Published on July 17th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Lotus Evija launched in London With 2,000PS and 1700Nm
Insane acceleration of 0-100km/h in just 3 seconds
We are sure Colin Chapman is smiling from ear to ear from up in the heavens at the sight of this all new Lotus hypercar. Finally, his Lotus brand gets to play alongside the biggest names in the supercar segment.
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and evenAston Martin will be having long meetings this next few days to figure outtheir next move to keep ahead of this new LOTUS EVIJA and the possible newmodels that will be coming out of its brand new factory in China.
Yes, Lotus owner, Geely has built a brandnew state-of-the-art factory in China to start building a series of sports andsupercars to rival the big names in the market we mentioned above and also takeon the likes of Porsche in production numbers and model range.
Interesting times ahead for this once ultrasmall niche car manufacturer who were selling so few cars that its previous ownerProton were struggling to keep its Malaysian showroom open and active untilGeely came and bought it outright and revived it with a huge investment.
Press Release: At first known only by its Lotus Type number – Type 130 – the car has been christened the Lotus Evija (pronounced ‘E-vi-ya’). As a name it is derived from variations of Eve, and means ‘the first in existence’ or ‘the living one’. It is highly appropriate; Lotus has an unquestionable reputation for its pioneering approach in both automotive and motorsport.
As the first all-electric British hypercar,the Lotus Evija continues that story of innovation. It also signals the startof an exciting new chapter for Lotus under the stewardship of Geely, thefastest growing automotive group in the world.
Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham said:“Evija is the perfect name for our new car because it is the first all-newcar to come from Lotus as part of the wider Geely family. With Geely’s supportwe are set to create an incredible range of new cars which are true to theLotus name and DNA.”
Astunning exterior inspired by nature
The most striking element of the LotusEvija is its exterior. From every angle the full carbon fibre bodywork isstretched taut, appearing shrink-wrapped over the mechanical components.Crouching low to the ground, with a ride height of just 105 mm, the pronouncedmuscular haunches envelop the teardrop cabin that sinks between them.
Taking inspiration from the aeronauticsindustry, the exterior is a perfectly proportioned blend of fluid forms andcrisp lines. This is clearly illustrated by the gently curved but sharp leadingedge of the bonnet, which is reminiscent of so many classic Lotus road and racecars.
Cues for the Lotus Evija’s surface languagewas also taken from nature. Russell Carr, Design Director, Lotus Cars,commented: “During the initial design stage we spent many hours studyingimages of geological forms – rocks that had been carved by nature over thecenturies. We believe we’ve captured these beautiful, intriguing and elementallines within the Evija.”
True to Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s corebelief that every component should serve multiple purposes, the exterior designis also exceptionally efficient on every level. The most obvious example ofthis – and unquestionably the most dramatic element of the exterior – is theVenturi tunnel which pierces each rear quarter. Inspired by Le Mans race cars,they optimise air flow by directing it through the bodyshell.
Aside from creating a breath-takingpresence, this design concept – known as ‘porosity’ – aids the delivery ofhigh-energy air flow to the rear of the car. This in turn counteracts the low pressurebehind the car to reduce drag. Furthermore, the Venturi effect inside thetunnels pulls air through the rear wheel arch louvres, maintaining air qualityin the diffuser.
When viewed from the rear of the car, eachtunnel is edged with a red LED to create a striking ribbon-style lightsignature. The result is a stunning visual effect that’s akin to theafterburners on a fighter jet, especially when seen at night. As an extradetail, an LED hidden within each tunnel illuminates its interior.
The directional indicators are incorporatedinto the corners of the ribbon, while the reversing light is provided by theilluminated ‘T’ of the ‘LOTUS’ wordmark above the integrated charging flap.
