There's been a proud history of basing electric sports cars off of the Lotus Elise. Its lightweight architecture has formed the basis for the original Tesla Roadster, the PG Elektrus, the Rinspeed sQuba concept, the Zytek Elise prototype and the Dodge Circuit EV show car. But those projects have all come and gone. That run might not be over, though, as the next to raise the flag is Detroit Electric.

The startup showcased its SP:01 prototype over a year ago, and has been promising production ever since. Now it says it's on the verge, and has revealed a revised design for the production model – albeit in just the one solitary CGI image you see here. The updated shape, which looks rather similar to the comparably sized Alfa Romeo 4C, takes more of a fastback approach instead of the flying buttresses on the original design. The new form is designed to be more aerodynamic and incorporates an integrated rear wing and underbody diffuser to make it all the more so.

Although it's not showing us what it looks like yet, Detroit Electric also says it has updated the front end as well. Chief designer Jerry Chung says "The final design of the SP:01 incorporates signature Detroit Electric design DNA, carried over from the prototype model we revealed last year. Coupled with many motorsport visual cues, the new fastback design, bold face and sharp contours evoke the company's vision of pure electric performance."

Whatever it looks like, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is slated to go into production in the UK – not in Detroit or Holland as previously planned – next year, promising a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed set at 155 miles per hour, all on electric power.
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DETROIT ELECTRIC REVEALS STRIKING FASTBACK DESIGN FOR ITS SP:01 PRODUCTION MODEL

DETROIT, USA – 27 October 2014: The final exterior design of Detroit Electric's all-new, pure electric two-seater sports car, the SP:01, is revealed today as the company gears up for production.

The lightweight, limited-edition SP:01 will be the world's fastest production electric sports car when it goes on sale in Asia, Europe and North America, starting in 2015. Revealed as a prototype at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, the design of SP:01 has been subtly updated to further improve the vehicle's aerodynamic performance, ahead of the start of production at a new facility in the UK later this year.

The most striking element of the design is the bold new fastback configuration, which replaces the prototype's flying buttresses on either side of the rear window. The exterior design has been optimised using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to provide enhanced airflow and reduce turbulence, for maximum performance and stability.

A large sculptural rear wing and an under-body diffuser have been incorporated to reduce lift and improve downforce at higher speeds. The changes to the production vehicle's aerodynamics are intended to deliver improved on-the-limit road-holding and ensure rewarding and accessible dynamics.

A host of aesthetic and functional enhancements to the exterior design accompany the aerodynamic enhancements. For example, the front air intake and outlet ducts on the bonnet have been reshaped to optimise airflow to the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system.

The vehicle's innovative battery packs have been clad in a protective composite casing which forms an integral part of the vehicle's structure. This improves the SP:01's torsional rigidity and provides an extremely robust barrier to protect the batteries from punctures in the event of an accident.

Jerry Chung, Head of Design at Detroit Electric, said: "The final design of SP:01 incorporates signature Detroit Electric design DNA, carried over from the prototype model we revealed last year. 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 changes to SP:01's design ensure that it will deliver on its promise to set new standards for performance and handling in the EV segment. Its high-power electric motor will propel the car to an impressive 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed and a 0-60mph time of just 3.7 seconds.

Detroit Electric was revived in 2008 by Albert Lam, former Group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Cars of England, with a vision to produce an electric vehicle that seamlessly integrates refined aesthetics, innovative technology and superior handling and performance. For more information on Detroit Electric visit www.detroit-electric.com

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