The revived Detroit Electric brand revealed their first car, the SP:01, essentially a battery powered Lotus Exige, at Detroit’s beautiful and historic Fisher Building, where the company will also have its headquarters offices. Jerry Chung, an old college roommate of Detroit Electric CEO Albert Lam, did the exterior and interior design. It’s not a bad looking car, though I’m not fond of fake vents and the front end of the SP:01 has them, filled in with black plastic. Though it’s easily distinguished from the Exige, it’s still obviously a Lotus. They’re only going to be making 999 of them and since Tesla’s no longer selling their Roadster, I think Detroit Electric will sell them. The real question is what the more mass market “high performance” sedan and hatchback the company says it will launch next year will be like. For those cars they will be buying a platform from an “Asian” supplier, but they say Detroit Electrics will have brand unique exterior styling and an interior designed by Chung and hope to sell at least 10,000 units a year.
Like I said, the SP:01 is a decent looking car but you can easily see its Lotus origins. Coda has flopped trying to sell an electrofied generic Chinese sedan for luxury car money. Chung’s designs for the sedan and hatch better make them stand out from the cars they will be based upon or Detroit Electric might suffer the same fate. I’m happy that someone is starting up a Detroit based car company and I wish them luck. With Coda moribund, Fisker circling the drain and Nissan not even selling 10,000 Leafs in the U.S. last year, it’s a challenging time to be starting a new EV company.