Another key feature of the Evija’ssophisticated aerodynamic system is the bi-plane front splitter. It’s anotherillustration of form and function working perfectly in tandem. Designed inthree sections, the larger central area provides air to cool the battery pack –mid-mounted behind the two seats – while the air channelled through the twosmaller outer sections cools the front e-axle. Lotus aficionados may notice arespectful nod to the iconic Type 72 Formula 1 car, with its square frontcentral section and two side wings.
Activeaerodynamics for exceptional downforce
The Lotus Evija is the first Lotus road carto ever feature a full carbon fibre chassis. Moulded as a single piece forexceptional strength, rigidity and safety, the full length of the underside issculpted to optimise downforce. It includes an integrated air diffuser whichextends from under the B-pillars to the rear.
Active aerodynamics are deployed in theform of a rear spoiler, which elevates from its resting position flush to theupper bodywork, and an F1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS). Both are deployedautomatically in Track mode, though can be deployed manually in other modes.
The absence of traditional door mirrorsplays a part in reducing drag. Cameras integrated into the front wings areelectronically deployed on unlock, while another camera built into the roofprovides a central view. Images are displayed on three interior screens.
Advancedpure EV powertrain means record-breaking power
With target figures of 2,000 PS of powerand 1,700 Nm of torque, the Lotus Evija is the world’s most powerful productionroad car. Key to that exceptional power output is the 2,000 kW lithium-ionbattery, supplied with its management system by Williams Advanced Engineering(WAE) as part of a joint venture with Lotus to collaborate on advancedpropulsion technologies. WAE won a 2018 Queen’s Award for Enterprise fortranslating its EV expertise from the race track to road-going vehicles.
The battery pack is mounted centrallybehind the passenger compartment, and its cover is visible through the glassrear screen. This positioning delivers significant advantages in terms ofstyling, aerodynamics, packaging, weight distribution, occupant comfort anddynamic handling. It also supports fast and convenient servicing andmaintenance. Furthermore, the set-up has been designed so that in the futurealternative battery packs – for example, to optimise track performance – can beeasily installed.
Power is fed from the battery pack to abespoke in-line axial arrangement of two high-power density e-motors. Thesefeature integrated silicon carbide inverters and epicyclic transmission on eachaxle of the four-wheel drive powertrain. The motors and inverters beingsupplied by Integral Powertrain Ltd.
Four exceptionally compact, extremely lightand highly efficient single-speed, helical gear ground planetary gearboxestransfer power to each driveshaft. Measuring a mere 100mm in depth, eachgearbox comes packaged with the e-motor and inverter as a single cylindricalElectrical Drive Unit (EDU). With a target power of 500 PS per e-motor, this isthe most efficient and elegant engineering solution to deploying so much powerwith precision.
Torque-vectoring, enabled by the foure-motors, provides exceptional dynamic response and agility on the road. Thisfully automatic, self-adjusting system can instantly distribute power to anycombination of two, three or four wheels within a fraction of a second. InTrack mode the ability to add more power to individual wheels enables theradius of corners to be tightened, potentially reducing lap times.
The Lotus Evija is equipped with ESPstability control to ensure safety in all road conditions, with further gripprovided by the four-wheel drive system. A pure steering feel – a vitalingredient of every Lotus – is assured via an electro-hydraulic system.
The car is built on a one-piecemotorsport-inspired carbon fibre monocoque chassis. It is supplied by CPC, theModena, Italy-based world-leader in composite technology. Constructed frommultiple carbon plies, the manufacturing process is identical to that of an F1chassis, and ensures the lightest, stiffest, safest and most technicallyadvanced Lotus road car platform ever built. The total weight of the monocoquetub is a mere 129kg.
This chassis, coupled with innovativeengineering and clever packaging throughout every element of the Lotus Evija’spowertrain, has contributed to the class-leading target weight of 1,680kg inits lightest specification.
As with every Lotus, the Evija is ‘For TheDrivers’ and its searing pace is delivered in one seamless, sustained surge.The 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint is completed in under three seconds, while thetop speed is in excess of 200 mph (340 km/h).
