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Ah, nearly five years on, Detroit Electric is back, this time with a car that it’s taken the wraps off ahead of its official debut in Shanghai. The SP:01 is a two-seat all-electric sports car, based on a modified Lotus Elise.

Er, yes, if the donor vehicle sounds familiar, it is. Back in 2008 there was a drive session with a DE-modified electric Elise when the company was in negotiations with Proton for electric car development.

Then, the company – which was resurrected as a brand name from the car Anderson Electric built in the 1930s – announced that it was looking to work with Proton to manufacture electric cars.

The company signed a supply and manufacturing agreement with Proton in March 2009, where it was to buy the Persona and GEN2, replace the CamPro engine with an electric motor drivetrain, and rebadge the cars as the Detroit Electric e63 and e46 models. The project, however, never took off. Later, it also inked a deal with Chinese automaker Dongfeng to use its battery-electric drivetrain technology for the latter’s models, after which things went very quiet.

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Not anymore. The SP:01 is due to be a limited run of 999 vehicles, built at Detroit Electric’s new production facility in Wayne County, Michigan, with cars sold worldwide through a network of specialist retail partners.

The rear-wheel drive SP:01 features a compact, mid-mounted 201 hp electric motor delivering 225 Nm of torque), a lightweight, purpose-designed battery pack and all-new carbon-fibre bodywork for the Elise. Total weight is just 1,067 kg.

The company boasts that this one is going to be the fastest pure-electric production cars on the market, with a 249 km/h top speed and 0-100 km/h time of 3.7 seconds. The 37 kWh battery offers the car an operating range of around 305 km (tested to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standard) between charges, and a full charge takes 4.3 hours.

Following its premiere in Shanghai, the car is set to go on sale at the end of August.