It’s almost as though Lotus was sick of motoring hacks making jokes about its ability to make ‘new’ models out of thin air. You know the drill - a bit of carbon here, some suspension tweaks there, a small increase in power, and hey presto! It’s the latest Lotus!
What Hethel has just revealed, though, is such a big enough step change, we all need to shut up at take notice. It really can be described as new, without any inverted commas involved. It’s called the Evija - a name which means ‘the first in existence’ - and it’s an all electric hypercar.
The “target” output for the car is 2000PS (1944bhp) and 1253lb ft of torque, which it’ll deliver using a quartet of electric motors - one for each wheel - and a mid-mounted battery pack supplied Williams Advanced Engineering. Lotus says the powertrain is “the lightest, most energy dense, electric power package ever fitted to a road car”.
This means helps keep the weight low - the whole shebang will tip the scales at 1680kg. For a car permanently carrying around a massive stack of battery cells, that’s an astonishingly low figure. This will make the Evija extremely fast, although Lotus isn’t yet ready to give specific figures. The 0-62mph time will be under three seconds, 0-186mph will be over in under nine, and the top speed is going to be in excess of 200mph.
The Evija features two large venturi tunnels positioned high in the all-carbonfibre bodywork, allowing air to pass through the car. The rear exits for the tunnels are surrounded by LEDs to create what Lotus calls a “ribbon-style light signature,” making the back of the car look like a fighter jet with its afterburners on. Nice.
Also on the aero agenda is a ‘bi-plane’ front splitter, the central aera of which sends cooling air to the battery pack, while the two smaller parts channel air to cool the front motors. At the back, there’s a rear spoiler controlled by an F1-like drag reduction system. Finally, the are no mirrors, with the Evija instead using cameras to reduce drag even further. They sit just in front of the dihedral doors, integrated into the wings.
The inboard, pushrod dampers are supplied by Multimatic - the manufacturers of the Ford GT - and there are three for each axle. The 20-inch front/21-inch rear wheels are made from magnesium, meanwhile, and are wrapped in super-sticky Pirelli Trofeo R semi-slick tyres. When it comes to slowing down, AP Racing brakes with carbon ceramic discs are on the case.
After you’ve been enjoying all of that posh chassis stuff and the near-2000bhp output of the electric powertrain, you are going to need to think about charging the Evija. Thankfully, it’s compatible with 350kW chargers. Admittedly, there aren’t many of those around right now, but the network should have come along nicely by the time the car arrives. Hooked up to one, it can receive an 80 per cent charge in 12 minutes. Stick around for another six minutes, and the battery pack will be fully juiced.
Only 130 examples will be made, in a nod to the Evija’s Type 130 codename. The deposit is £250,000, while the full price is a hefty £1.7 million plus taxes. The hand-built hypercar will enter production at Hethel in 2020.