These headline statistics only tell part ofthe car’s performance story. Matt Windle, Executive Director, Sports CarEngineering, Lotus Cars, explained: “The Lotus Evija has astonishingacceleration at higher speeds. It takes less than nine seconds to reach 300km/h which is better than any other direct competitor.”
Further performance figures includeacceleration from 100-200 km/h in less than three seconds, and 200-300 km/h inless than four seconds.
Power can also be delivered over asustained period. The car’s advanced aerodynamics and four-radiator coolingpackage keep the battery at an optimum temperature. It means that the LotusEvija is capable of being driven flat out with no derate for at least sevenminutes in Track mode.
Matt Windle continued: “With the LotusEvija we have an extremely efficient electric powertrain package, capable ofdelivering 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 newstandards for engineering excellence.”
As part of the development and validationprocess, Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering have conducted thousands ofhours of virtual testing and digital analysis. This comprehensive programmewill ensure the car’s meets its performance targets and exceeds customers’expectation.
As a pure EV the Evija will be ultra-quietat low speeds. During this time regulations require that it emits a digitallycreated sound – transmitted via a front-mounted speaker – which will alert pedestriansto its presence.
While the flowing lines create a veryorganic look, Russell Carr, Design Director, Lotus Cars, believes that it isimportant that the car visually conveys its technical achievements. “Whenyou look through the rear glass, you can see the battery pack cover and thein-board suspension. This link between the human and the precision engineeringis essential for a Lotus. We want people to have the sense that they areengaging with the power and performance of the car. We refer to it astechnology with soul.”
Arevolution in charging
Not only does the Lotus Evija feature theworld’s most powerful automotive drivetrain, it also boasts the world’s fastestcharging battery. Thanks to the partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering,the battery has the ability to accept an 800kW charge. Although charging unitscapable of delivering this are not yet commercially available, when they are itwill be possible to fully replenish the battery in just nine minutes.
Using existing charging technology – suchas a 350kW unit, which is currently the most powerful available – the Evija’scharge time will be 12 mins to 80% and 18 mins to 100%. The car’s range is 250miles (400 km) on the WLTP Combined Cycle, or 270 miles on the NEDC CombinedCycle. Lotus is in discussions with external suppliers on a charging solutionfor customers.
The CCS2 charging socket is hidden behind avented flap at the rear of the car. In the same location is a small plaque,reminding customers of the Britishness of the Evija.
Motorsport-inspiredinterior is a technical tour de force
The interior of the Lotus Evija is asdramatic as the exterior. Inspired by the technical precision of race carengineering, the dominant characteristic of the cabin is the ‘floating wing’dashboard which can be glimpsed from outside through the windscreen. The designalso echoes the porosity of the exterior.
“The shape is inspired by thecompany’s prototype racing cars of the late Fifties and early Sixties,”explained Russell Carr, Design Director, Lotus Cars. “It has a beauty andan elegance to it, and represents a typically Lotus approach because itperforms multiple functions. It houses the instrument panel and air ducts, andis also an integral structural support. It reinforces Colin Chapman’s cast-ironrule that no Lotus component goes along for a free ride.”
Access to the cabin is through the twodihedral doors. Handle-free to preserve the sculpted exterior, they’re operatedvia the key fob. It’s the first time Lotus has used such doors, and while theymake for a moment of dramatic theatre they also provide maximum space forgetting in and out.
An exceptional attention to detail – aspeople would expect from Lotus – is at the heart of the interior. For example,visible carbon fibre surfaces enhance the sense of light weight, while a thinmetal band – engraved with the words ‘For The Drivers’ – runs centrally throughthe squab of both seats.
Once in the car, a switch in the roofconsole closes the doors. The location aids the minimalist layout of the maincontrol panel and prevents them being activated accidentally. Russell Carr,Design Director, Lotus Cars, explained it’s in tribute one of the most iconicLotus cars, commenting: “Versions of the Lotus Esprit Turbo featured ahuge roof console in the late Seventies and early Eighties. It’s not somethingyou might expect on a contemporary hypercar but Lotus fans will love theconnection.”
