- Lotus wants this EV to be the world's most powerful hypercar, targeting a 1972-hp output.
- It means a sub-9 second zero-to-186 mph time and a peak rate of over 200 mph.
- Lotus promises ultra-fast charge that allows an 18-minute charge time.
Lotus is cautious about corporate hubris these days and prefers to remain silent when it had previously called. Former chief Dany Bahar once presented five sports car concepts on the same auto-show stand, none of which made it even close to production. Lotus resource has grown tremendously since the thinly applied slurry of the Bahar era; Chinese automaker Geely took a majority stake in the British sports car manufacturer two years ago. But even though the company has recruited hundreds of new engineers and is known to work on several new models, few details have been shared so far.
It changes with the disclosure of the dramatic Evija. Lotus CEO Phil Popham told Car and Driver about plans for a clean electric hyper cable earlier this year, and the company has dropped a teaser image and confirmed the Evija name ̵
Price and performance numbers are close to Pininfarina Battista – although Lotus requires top speed is lower, but while Battista uses a platform shared with Rimac C-Two, Evija sits on a whole new structure, built around the first carbon fiber vessel used by Lotus in one of their roadgoing models. Built by the CPC in Modena, Italy, using a one-split casting process, this weighs just 284 pounds. Lotus says it's aimed at a total mass of Evija of just £ 3700 in its lightest configuration, close to three times the weight of a sixty-one Elan, but one that still means that Evija will be among the lightest performance adventures on the market.
Lotus developed the electric drive in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering in U.K., a fine compilation of two of the most famous names in Grand Prix racing. This uses a medium-mounted lithium-ion battery with an indefinite capacity shown under a clear cover. Driving is delivered to each wheel through a combined engine and one-time epicyclic transfer. Each engine will provide up to 493 horsepower and will also add the ability to use aggressive and almost instantaneous torque vector. Total torque output over the four motors is alleged to be 1254 lb-ft.
The battery has a capacity of 70.0 kilowatt hours, but can support outputs of up to 2000 kW. On the intake side, Evija supports ultra-fast charging, and accepts speeds of up to 800 kW, which are not available through commercial charging systems. Using an ultra-fast charger that produces 350 kW, the Evija battery will reach an 80 percent charge in 12 minutes and 100 percent in 18 minutes. Lotus requires 250 miles of range under European WLTP test method. The company also says that the system will allow battery upgrades as technology improves in the coming years.
Evija has also been designed to deliver its great performance without complaint. With four heat exchangers, the company says the car can be run flat for seven minutes in its most aggressive track mode without suffering from battery coverage. (It should be long enough for a serious attempt to insert a "production EV" Nürburgring Nordschleife round record.) The company also says that Evija will have faster acceleration than internal combustion hysteria, with less than nine seconds from zero to 186 mph and the ability to go from 62 mph to 124 mph in under three seconds and from 124 mph to 186 mph in under four. For perspective, McLaren claims a 6.8-second zero-to-124 mph time for Senna. It is a draw we are looking forward to leading.
As we saw a model of Evija earlier this year, it was already obvious that the car has been designed for great aerodynamic performance, with the finished car sharing the same spectacular Venturi tunnels buried through the back holes. The front end has some of the paddle-nose shape of recent Ferraris, but closer inspection will reveal the presence of large holes for better airflow in the front fenders. There will also be a Formula 1 style drag-reduction system to improve performance with speed. We haven't got any downforce numbers yet, but Lotus promises that these will be exceptional. Color us surprised if they are not. Lotus's commitment to dealing with allegiance is demonstrated by the continued presence of an electrohydraulic steering aid rather than the pure electric auxiliary stand you can expect an EV to have.
The cottage is predictably tightly proportioned, but well designed and nicely finished with Haptic switch on a central spar from the dashboard. The company calls it a "ski slope" – with a single digital display in front of the driver. The car has five driving modes that can be selected by a rotary controller: Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track. Switches to open the upward hinged doors are mounted in a roof console, a detail that Lotus design boss Russell Carr admits, was inspired by the design of the early Esprit Turbo. There are no conventional backvew mirrors; Instead, it is a digital system with camera pods that distributes from the sides of the doors when the car is moving.
The bad news for Silicon Valley squillionaires who want to demonstrate their green credentials and eradicate their companions' conventional hypercars is that Evija will not be offered in the United States. But we are told that the other new Lotus models that follow quickly behind, including a replacement for Evora, we will see as soon as next year, everyone will be able to cross the Atlantic.
Few auto companies have suffered as many false dawns as Lotus, but we are getting excited.