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Detroit Electric Sports Cars Delayed Over Factory Deal

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Detroit Electric, which earlier this year unveiled an electric sports car designed to rival vehicles like the Tesla Roadster, was set to produce its first car this month.

Those plans have not yet come to fruition, reports The Detroit News--as the automaker has still not finalized a deal on its intended manufacturing facility in Plymouth, Michigan.

Unveiled in April, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is the latest in a line of electric sports cars based on the chassis of the Lotus Elise--a light-weight aluminum bonded tub seemingly perfect for the installation of electric motors and batteries.

While the Tesla Roadster used an altered version of this platform and clothed it in a slightly different body, the SP:01 is very similar to its donor vehicle--albeit clothed in carbon fiber, like the Tesla. A 150 kW (201 horsepower) electric motor powers the rear wheels, via--unusually--a four-speed transmission.

Claimed performance is strong, with a 0-62 mph run of 3.7 seconds and a 155 mph top speed, while the 37 kWh battery pack is said to provide 190 miles of range, in European testing. A healthy warranty and a $135,000 price tag for each of the 999 units was also suggested.

However, it may be some time until we see the car hit the streets. Talking to The Detroit News, Detroit Electric North American president Don Graunstadt told reporters that its manufacturing plans have been pushed back. The company wouldn't elaborate further, saying it had "entered into negotiations with other parties that have the potential to impact our business strategy and timing."

Any further comment would be "pure speculation" said Graunstadt.

The market hasn't been kind to electric automakers of late--and we hope this production delay for Detroit Electric doesn't signal deeper problems for the Michigan-based startup.

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