Detroit Electric SP:01 Sports Car Gears Up For Full Production

The powers that be behind the sleek, stylish Detroit Electric SP:01, reputed to be the world's fastest production electric sports car, have finalized the two-seat sports car's exterior design and expect to go into full production early in 2015.

If the name “Detroit Electric” sounds familiar, it should be. Founded in 1907, the original Detroit Electric was manufactured by the Anderson Electric Car Company and was one of the most successful of the early electric vehicles: approximately 13,000 were made before the company went out of business in 1939.

Fast-forward to 2008 when Albert Lam, former Group CEO of Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Cars of England, incorporated Detroit Electric Holding Ltd. Lam's vision for the company focused on producing premium-quality, purely electric-powered vehicles “that seamlessly integrate refined aesthetics, innovative technology and superior handling and performance.” Officially relaunched on March 19th, 2013, the company established its headquarters in the Fisher Building located in Detroit, Michigan.

Such a strong mission statement predicated a vehicle worthy of lam's words and the SP:01 is such a vehicle. When it made its debut at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, the prototype SP:01 claimed to be the world's fastest production electric sports car with a top speed estimated at 249 km/h (155 mph) and acceleration from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in under 4.0 seconds.

The guts haven't changed but after conducting a raft of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) testing and analyzing the data, it was found that some purposeful styling mods would significantly improve aerodynamic performance and vehicle stability – no small concerns when your vehicle's claim to fame is pushing the performance envelope.

The now-finalized SP:01 now sports fastback styling in place of the prototype's flying buttresses (seen on the blue car above) while the pre-production car features a nicely integrated rear spoiler and an under-body diffuser. The aim is to reduce lift and improve downforce at higher speeds but without sacrificing the prototype's essential good looks.

“The final design of SP:01 incorporates signature Detroit Electric design DNA, carried over from the prototype model we revealed last year,” according to company design chief Jerry Chung. “Coupled with many motorsport visual cues, the new fastback design, bold face and sharp contours evoke the company's vision of pure electric performance.”

The vision may be bold and enticing but can the new & improved Detroit Electric follow through on its promises? The first SP:01s are set to begin rolling off the production line at the company's new manufacturing facility in Leamington Spa, England by the end of this year and potential purchasers in Europe, Asia and North America should be able to take delivery early in 2015. (via Autonet)