Detroit SP:01 prototype received final improvements and now is ready for production
1/19/15 4:00 am chumakdenis 1
We are happy to announce that all-electric Detroit SP:01 after several twists and turns received final improvements and we’re finally getting a look at the production-ready version.
Like the Tesla Roadster, the SP:01 is based on the Lotus Elise, and bears more than a passing resemblance to that British sports car. That’s perhaps not surprising, given that several ex-Lotus executives run the revived company.
The first prototype of the Detroit SP:01 was shown in 2013 and production of the new roadster was set to commence in August 2014, but something went wrong in Detroit Electric and we had to wait for some more time.
What changes were made to the car?
A significant change from the initial SP:01 prototype is the elimination of the flying-buttress rear pillars, in favor of a cleaner fastback design.
In another Tesla-like move, the SP:01 has an 8.4-inch Android touchscreen that replaces analog controls for functions like climate control and navigation.
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’.
The rest of the interior is pretty bare, not that there’s much room for luxuries in the small two-seat cockpit.
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 decor options, including coloured leather seats (red, beige, tan and black) or two-tone leather seats (black with a choice of red, beige, orange, blue or grey), and optional leather trim for door panels, door sills and dashboard.
Power comes from a 210-kilowatt (285 horsepower) electric motor and 37-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
Detroit Electric says that will get the SP-01 from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 155 mph. Range is estimated at around 180 miles.
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 in 2015. 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).
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.
"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," commented Albert Lam, Chairman and Group CEO of Detroit Electric. "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 previously said production would be limited to just 999 units, with prices starting at $135,000.
However, the given the company’s slow progress so far and the precarious nature of startup carmakers, it’s still unclear whether anyone will actually take delivery of an SP:01.
But we still hope that we’ll learn all the details at the Detroit auto show.