As was a commonly known fact until now, Lotus was hard at work developing a new all-electric hypercar. Well, the car is here, and ready to knock the socks off its peers. Meet the Lotus Evija.
Of course, since it’s a hypercar, the Lotus Evija needs you to pronounce its name in tongue twister style. Its not “Eh-Vee-Jah”. It’s not even “Ee-Vee-Yah”. You pronounce it as “Evv-Eye-Ah”. For no hypercar with such a bold design deserves a plain old easy-to-pronounce name slapped across its rear bumper.
Britain’s First Electric Hypercar
Lotus is actually the first manufacturer from England to make an all-electric performance machine. Whether or not this will spur other manufacturers to follow suit remains to be seen. Jaguar does make the award-winning I-Pace, but it is worlds away from offering performance anything like 2,000-hp electric missiles. Yes, the Lotus makes that much power. Well, almost. At 1,972hp and 1,700Nm, the firm aims to bag the most powerful production car tag with the Evija.
Only 130 examples of the four-wheel-drive (yes you read that right) Lotus Evija will ever be produced. This puts to rest the Lotus ‘Type-130’ conundrum, along with speculations of the company’s first 4×4 being an SUV. The Evija is clearly not a high-riding expedition machine. It is rather better at peeling your face off with its physics-challenging performance.
For being the first electric hypercar to come from the British Isles, the Lotus Evija sets the bar at a lofty elevation. Other manufacturers with an eye on the hyper-EV game have a lot to measure up to.
Ably backed by parent interest Geely, Lotus will only make 130 examples of the mental Evija.
The Lotus Evija marks a stunning entry into the hyper-EV segment boasting the most power coupled with the least weight.
Is This Lotus Hefty?
Lotus cars have always managed to put down spec-defying performance thanks to their featherweight construction. The firm is a renowned specialist in churning out light, sturdy vehicles. The Lotus Evija is no different, weighing in between 1,500 to 1,600kg. While it may not sound too impressive, some perspective might help us understand the feat Lotus has achieved. For comparison, the Rimac Concept Two weighs 1,950kg, and makes 1,888hp. Suddenly, the Evija is looking a lot more promising, no?
Louis Kerr, chief platform engineer for the Evija project, said, “Light weight and efficient, elegant engineering have always been at the heart of the Lotus DNA. That will not change.” And Lotus has managed to achieve a perfect 50:50 weight distribution despite packing the batteries right under the engine bay window. Except there is no engine in there.
How’s the performance like?
Despite weighing as much as a BMW 5-Series diesel and making as much power as three M5s, the Lotus Evija’s performance stats are a bit understated to begin with. Lotus is trying to achieve a sub-3second time of zero to 100kph, and wants the car to touch 186mph (300kph) under nine seconds. The Bugatti Chiron clocks 100kph in 2.3 seconds, touching the 300kph mark in 13.6 seconds. Top speed for the Evija is expected to be well north of 200mph (320kph).
The interior is minimalistic, modern, and sporty. Lotus clearly knows how to create a visual feel of lightnesss too.
Does The Evija Conform To The Lotus Design Language?
All 130 customers who will be parting with more than $2 million (excluding taxes) for the Evija will get a whole of emptiness for their money. In Lotus design parlance, it’s called ‘negative space’. Lotus design chief Russell Karr explains that electric cars give him a whole new design to play with. Says he about the Evija, “The packaging of the battery pack and rear motors offers some flexibility when designing the rear bodywork and diffuser. This has helped us create the distinctive Venturi tunnels. Cooling requirements are less aggressive than on a 1,000hp+ combustion powertrain, and this has allowed us this ‘porous’ quality, with air going through the car.”
The Lotus Evija can drive for a maximum of 400km on a single charge. You can fully charge the car in 18 minutes, if you have access to a 350kW charger. Right now, chargers of this specification are not easy to come by, but Lotus will set up 40 chargers across its home country as it begins production in 2020. One may think it is a bit much spending on creating a charging network for just one model. But Lotus has access to the Geely pot of gold, and full backing from the treasurers who are supportive of electric vehicle production. So the Lotus Evija is a go.
There is an obscure yet true story that on 16th November 1990, the British Parliament was at debate discussing whether the Lotus Carlton should be sold to the common man. After all, the Carlton was a family saloon with an insane 377hp engine sitting inside, rocketing the car to a top speed of 285kph. Thankfully, the MPs must all be busy discussing something else now, for Lotus is about to unleash a 2,000-hp beast on the world this time round.