Home / Auto News / News article: Detroit Electric SP:01 Looks Like a Reborn Tesla Roadster - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Apr 04 2013, 7:01 AM

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Unveiling its first new vehicle in over 70 years, the resurrected Detroit Electric car company debuted the SP:01 in the motor city last night.

If it looks familiar, it should. The SP:01 uses a Lotus Elise shell and an electric powertrain – not unlike the Tesla Roadster.

Spearheaded by former Group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and executive director of Lotus Cars of England, Albert Lam, the new model brings back the Detroit Electric name, a company known for producing around 13,000 electric vehicles between 1907 to 1939. Boasting just 17 employees, Detroit Electric began its revival in 2008 and is introducing the first of what it hopes will eventually be a four car lineup.

Detroit Electric is bragging that the SP:01 sets a “new benchmark for electric vehicle performance and handling.” Powered by an electric motor that generates 201 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque, the SP:01 weighs in at a scant 2,354 pounds allowing it to accelerate to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds. Top speed will be limited at 155 mph and its range from a single charge will exceed 180 miles.

It’s the first car to be marketed under the Detroit Electric name since 1939 and it’ll be hitting select markets by the end of August – though without a planned production facility its not clear where the company will produce the cars. Pricing will start at $135,000 and will come with a three-year, 30,000-mile warranty. Transmission options include a four-speed manual or a twin-speed automatic and production will be limited to 999 units.

Detroit Electric hopes to add three more vehicles to its portfolio, including a family sedan to enter production by the end of 2014 with a price of less than $50,000.

“Our research engineers at Detroit Electric have taken steps to break the mould,” said Mr. Lam. “SP:01 is more than just a sports car, it is a mobile energy unit, allowing the user to use its stored battery energy to power not just the car but even an entire home. SP:01 is equipped with bi-directional charge and discharge capability, allowing it to release its stored electrical energy to power a home.”

GALLERY: Detroit Electric SP:01

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