The world’s first fully electric British hypercar, the all-new Lotus Evija, which was revealed in July 2019 is nearing deliver. With breathtaking performance and a power output of 2,000 PS, the Lotus Evija is the most powerful series production road car ever built.
Like all Lotus cars throughout the brand’s 71-year history, the Evija has been engineered to deliver a driver focussed experience both on the road and track. It is the most dynamically accomplished model ever built by the company, setting new standards for Lotus driving performance. Above all else, it is ‘For The Drivers’.
As a name, Evija (pronounced ‘E-vi-ya’) means ‘the first in existence’ or ‘the living one’. It is highly appropriate; Lotus has a reputation for its pioneering approach in automotive.
It is hoped that the Evija marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of an iconic and much-loved British sports car brand. It is the first hypercar from Lotus, and the company’s first model with an electrified powertrain. As the first completely new car to be launched under the stewardship of Geely its significance cannot be overstated.
Exclusivity and desirability go hand in hand in the world of hypercars, and the Evija is blessed with an abundance of both. Production is limited to 130 examples, making it among the most exclusive cars ever launched.
As well as tempting the world’s hypercar buyers, the car will act as a halo for the rest of the Lotus range – the renowned Elise, Exige and Evora. It will do the same for a range of eagerly anticipated new Lotus performance models to come.
The Evija signals the start of a new design language for Lotus, which will evolve and reappear on future high-performance cars.
Illustrative of the thinking and ingenuity which has always been part of the Lotus DNA, the Evija is a technical tour de force. It continues the legendary Lotus bloodline that’s rich in firsts and technical game-changers, both in the automotive and motorsport sectors. While it is a glimpse of the future from Lotus, it remains true to the company’s DNA and the guiding principles of founder Colin Chapman, who built the first Lotus in 1948.
The Evija is the first Lotus road car to feature a one-piece carbon fibre monocoque chassis. The cabin, from the fully adjustable race-style seats to the multi-function steering wheel, is the very pinnacle of motorsport-inspired road car design and technology.
At the heart of the Evija is an ultra-advanced all-electric powertrain. It has been developed by technical partner Williams Advanced Engineering, famed for success in motorsport, from Formula One to electrifying the first four seasons of Formula E. The battery pack is mid-mounted immediately behind the two seats and supplies energy directly to four powerful e-motors. This highly efficient system is the lightest, most energy dense, electric power package ever fitted to a road car. With a target weight of just 1,680 kg, it will be the lightest pure electric hypercar ever to go into series production.
Engineered for precise and sustained performance, the Evija has five driving modes – Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track. It can race from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in under three seconds and accelerate to a top speed of more than 200 mph (0-320 km/h).
The most striking element of the Lotus Evija is its exterior. From every angle the full carbon fibre bodywork is stretched taut, appearing shrink-wrapped over the mechanical components. Crouching low to the ground, with a ride height of just 105 mm, the pronounced muscular haunches envelop the teardrop cabin that sinks between them.
Taking inspiration from the aeronautics industry, the exterior is a perfectly proportioned blend of fluid forms and crisp lines. This is clearly illustrated by the gently curved but sharp leading edge of the bonnet, which is reminiscent of so many classic Lotus road and race cars.
The directional indicators are incorporated into the corners of the ribbon, while the reversing light is provided by the illuminated ‘T’ of the ‘LOTUS’ wordmark above the integrated charging flap.
Another key feature of the Evija’s aerodynamic system is the bi-plane front splitter. It’s another illustration of form and function working perfectly in tandem. Designed in three sections, the larger central area provides air to cool the battery pack – mid-mounted behind the two seats – while the air channelled through the two smaller outer sections cools the front e-axle. Lotus aficionados may notice a respectful nod to the iconic Type 72 Formula 1 car, with its square front central section and two side wings.
Active aerodynamics are deployed in the form of a rear spoiler, which elevates from its resting position flush to the upper bodywork, and an F1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS). Both are deployed automatically in Track mode, though can be deployed manually in other modes.
The absence of traditional door mirrors plays a part in reducing drag. Cameras integrated into the front wings are electronically deployed on unlock, while another camera built into the roof provides a central view. Images are displayed on three interior screens.
The battery pack is mounted centrally behind the passenger compartment, and its cover is visible through the glass rear screen. This positioning delivers significant advantages in terms of styling, aerodynamics, packaging, weight distribution, occupant comfort and dynamic handling. It also supports fast and convenient servicing and maintenance. Furthermore, the set-up has been designed so that in the future alternative battery packs – for example, to optimise track performance – can be easily installed.
