New Lotus Evija electric supercar packs 2000PS and some startling performance figures.
British sports car maker Lotus is on the move following its acquisition by Geely (who also own Volvo and Lynk&Co among others). The company has been drip-feeding this new car for a while but we’ve got a stack of images and the motherlode of information to get us going.
First, the name. Pronounced E-vee-ya (Lotus rendered it ‘E-vi-yah)(I think mine is better), it means first in existence. As in Eve (Adam and Eve), the first woman. And, of course, EV. Yeah, I know.
“The Lotus Evija is a car like no other. It will re-establish our brand in the hearts and minds of sports car fans and on the global automotive stage. It will also pave the way for further visionary models.”Phil Popham, Lotus Cars CEO
Look and Feel
I don’t know about you, but I love this. It has the compact length of the Elise, along with a familiar Evora-Elise tail, in profile at least. The lovely paperclip shape of the aero is amazing to look at, complex shapes but all with an obvious purpose, a bit like a McLaren 570S.
A bit like the Valkyrie and that other aero-obvious McLaren, the Senna, you can see a lot of the aero, the body work cut open to channel and move air around pesky things like people and wheels.
The interior looks terrific, apart from that ridiculous (but functional) steering wheel. The carbon bridge with its lovely hexagonal pattern houses climate control and various other functions. It looks terrific.
Lotus says you’ll be able to personalise (ie spend a lot of money) your Evija, including changing the Union Jack on the C-pillar.
Before we get too carried away, let’s just quickly address the 2000PS (1471kW) and 1700Nm figures – they’re both listed as targets. Which means that all performance figures are also targets. Electric hypercars with stupid figures are a dime a dozen (life’s too short to report on all of them…or any of them).
If Danny Bahar was still in charge of Lotus, this story wouldn’t exist, but the adults are in charge and this car looks properly real, so it’s here.
Lotus says the Evija will sprint from 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in under three seconds and on to over 320km/h (200mph). More amazingly, the 100-200km/h (62-124mph) run is also a three second job. And then 200-300km/h (124-185mph) will be under four seconds. That is seriously fast.
Key to these targets is a massive 2000kW mid-mounted battery system. Lotus teamed up with Williams Advanced Engineering, a spin-off of Frank’s famous racing team. The pack is stored behind the cabin and Lotus reckons it means you can swap it out for a track-ready battery pack. That sounds pretty amazing.
Each wheel scores a 368kW (500PS) electric engine and gearbox unit. Each gearbox is a helical ground gear single-speed unit. Instead of diffs, software sorts out what goes where, so the stability and traction control systems will ensure, er, serious grip.
With the Lotus Evija we have an extremely efficient electric powertrain package, capable of delivering power to the road in a manner never seen before. Our battery, e-motors and transmission each operate at up to 98% efficiency. This sets new standards for engineering excellenceMatt Windle, Executive Director, Sports Car Engineering
The front houses four radiators to help cool everything and Lotus reckons you’ll be able to go absolute flat-out on-track for seven minutes without the electrics stepping down to prevent overheating. Seven minutes doesn’t sound like very long, but with all this grunt, it’s probably three laps of Sepang.
Chassis and Aero
Just like its compatriot, the Evija is based around a carbon fibre tub supplied by CPC. The tub weighs just 129kg. The whole package is 1680kg, which isn’t classic Lotus-light (it’s almost two Elises) but batteries weigh a lot. It’s an easy 400kg lighter than most Teslas.
Fun fact: the first Tesla, the Roadster, was a modified Elise chassis and weighed around 1300kg.
Amusingly, the steering is the purist’s favourite, electro-hydraulic. It’s heavier than electric steering but, as we know from McLarens, is worth the weight.
The suspension sounds super-complex – each corner has three adaptive spool-valve dampers (Google it) – two corner dampers and one heave control damper. Mounted in-board (very race car), the system comes from Multimatic.
The most striking bit of aero is the rear section. The bodywork wraps tightly around the battery pack and, with rather less cooling required, leaves a huge space for downforce-producing aero that reminds me of the new Ford GT’s rear section.
Getting that power to the ground are magnesium 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rears, with Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tyres. To stop you entering orbit or having a crash that will send you there, a forged aluminium AP Racing brake set with carbon ceramic discs will provided the deceleration power.
No doubt there will also be a very aggressive kinetic energy recovery system, too. And for a bit more F1-inspired fun, a drag reduction system (DRS).
The mammoth battery pack has a claimed range of 400km/h (250mi) on the WLTP cycle, which is probably the least worst measure of electric range.
Lotus says if you can find a 350kW charger (good luck), the Evija will charge to 80 percent in just 12 minutes and 100 percent in 18 minutes. That sounds…quick. Once again, these numbers are targets.
For plug aficionados, it’s a CCS2 socket, housed under a flap at the car’s rear.
How much and when?
Lotus will take a £250,000 deposit and collect the rest of the total (minimum) cost of £1.7m plus taxes and duties during 2020. Just 130 of Evijas will be made, but we’re sure Lotus will find a way to make more of them if demand outstrips supply (say, a Spider version…).
If my maths is right, that means something like A$4m if you plan on running it on the road once you put GST and LCT on it…
Don’t worry too much if you miss out. It’s hugely unlikely the next few years won’t hold at least one Lotus EV for the masses. Well, the Lotus masses anyway.
You can buy one through your local dealer or www.lotuscars.com
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.