New Benchmarks Set for EV Performance by Reincarnated Detroit Electric
Emissions-free driving has a new high-performance option following the unveiling of the Detroit Electric Holdings Ltd. SP:01, a limited-edition, two-seat pure-electric sports car that sets new standards for performance and handling in the electric vehicle (EV) segment. The new EV boasts an impressive 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed and covers the 0-62mph (0-100km/h) sprint in a blistering 3.7 seconds, the same as BMW's high-performance M5 sedan, making the SP:01 is the worldâ€™s fastest pure-electric production car. The price of SP:01 starts at $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.
Production will be limited to 999 cars which will be built at Detroit Electricâ€™s new production facility in Wayne County, Michigan, with cars sold worldwide through a network of specialist retail partners. The SP:01â€™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-fiber bodywork. Total weight is just 2,354 lb, contributing to the SP:01â€™s superior driving dynamics and class-leading handling.
The vehicle is based on a strong yet lightweight aluminum platform, and is being launched following a five-year development and road-test program. As well as the all-new carbon-fiber 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.
To deliver instantaneous torque for breath-taking acceleration, the SP:01â€™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 Electricâ€™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.
The original electric car innovators, Detroit Electric began life in 1906 and established itself as the market leader and most prolific manufacturer of electric cars. Detroit Electric went on to make some 13,000 vehicles by 1939 and holds the electric vehicle production world record for the twentieth century.
â€œThe SP:01 will be exclusive, luxurious and technologically advanced,â€ said Albert Lam, Detroit Electricâ€™s Chairman and Group CEO. â€œIt is a milestone in the history of the Detroit Electric brand, but also a significant development for the international EV sector. The car will allow us to demonstrate to the world our ability to build an exciting and innovative product, one that displays outstanding performance coupled with strong green credentials, and which delivers an exhilarating driving experience.â€
The SP:01â€™s bespoke bodywork is constructed entirely of carbon fibre. Styled by Detroit Electricâ€™s Head of Design, Jerry Chung, the SP:01â€™s angular lines and muscular stance give the car a bold, imposing design while also optimising aerodynamic efficiency. The one-piece front panel features a sharply contoured bonnet and angular front fenders with imposing air-intakes to emphasise the carâ€™s power and prowess. The compact rear light cluster is reminiscent of high-performance American sports cars of the past, while the integrated side cooling ducts enhance the carâ€™s distinctive profile. To accentuate the SP:01â€™s pure electric credentials, a transparent inspection window displays the vehicleâ€™s impressive battery technology.
The interior of the vehicle hints at the essence of the Detroit Electric brand by combining luxurious refinement with advanced technology â€“ highlighted through the use of carbon fiber and specially selected leather finishes.
â€œOur research engineers at Detroit Electric have taken steps to break the mould,â€ adds Mr Lam. â€œSP: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.â€
The SP:01â€™s bi-directional charge and discharge feature is made possible through the patented Detroit Electric home charging and power back-up unit, named â€˜360 Powerbackâ€™. It is a smart home-charging and power back-up unit that enables the SP:01â€™s battery to be charged at the rate of 8 kWh ([email protected]). This smart unit can also detect any power failure of the grid and provide the option to the user â€“ via SAMI and the GSM network â€“ to instruct the vehicle to restore power to the home using its stored energy.
â€œ360 Powerback is the next level of innovation and shows our determination to provide additional value proposition through our EVs, uniquely elevating us from others in the segment,â€ added Mr Lam.
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:01â€™s Regenerative Braking technology that sets the car apart, underpinning superb stopping performance while ensuring greater energy efficiency. The carâ€™s energy recovery mechanism uses the motor as a generator, recovering kinetic energy when acceleration is interrupted and using it to recharge the vehicleâ€™s battery packs, while imitating the retardation characteristics of a gasoline engine.
The SP:01 sports car is the first production vehicle to be marketed under the Detroit Electric brand since 1939. On sale in many of Detroit Electricâ€™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. 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.