Automotive Lotus E-R9 hero photo exterior

Published on February 21st, 2021 | by Subhash Nair

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Lotus Shows You What A Future F1 Car Might Look Like

Lotus looks to its past to conceptualise the future of Formula 1 with this E-R9.

The Lotus name has been absent from Formula 1 since 2015, but the company is deeply involved in the discipline. They have a genuinely stellar record in F1, with 13 championship titles under their belt. While they’re probably not going to be back at it with their own team name for a while, they’re now looking at what the future of F1 might be like. To that end, they’ve created the E-R9.

The E-R9 is a dramatic new design study for a next-generation pure electric endurance racer. They imagine something like this should hit the F1 grid in less than 10 years. They have chosen the iconic black and gold colours as a nod to their motorsport heritage.

Why ‘E-R9’?

As far as names go, E-R9 is clearly not the sexiest or most memorable. But here’s why they’ve decided to go for it.

E-R stands for Endurance Racer, while 9 is the car’s competition number carefully chosen in tribute to Lotus’ racing past. It was in a Lotus Mark IX that the race team made its debut appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours, with company founder Colin Chapman among the drivers competing. The year was 1955, meaning the E-R9 race car concept – if raced in 2030 – would be in celebration of the Mark IX’s 75th anniversary.

If you’d like to learn more about the E-R9, check out the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE

Finished in striking black and gold – a clear nod to Lotus’ pioneering motorsport heritage that led to 13 Formula 1 championship titles – the EV features a sleek fighter jet-style canopy centrally mounted in a delta-wing upper body. Innovations include advanced active aerodynamics with ‘morphing’ body panels and vertically mounted control surfaces to assist with high-speed cornering.

The E-R9 has been developed by Lotus Engineering, the globally renowned consultancy division of the business which delivers projects for external clients. The car has been created as a technology showcase of its philosophy, capability and innovative spirit in the fields of advanced electrified powertrains and aerodynamics.

The E-R9 was developed by the engineering team of Richard Hill, chief aerodynamicist at Lotus, and Louis Kerr, principal platform engineer on the Lotus Evija pure electric hypercar as well as technical director, GT, Geely Group Motorsports International. Visually it was brought to life by the Lotus Design team, led by Russell Carr, Design Director for Lotus.

Chief among the car’s aero innovations are its ‘morphing’ body panels. Located across the delta-wing profile, this adaptability – where active surfaces can change their shape and attitude to the air flow either at the press of a button by the driver or automatically according to performance sensor inputs – would deliver minimum drag on the straights and maximum downforce in the corners. Vertical control surfaces at the rear would generate aerodynamic forces to help the car change direction, without the limitations of grip at the tyre contact patch. The result is a racer that’s partly driven like a car and partly flown like a fighter jet.

The Lotus E-R9 features an advanced electric drivetrain powering each wheel independently, a system enhanced with torque-vectoring. It builds on technology already integrated on the Lotus Evija pure electric hypercar, though for the E-R9 would be fully adjustable by the driver on the move.

Further details and more images of the Lotus E-R9 can be found in the March issue of evo magazine. On sale from today, it includes a 32-page supplement dedicated to the past, present and exciting future stories of the Lotus Engineering consultancy.

From the pioneering work of Colin Chapman in the early 1950s, via countless projects which the team has worked on in the decades since – some never revealed before – it’s a fascinating glimpse into a business which has done more than most to shape the automotive industry today.

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Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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