Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson a month ago
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The Electric Lotus Elise And Exige Successors Will Still Be Mid-Engined (Kind Of)

Hethel's newly revealed Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture can accommodate multiple battery capacities and mounting locations

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Lotus - The Electric Lotus Elise And Exige Successors Will Still Be Mid-Engined (Kind Of) - News

The announcement of Lotus‘ all-new electric sports car platform might, you’d think, involve an oh-so predictable ‘skateboard‘ style. But you’d only be half right - Hethel’s Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture can adopt more than one battery mounting point.

Option A with the ‘Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture’ (LEVA) involves a ‘chest’ layout featuring a double stack of battery cells mounted across the car behind the cabin. First seen on the Evija, there are multiple benefits to this approach - first off, it means the seats can be mounted a lot lower, which then keeps the roof line down for more traditional sports car proportions.

Lotus - The Electric Lotus Elise And Exige Successors Will Still Be Mid-Engined (Kind Of) - News

Secondly, the resulting weight distribution would help future Lotus EVs mimic the driving characteristics of the mid-engined cars these plug-in beasts are set to replace.

The chest layout will come in two different formats - a shorter wheelbase (minimum 2,470mm) version with an eight-module, 66.4kWh battery, and a longer wheelbase (over 2,650mm) car with a 12-module, 99.6kWh pack. The former, likely to be adopted for the Elise’s successor, will use a single motor for a total output of 469bhp. The latter sounds a lot like the Exige’s successor meanwhile, and it’s a lot more powerful, with a twin-motor powertrain providing a whopping 872bhp.

Lotus - The Electric Lotus Elise And Exige Successors Will Still Be Mid-Engined (Kind Of) - News

Option B is the ‘slab’ type - yes, also known as the ‘skateboard’. It stores the battery under the floor, raising the driving position but opening up the possibility of a 2+2 seating arrangement. It’ll be limited to an eight-module, 66.4kWh battery pack, although there will be a choice of either single (469bhp) or dual (872bhp) motor setups. This will likely be the setup of choice for the next-generation Evora.

Just like the now 25-year-old Elise, the cars it spawned and the new Emira), the achitecture is made from bonded aluminium. It’s more advanced than the Emira’s platform, though, with a 37 per cent rear structure.

Lotus - The Electric Lotus Elise And Exige Successors Will Still Be Mid-Engined (Kind Of) - News

Speaking about the new platform and hinting that Lotus’ volume production EVs won’t be a bunch of fatties like a lot of their intended rivals, Lotus engineering executive director Richard Moore said:

“Today’s EVs are heavy in comparison to their ICE equivalents, so the ARMD funding has helped Lotus to innovate earlier in the product cycle and develop a new vehicle architecture that targets lightweight and performance density from conception. Rather than developing a single vehicle, it means Lotus now has the ‘blueprint’ for the next generation of electric sports cars, for future Lotus products and for the Lotus Engineering consultancy to commercialise.”