comfortable car for long distance cruises. So I guess my original statement may be wrong in the sense that many Tesla Roadster owners do actually drive long distances. But as the EV market matures, more comfortable EVs will arrive with big batteries (not only the S and X, but the III and the next generation of Leaf / eGolf). At that point, the sports car EVs will be more of a sports car and less of a distance EV. As for the temperatures, I’m loving this. Living in Syracuse, I get plenty of exercise just shoveling my driveway. One of many reasons I didn’t buy a smelly snow blower. This morning it was… Read more »

Hey Brian, you notice whenever these DE articles come out both the articles themselves are very negative, (and then the magpies start will totally negative comments), and you and I are the only ones who like the car?

I think you and I are the only ones here who have driven either a Lotus or a Roadster. So we’re the only ones here who have experience.

Yeah, I have noticed the disparaging tone of the articles. I take the DE story as a sign that the EV market is maturing. We are starting to get a good cross-section of the market (although I am still waiting for an affordable long-distance family hauler, either BEV or EREV/PHEV to hit the US).

As you know, I love performance cars. Mix that with an EV, and you have a winner in my eyes. When I was younger, one of my dreams was an electric Miata. Looks aren’t the most important thing to me (I do drive a Leaf, after all ;). Open-air driving and performance/handling are what I long for. The way things are going, there will be an affordable long-range convertible EV on the market just about the time that my 3-year-old graduates college (2033).

Yeah, I wonder how much that Red Karman-Ghia is selling for on that EV-west program. I liked that ZEV bug, but again, the battery was too small. I hope they put a decent battery in the microbus at least. That ZEV is nice but they doubled the power of the motor (WHY????!!!!), whereas I would want a small motor and a big battery. I’d distrust overpowering the orig VW parts. I didn’t mean just this time, I meant ANYTIME there is a DE article. (hehe). I’m on my second electric snowblower, but then I have 2 sidewalks on a corner property that are 1/2 a block long. Ahrens used to make a 3 horsepower battery 2 stage 24″ model, but discontinued it because the battery sucked (you see, there are lousy batteries everywhere); all that re-engineering gone to waste because they were extrmely ignorant about batteries.. That issue is a headscratcher for me….. Any relatively intelligent 12 year old should be able to pick a battery that would work. Ahrens models only worked with Hot Snow. They even had a riding lawnmower they had all kinds of engineering time invested in which also had junk batteries….. WHY? oh Why? I… Read more »

It’s a sports car, a 37 kWh battery is plenty big.
Keep it light and fun, Give Tony Williams a call he’ll get a CHAdeMO port on there.

Well, this car has a j1772 on it which is JUST what I need. There are no fast chargers of any kind in my area, although they tell me one is going up in the syracuse area, probably a tesla supercharger. THere are plans for one next door to me in Clarence, (no doubt due to Politicing from our friend Ron), but its of relatively no use to me for obvious reasons.

The one thing missing from that evwest show is that no prices were mentioned. So how much is a Chademo jack, installed, usually? As I say, there are none around here and probably won’t be.

Does it have a track-mode battery cooling system? Would be nice to see an EV get built that can do more than three laps on a racetrack.

Oh yes!

My roadster, like the VOlt, has an air-conditioned battery.. The motor might overheat (such as why TOPGEAR gave the roadster a lousy review), but the battery will remain cool.

It is good to see more Tesla Roadsters are going to be built…..


yeah, hopefully the roadster upgrades fit it too! more sarcasm

Still won’t have the Supercharger network. Great to see another EV though.

I see this as a fail.

The Roadster is a fairly impractical car and this is just a copy.

Beg to differ GeorgeS

The Roadster is an Elise with the transmission removed.

This car is much more like a Lotus in that it still has the Lotus transmission as at least one of the options..

The Elise and the Evora are 2 different cars, so it can’t possibly be a copy of the roadster.

If you mean it has 4 wheels, and 2 seats, then yes, to the uninitiated they are identical.

Bill am I missing something? This DE looks like an Elise, not an Evora.
I wonder if it will get built on the new 2015 Elise?

Doesn’t look remotely like an Elise to me. Look at the headlights. An elise has a rear engine, the Evora has a mid-engine. Totally different cars. The lousy website (spends all the time sending sparks over the car – its a toss up who has the worst website, Via or DE) does at least say it is mid-motor, which makes sense. As far as looks, I wish Tesla would have left the original Lotus Elise clean “Ghia-Studios-Like” clean lines incandescent tailights. As it is, only the 2 incandescent taglights remain unchanged. I couldn’t bring it up, but I’m under the impression that the rear lights are not as clean as they are on the current Evora. Obviously I’m basically a fan of the car, and hope it will do well, but in the end, it will probably not be for me, reasons being: 1). Too pricey 2). Too gadgety. I like simple old fashioned controls and dials, as in the Roadster. A funny story is that when I asked how to put the CD in the radio, the Manhattan Dealer said they had no idea – they had never sold a Roadster with the basic Radio before me. 3). Too… Read more »

Hummm just checked lotus: this DE now looks like an Exige. Doesn’t look like an Evora anymore….. I wonder if Lotus is swapping names of their models around.. I don’t remember the Exige having 345 hp.

In any event it still doesn’t look like an ELise.

looks like the **** from the rear and the front isnt anything special

such a meh car, yawn


This has nearly the same interior as my 1.5 Roadster aside from the touchscreen. It has the same aluminum rail and basic dash components. I wonder if that touchscreen mod could be fitted to my Roadster? 🙂

I don’t know what you mean by “nearly the same”. THe seats are wider for one thing.