Inside, the cabin strikes the perfectbalance between the precise functionality of a track car and the comfort of aroad car. The driving position is fully adjustable to accommodate the greatestrange of occupants. The elegant carbon fibre shell seats are hand-trimmed withthick Alcantara-finished pads, and feature manual fore / aft adjustment pluselectric back operation. The steering column is manually adjustable for bothrake and reach. Three-point seatbelts are fitted as standard, with four-pointharnesses an option. Built into the bodyshell, close to the occupants’ hippoint, are two bespoke storage areas.
The design of the steering wheel, similarto that found in an LMP or F1 car, further reinforces the Evija’s sportingintentions. The outer ring is finished in Alcantara as standard with leatheravailable as an option. Buttons are grouped in an intuitive manner and governfunctions including phone use, cruise control and DRS deployment.
Mounted centrally at the base of thewheel’s hub is the mode controller. There are five modes – Range, City, Tour,Sport and Track – with various of the car’s performance features activated ordeactivated depending on which is selected.
Ahead of the steering wheel is a state-of-the-artdigital display, providing the driver with key information such as mode,battery charge and remaining range. It is the car’s only screen, putting allnecessary information in one place. The screen displays essential functionsonly, with information appearing as required when the appropriate button ispushed, then fading when no longer needed.
Further controls are located on thefloating ‘ski slope-style’ centre console, which features touch-sensitivehaptic feedback buttons. Each is integrated in hexagonal recesses to help guidethe driver’s fingers. As the light plays over the surface it creates an almostorganic visual effect. The driver can also interact intuitively with the car’stechnology via a control wheel. The honeycomb design of the buttons isreplicated on indicator stalks and on the surface of the aluminium foot pedals.
The Evija’s cabin has been deliberatelydesigned so that the occupants feel they are at one with the vehicle. “Atthe core of the appeal of any Lotus is that the driver is in sync with the carat all times and almost feels as if they are wearing it,” said RussellCarr, Design Director, Lotus Cars. “Looking out from behind the wheel,it’s a wonderfully emotional moment to be able to see the bodywork outside, bothin front and behind you. That’s something we hope to enhance in future Lotusmodels.”
Climate control and a premium infotainmentsystem are fitted as standard. Customers can seamlessly integrate theirsmartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, accessing their own music andnavigation.
Extremetrack performance and on-road comfort
Calibrated to provide the optimum blend ofextreme track performance and on-road comfort, the Lotus Evija’smotorsport-derived suspension features three adaptive spool-valve dampers foreach axle. Two are corner dampers with a third to control heave. These aremounted in-board to optimise the aerodynamic performance. They are manufacturedby Multimatic, specialists in developing high-performance suspension technologyfor on-road, off-road and motorsport applications including Formula 1.
Magnesium wheels provide optimum lightnessand strength, and are sized 20 and 21 inches at the front and rearrespectively. They are shod with Pirelli Trofeo R tyres, developed specificallyto achieve ultimate performance. To deal with the Evija’s extreme performance,the car is equipped with a forged aluminium AP Racing braking system withcarbon ceramic discs front and rear.
Technology:World-first laser lighting
The Lotus Evija is the first productionroad car in the world to feature laser lights for both main and dipped beams.Produced by Osram, the lighting modules are very compact and will provide anoutstanding view of the road or track ahead. The strikingly thin verticalheadlamps provide the perfect balance of crystal-like beauty and a highlytechnical design. Inside the lenses, unique ‘wing-like’ elements form thedaytime running lights and directional indicators.
Technology:Connected to the cloud
The Lotus Evija is the first Lotus toprovide drivers with a full suite of digital connected infotainment, which willbenefit from over-the-air software updates. A powerful on-board modem enablescommunication to the cloud, and the driver can interact with that data througha Lotus smartphone app. The app will enable drivers to monitor their Evija fromanywhere in the world, for example, to check the battery charge status anddriving range. It will also support remote use of air-con, to heat or cool thecabin ahead of the next drive.
