Lotus has gone electric in a serious way, announcing an all-new model – the Evija – which is due for release in 2020.
Pronounced ‘e-vy-yah’, the upcoming model is claimed by Lotus to be the first all-electric British hypercar, while its projected 1,400kW maximum power and 1,700Nm maximum torque will also make it the world’s most powerful series production road car.
While Lotus says ‘series production’, the Evija won’t be an ongoing model, with production limited to 130 units, reflecting the vehicle’s internal code – Type 130.
A halo model for the existing Elise, Exiga and Evora range, the Evija will also preview a range of new Lotus performance models, according to the carmaker’s CEO, Phil Popham.
“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,” Popham said.
Based around a one-piece carbon fibre monocoque chassis, the Evija features bodywork perfected through extensive wind-tunnel testing, including a bi-plane front splitter that channels cooling car to the battery pack and electric motors, an active rear spoiler and the deletion of traditional door handles, while cameras are mounted in the guards and roof in place of traditional mirrors.
The most prominent part of the design are Venturi tunnels in the rear quarters that optimise airflow over the car and reduce drag. These tunnels are framed with the tail lights and indicators, while the headlights are world-first laser modules.
The Evija’s electric powertrain was designed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering and features a mid-mounted 2,000kW (70kw/h) lithium ion battery pack behind the seats, while “high-power density” electric motors on each axle provide four-wheel drive and torque vectoring through planetary gearboxes on each wheel.
Motorsport-derived adaptive suspension includes three inboard-mounted dampers on each axle, with AP Racing carbon ceramic brake discs and 20/21-inch magnesium wheels standard.
With five driving modes on offer – Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track – performance estimates include a sub-3.0-second 0-100km/h time, 0-300km/h in under 9.0 seconds and a projected top speed in excess of 340km/h.
“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,” says Matt Windle, Executive Director, Sports Car Engineering, Lotus Cars.
“Our battery, e-motors and transmission each operate at up to 98% efficiency. This sets new standards for engineering excellence.”
The fast-charge battery is capable of accepting 800kW charging, even though such a system is not currently commercially available. With existing 350kW charging technology, full charge can be achieved in 18 minutes. Projected range is up to 432km, depending on the cycle used.
Inside, the standout design features are the ‘floating wing’ dashboard and ‘ski slope’ centre console which features touch-sensitive haptic buttons and a knurled control wheel. The honeycomb finish on this console is repeated on the pedals.
A key fob opens the handle-less doors, which are closed from inside via a roof-mounted console switch.
Visible carbon fibre trim abounds (including the seats which feature Alcantara pads), with the steering wheel design inspired by Le Mans racers. The digital dash display presents essential information, with additional functions only displayed when requested.
While clearly aimed at enthusiast drivers, the interior features climate control air conditioning, smartphone integration, cloud connection and a premium infotainment system that can also record lap times. Three-point seatbelts are standard and a four-point racing harness optional, with a range of personalisation options also available.
Given its specification and exclusivity, Evija pricing starts at a jaw-dropping £1.7 million, excluding taxes (around AU$3 million), with Lotus handling sales directly instead of using traditional dealer networks.