Detroit Electric builds a 135K Tesla Roadster?

Detroit Electric builds a 135K Tesla Roadster?

Not exactly but not exactly original either.....

Rhinotyme | April 3, 2013

If you're not happy with Detroit Electric's latest offering, it's up to you to show the world what an original idea for a limited edition, two seat all electric sports car should be. If you build it, they will come...

Rhinotyme | April 3, 2013

At least Dodge used the Europa chassis for their EV...

bigez1 | April 3, 2013


I have absolutely no feelings about this car whatsoever but I wish DE well. There are several companies introducing very expensive 2 seat electric cars within the next 12 to 14 months (they are easy to locate on the net) and I sincerely hope they all succeed. However in reality, how large will the demand for 135K - 500K two seat sports cars from multiple manufacturers conceivably be in today's market? Maybe the demand is there - I simply don't see it. IMO Tesla is the only company pulling EVs out the "niche" category as Tesla understands the electric category needs diversity in price, range, and type...

And I know Tesla successfully manufactured and sold 2k roadsters.

SSL161 | April 6, 2013

I have mixed feelings myself. On one hand, I welcome the competition.

On the other hand, I take issue with the fact that it looks like DE plagiarized their revival plans right out of Elon's Playbook, right down to the chassis -- launch a limited edition all-electric two-seater roadster with similar range and slightly improved performance to fund future operations.

The major down side I see for Tesla (taking a cue from Tim Cook) is the inevitable dilution of brand recognition with DE’s outright copy of Tesla’s Market Dress. That cannot possibly be sitting well with Palo Alto.

Or is it just a case of extreme flattery?

Though, I guess, if no one follows you through your trailblazing (literally, step for step in this case), are you really trailblazing?

TikiMan | April 6, 2013

The one thing this company isn't taking into consideration is heir brand-name. Sure maybe 50-100 years ago, the name 'Detroit', would have been a auto name for quality, however, today, that same name brings to mind nothing but an ugly hell of a place where the auto industry died.

Either way, I wish them luck selling the 'Tesla: Roaster 2.0'.

negarholger | April 6, 2013

it is pure flattery
Question is do they really understand the playbook? Or just copying single pieces.

torst1 | April 6, 2013

Tikiman, it is a good 50 years or so since Detroit was recognized as a seal of quality. As many petrol head will tell you from the 80's both japaneese and european cars have been on the frontier - while many american brands have continued to use old and aged technology. And that is not a good thing.
Stiff rear axel anyone? Side ventilated engines? Normally aspirated engines in sporty cars rather then turbo? There is in fact a substitute for cubic is called turbo, variable intake/outlet geometry etc. Sure there have been a few models that have earned it's reputation as premium US made car but lets be honest. Many cars have been tragic. I remember my first car - a Reliant from Detroit. Even as my very first car that car was just plain sad. No soul what so ever. And for me it stands like an icon to what went wrong with the US auto industry. To many executives from business schools cutting costs and producing cars with ancient technology while japan and europe made leaps ahead theck wise. My father owned an Oldsmobile when he was a young man in the 50's and he still claimed the quality build and parts when I got that darn Reliant. Sadly he too lost some of his fine memories after hours of repairs to keep that car running. Look at the old mustangs. What an icon. And somewhere in the 80's it became a hairdressers car.

I do not say this goes for all us cars, there have been great cars times and times over also from US. Like the corvette, Viper, Lincoln Town car etc. But Detroit should have spend more money on R&D maybe things would have turned out different.

markapeterman | April 6, 2013

The 4 speed manual transmission is an interesting twist - and likely a drawback...

djm12 | April 6, 2013

The plug-in hybrid BMW i8 may be coming out soon as well to compete in this price range. Now if BMW would offer a two-seater, all electric, in the Model S price range, with Model S performance - that would be a real winner.

Brian H | April 6, 2013

And now the PSS enters the mix. The ordinary P85 is no longer King of the Hill!

torst1 | April 6, 2013

PSS? Say what Brian?

