The Detroit Electric SP:01, which is not made in Detroit, is aiming to be the fastest electric car in the world. To that end, the company just switched up the design, going from a coupe with a removable roof, to a sleek, sloping fastback. But will it be enough to beat the D? (Maybe. But it depends on the definition of "sports.")
The new coupe design replaces the old look, which featured an open roof and flying buttresses on both sides:
And honestly, I think the fastback design makes it look much more fresh. It's no surprise, really, that the SP:01 originally looked a bit like a Lotus Elise, and now it looks like a Lotus Evora. Detroit Electric's founder, Albert Lam, is the former Group CEO of Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Cars, so he's got some ties to the Hethel-based track mainstay.
But the Elise-ish electric sports car has already been done, ahem, so any styling departure from it isn't so bad. The only thing is, I'm not sure it'll be enough.
Part of the big marketing push of the SP:01 is that it will be the "world's fastest production electric sports car," and I'm wondering whether or not that still holds true. Don't get me wrong, the made-in-Leamington-Spa,-England Detroit Electric car sounds like a great idea. There's nothing wrong with an all-electric car featuring crazy-fast acceleration ,punting it to 60 MPH in 3.7 seconds. That is definitely more speed than you will ever need on the road.
But the Tesla Model S P85D goes to 60 MPH in 3.2 seconds, and that's more. Or less, rather. And they both top out at 155 MPH. Maybe it depends on how you define "sports car?"
Though maybe it doesn't matter. The SP:01 will almost certainly be lighter than the Tesla, and the new design, which has been finalized for production, adds a wing and a diffuser for increased downforce on the track.
So if it ever makes it into production, and if the company doesn't die first, this might just be your best bet for good, clean, trackday fun.