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First Look

The world's fastest electric car?

Published: 27 Oct 2014

Remember the Detroit Electric SP:01? Announced in 2013, it followed a well-thumbed recipe - electrifying a Lotus Elise - and promised to be an esoteric entrant in the eco-friendly sports car class.

Well, it's back and in production form ahead of official sales in 2015. And it's a bit different to before, adopting a new fastback body which lends it bold new rear styling as well as better handling, thanks to its new rear wing and diffuser combination.

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As a result, it looks helpfully different to an Elise or a Tesla Roadster, with a hint of the wonderfully hardcore original Exige about it now. Good job, given it's set to cost around £80,000, a figure quickly approaching BMW i8 money.

Under the skin, a 282bhp electric motor drives the rear wheels. With a hot hatch-like weight of 1175kg, it's enough to hustle the SP:01 to 155mph via a 3.7sec 0-60mph time.

That, in Detroit Electric's words, makes this the "world's fastest production electric sports car". It also uses a manual gear selector, which intrigues us greatly given electric cars are typically single-speed.

There is a single-speed version too, with a less powerful 201bhp version serving up a 106mph top speed and 5.3sec sprint to 60mph.

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A 180-mile range from full charged is touted for both, though expect this to drop notably if you intend on exercising Detroit Electric's claims of superlative performance.

While Detroit Electric is, somewhat predictably, based in the US, the SP:01 will be built in the UK. Sales will be limited to 999 units.

Can it compete with the i8 and Tesla? And would you consider an electric sports car like this? Comments below, please...

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