Power is fed from the battery pack to four independently controlled high-power density e-motors. These feature integrated silicon carbide inverters and an epicyclic transmission on each axle of the four-wheel drive powertrain. The motors and inverters are supplied by Integral Powertrain Ltd.
Torque-vectoring, enabled by the four e-motors, provides exceptional dynamic response and agility on the road. This fully automatic, self-adjusting system can instantly distribute power to any combination of two, three or four wheels within a fraction of a second. In Track mode the ability to add more power to individual wheels enables the radius of corners to be tightened, potentially reducing lap times.
Not only does the Lotus Evija feature the world’s most powerful automotive drivetrain, it also boasts the world’s fastest charging battery. Thanks to the partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, the battery has the ability to accept an 800kW charge. Although charging units capable of delivering this are not yet commercially available, when they are it will be possible to fully replenish the battery in just nine minutes.
Using existing charging technology – such as a 350kW unit, which is currently the most powerful available – the Evija’s charge time will be 12 mins to 80% and 18 mins to 100%. The car’s range is 250 miles (400 km) on the WLTP Combined Cycle, or 270 miles on the NEDC Combined Cycle. Lotus is in discussions with external suppliers on a charging solution for customers.
The CCS2 charging socket is hidden behind a vented flap at the rear of the car. In the same location is a small plaque, reminding customers of the Britishness of the Evija.
The interior of the Lotus Evija is as dramatic as the exterior. Inspired by the technical precision of race car engineering, the dominant characteristic of the cabin is the ‘floating wing’ dashboard which can be glimpsed from outside through the windscreen. The design also echoes the porosity of the exterior.
Ahead of the steering wheel is a state-of-the-art digital display, providing the driver with key information such as mode, battery charge and remaining range. It is the car’s only screen, putting all necessary information in one place. The screen displays essential functions only, with information appearing as required when the appropriate button is pushed, then fading when no longer needed.
Further controls are located on the floating ‘ski slope-style’ centre console, which features touch-sensitive haptic feedback buttons. Each is integrated in hexagonal recesses to help guide the driver’s fingers. As the light plays over the surface it creates an almost organic visual effect. The driver can also interact intuitively with the car’s technology via a control wheel. The honeycomb design of the buttons is replicated on indicator stalks and on the surface of the aluminium foot pedals.
The Lotus Evija is the first production road car in the world to feature laser lights for both main and dipped beams. Produced by OSRAM Continental, the lighting modules are very compact and will provide an outstanding view of the road or track ahead. The strikingly thin vertical headlamps provide the perfect balance of crystal-like beauty and a highly technical design. Inside the lenses, unique ‘wing-like’ elements form the daytime running lights and directional indicators.
The Evija is the first Lotus to provide drivers with a full suite of digital connected infotainment, which will benefit from over-the-air software updates. A powerful on-board modem enables communication to the cloud, and the driver can interact with that data through a Lotus smartphone app. The app will enable drivers to monitor their Evija from anywhere in the world, for example, to check the battery charge status and driving range. It will also support remote use of air-con, to heat or cool the cabin ahead of the next drive.
The UK is already recognised as a world-leader in high-performance automotive production. Lotus has been at the heart of that success for 71 years. The Evija will further cement the global status and reputation of this important UK industry sector, and its associated and diverse supply chain.
However, as the first all-electric hypercar from a British car maker, the launch of the Evija sees Lotus deliver an opportunity for new and exciting expansion of the sector. Increasing consumer awareness and demand for the astonishing performance available through EV powertrains means new growth and new skills, and Lotus intends to be key player in that revolution.
LOTUS EVIJA: FACT FILE
|NOTE: THESE ARE TARGET SPECIFICATIONS|
|Name||Lotus Evija (Type 130)|
|Powertrain||Pure electric, 4WD|
|Power||The target is to be the most powerful production car in the world, at 2,000 PS|
|Battery power||70 kw/h / 2,000 kW|
|Torque||1,700 Nm with torque vectoring|
|0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)||Under three seconds|
|0-300 km/h (0-186 mph)||Under nine seconds|
|Max speed||In excess of 200 mph (320 km/h)|
|All-electric range (WLTP Combined)||250 miles (400 km)|
|Charging time (350kW charger)||18 mins|
|Production run||Maximum of 130 cars|
|Overall dimensions (L/W/H)||4,459 / 2,000 / 1,122 mm|
|Reservation process||£250k deposit secures a production slot|
|Start of Production||2020|