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Detroit Electric SP:01 set to be fastest electric car in production

Detroit Electric may not be a name you are instantly familiar with but it actually opened its doors 1907. The company stopped production in 1939 after losing the fight to increasingly efficient petrol and diesel cars, but was re-launched in 2008, announcing a new SP:01 sports car in the process.

Now, nearly six years on, Detroit Electric has revealed most of the details of the SP:01, which is due to become the fastest electric car in production when it’s released in August 2013.

If the SP:01 looks a little familiar that’s because it’s based on the rolling chassis of a Lotus Elise. And if that electric-car-on-a-Lotus-platform recipe sounds jogs your memory…. well let’s just say Tesla got there first with the Roadster.

The Detroit Electric SP:01 should be a tiny bit faster than the Roadster, however. It’s driven by a mid-mounted 201bhp (150kW) electric motor that’s capable of producing 166lb/ft (225Nm) of instant torque. That’s less than the Tesla Roadster’s 288bhp and 295Nm torque figures, but the SP:01’s 37kWh battery pack is lighter than the 53kWh unit in the Roadster. As a result, the SP:01 weighs 1,090kg, roughly 235kg less than its Tesla cousin.

The SP:01 will do 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, roughly the same as the Roadster, but Detroit Electric hasn’t shackled the car’s top speed. It’ll hit 155mph, a damn sight more than the Roadster’s 125mph terminal velocity.

Driven sensibly, the SP:01 should deliver a range of 190 miles (according to the New European Driving Cycle), although any top speed runs will likely run the battery down in a matter of moments.

It’s no Rimac Concept One, but it’ll do.

SP:01 prices start at 1,250,000 Chinese Yuan (around £133,000). It should go on sale around August, 2013.

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