The Evija’s infotainment system includes achronograph to allow the driver to record their lap times. Connection to thecloud means they can view their performance while at the track and recallprevious sessions through the app.
Theultimate in personalisation
Lotus will offer Lotus Evija customers anunparalleled level of personalisation, enabling them to specify the car exactlyas they wish. This will include the opportunity to select unique paintfinishes, interior trims and detailing.
Marquetry-style badging will providefurther bespoke opportunities. Lotus has developed the ability to inlay metalelements directly into the carbon fibre bodyshell, so that the badge sitscompletely flush with the bodywork. Currently the Evija carries a partial UnionFlag badge on the C-pillar, signifying its status as a British-built hypercar.However, this could be another flag, a family crest or personal logo.
“This marquetry-style badging issimilar to that associated with traditional cabinet-making, where you inlaydifferent colours of wood,” explained Russell Carr, Design Director, LotusCars. “On the Evija it’s really is up to the customer to choose whatevermaterials and designs appeal to them.”
Lotus is also developing a comprehensiveprogramme of bespoke experiential activities for Lotus Evija owners. These willinclude VIP track days and other high-performance motorsport opportunities.
Puttingthe customer first
The Lotus Evija has been designed andengineered at Lotus’ historic home in Hethel, UK, and production will begin ina new dedicated on-site manufacturing facility during 2020.
A maximum of 130 examples will be built,guaranteeing exclusivity to match the stunning looks, ground-breakingtechnology and world-beating performance. They will be sold directly tocustomers by Lotus, with the global network of 220 retailers in support. Plansto service and maintain the car for each owner are currently in development.
The Lotus Evija is priced from £1.7m plusduties and taxes. A £250,000 deposit secures a production slot.
Builtin Great Britain, great for Great Britain
The UK is already recognised as aworld-leader in high-performance automotive production. Lotus has been at theheart of that success for 71 years. The Lotus Evija will further cement theglobal status and reputation of this important UK industry sector, and itsassociated and diverse supply chain.
However, as the first all-electric hypercarfrom a British car maker, the launch of the Evija sees Lotus deliver an opportunityfor new and exciting expansion of the sector. Increasing consumer awareness anddemand for the astonishing performance available through EV powertrains meansnew growth and new skills, and Lotus intends to be key player in thatrevolution.
Atrue Lotus in every sense
The Lotus Evija is faithful in concept anddetail to the pioneering principles which company founder Colin Chapman used tobuild his first car in 1948. In common with every new Lotus, the Evija has beenseen by members of the Chapman family. At a private viewing of the Evija, HazelChapman – Colin’s widow – commented: “It’s very beautiful and I can’t waitto see it on the road.”
As with every Lotus, the Evija features theinitials ACBC (Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman) in its badge. Chapman guided thecompany to astonishing levels of success on the road and track before hisuntimely death in 1982, aged just 54. Seven Formula One constructors’championships and six Formula One drivers’ titles tell only a small part of thestory. His pioneering approach to engineering led to an incredible range ofworld-first technical innovations.
- Type 14: the world’s firstcomposite monocoque production road car (Elite, 1957)
- Type 25: the world’s firstfully-stressed monocoque F1 car, and the first Lotus to win F1 worldchampionship (1963)
- Type 72: the most successful F1car of all time and the blueprint for F1 car design for many years(Championship winner in 1970, 1972 and 1973)
- Type 78: the world’s first‘ground effect’ F1 car (1977)
- Type 88: the world’s firstcarbon fibre F1 car (1981)
- Type 92: the world’s firstactive suspension F1 car (1983)
- Type 111: the world’s firstaluminium and bonded extrusion construction production car (Lotus Elise, 1995)
- Type 130: the Lotus Evija, thefirst fully electric British hypercar (2019)