JaneW | April 6, 2013

This is more Lotus Elise than the Tesla Roadster was. Some blogs are saying it's from the Exige, but it looks more like the Elise to me. It has the short Elise frame, and the rawness and aggressiveness in the body styling. The Tesla Roadster is similar, but longer, and smoother; it was built on the Elise line, but not built exactly like the Elise.

There are some gorgeous, clean, low mileage used Roadsters out there for good prices. Way better deal, I think.

Brian H | April 6, 2013

The Performance S Sport.

Tesluthian | April 7, 2013

Tesla plans are being Shanghaied Samsung style by DE of China. Next they will review Tesla's patents for their EV recipe book.

ArieK | April 7, 2013

On the other hand they are not directly competing against a similar car (Tesla roadster) since tesla isn't selling new ones anymore. If you are looking for a brand new roadster, his might be the closest thing on the market.

SSL161 | April 7, 2013


True, but I'm a little confused now... It just occurred to me... Wasn't one of reason why Tesla stopped making the roadster was because the lotus' DOT front impact exception, or something like that, had expired?

nickjhowe | April 7, 2013

@SSL161, IIRC, Lotus had a finite number of tubs that were available for TM to use. Once the tubs were used, there were no more, hence the specific run of c. 2500.

And it (bottom) definitely looks like the Exige platform (top):
Uploaded with

Brian H | April 7, 2013

It will be in competition with the 'Model R' when TM gets around to making it, based on the GenIII platform.

TikiMan | April 7, 2013

@Brian, From what I have read about the MS PSS... it only has a few minor upgrades to the suspension, and slightly wider rear wheels. Unless you plan on a rally race, I don't think most will notice much difference between a P85 and a PSS, unless you take a sharp corner at high-speed.

Personally IMHO, if I were developing a performance version of the MS, I would design it with much wider 21" wheels all way round for superior grip, get rid of the rear doors and back-seat, add lighter manual adjustment front bucket-seats, add carbon-fiber all round (to lighten it as much as possible), and allow for a much higher top-speed. With all of that, an MS could hang with any top exotics (Lambo, Ferrari, Porsche GTS).

JaneW | April 7, 2013

"unless you take a sharp corner at high-speed."

Ummmmm, yup.

In a big, heavy car like this the suspension and tires canuse all the help they can get.

Would've got it. May yet.


torst1 | April 8, 2013

PSS=The Performance S Sport - hm never heard of.

Where is that car? Can't find it on - a model to be launched in the future or a model that exist already? And what makes PSS better/faster/quicker then P85?

P85_Norway | April 8, 2013


Is PSS the Performance Plus Package?

Runar | April 8, 2013

Someone mentioned somewhere, that they had been in contact with some Tesla tech, whom mentioned that the Performance Plus package would shave of another 0,5 sec om 0-60mph. (perhaps it could be reduced to 3.4 sec unofficially, and 3.7 on tesla specs)

I guess todays performance has more powers than it can transfer to the ground, so that this package helps seem realistic (maybe not 0,5sec?)

This is one of the reasons I opted for the performance model. Hopefully they will make this available for a retro fit also, along with other performance upgrades later on.:-)

Then I'll at least have the option to choose if I want it or not. Would feel "cheated" if I didnt get to choose.. probably wont feel the need to upgrade, but at least it will be a choice I'll have.;-)

Runar | April 8, 2013

Sorry for the Off topic post above.:-)

Just to add some info On topic.

Detroit Electric is a partner (partly owned?) of Zap..

I dont think, based on what Zap previously has shown and delivered, that this car will be produced. Zap has a proven record of regulary promising, and accepting deposits for different high-end cars that never get produced. The lastest is this one;

Before this car, they had a large luxury sedan if I remember correctly... hopefully the Detroit Electric is a bit more real, but I wouldnt bet any money on it unfortunately.

ArieK | April 8, 2013

@Runar In the Wired article about this car they claim there is no longer any relationship between Zap and DE.

Runar | April 8, 2013

@ArieK; Ah, excellent! Then there is hope.:-)