The Lotus Evija has officially made its world debut, dubbed as “the first all-electric British hypercar”.
With a power output of 1972 bhp and 1254 lb-ft of torque, it is also being claimed as “the world’s most powerful series production road car”.
Zero-to-62 mph is said to take under three seconds and top speed is listed at “over 200 mph” – and all while delivering a driving range of 250 miles.
And it doesn’t stop there: The car’s carbon-fibre monocoque reportedly makes it the world’s lightest production EV hypercar, at 1,680 kg.
Perhaps more importantly, the Evija (pronounced ‘E-vi-ya’) also ushers in a new design language for Lotus, which will evolve and reappear on its future cars.
Laying low to the ground, with a ride height of just 105 mm, the car’s exterior bodywork is said to have been inspired from the aeronautics industry as well as from nature.
“During the initial design stage we spent many hours studying images of geological forms – rocks that had been carved by nature over the centuries. We believe we’ve captured these beautiful, intriguing and elemental lines within the Evija,” reckons Lotus design director, Russell Carr.
Aerodynamic features include the Venturi tunnel that pierces each rear quarter. Reportedly inspired by Le Mans race cars, they optimise air flow by directing it through the bodyshell.
When viewed from the rear of the car, each tunnel is edged with a red LED to create a ribbon-style light signature. The result is a visual effect that’s akin to the afterburners on a fighter jet, especially when seen at night, according to the Lotus design team. As an extra detail, an LED hidden within each tunnel illuminates its interior.
The directional indicators are incorporated into the corners of the ribbon, while the reversing light is provided by the illuminated ‘T’ of the ‘LOTUS’ wordmark above the integrated charging flap.
Another key feature of the Evija’s aerodynamic system is the bi-plane front splitter. Designed in three sections, the larger central area provides air to cool the 2,000 kW battery pack – mid-mounted behind the two seats and developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering – while the air channelled through the two smaller outer sections cools the front e-axle. Lotus aficionados may even notice a stylistic nod to the famous Type 72 Formula 1 car, with its square front central section and two side wings.
Active aerodynamics, meanwhile, are deployed in the form of a rear spoiler, which rises from its resting position flush to the upper bodywork, and an F1-style drag reduction system, or “DRS”. Both are deployed automatically in Track mode, although they can be deployed manually in other modes too.
The absence of traditional door mirrors further plays a part in reducing drag. Cameras integrated into the front wings are electronically deployed on unlock, while another camera built into the roof provides a central view. Images are displayed on three interior screens.
The latter form part of a motorsport-inspired cabin, which is accessed via two dihedral doors – handle-free, of course, to preserve the car’s sculpted exterior. It marks the first time Lotus has used such doors.
Interior details include carbon-fibre shell seats hand-trimmed with thick Alcantara-finished pads and a floating ‘ski slope-style’ centre console, which features touch-sensitive haptic feedback buttons.
However, the dominant characteristic of the cabin is the ‘floating wing’ dashboard which can be glimpsed from outside through the windscreen.
“The shape is inspired by the company’s prototype racing cars of the late Fifties and early Sixties,” explains Carr. “It has a beauty and an elegance to it, and represents a typically Lotus approach because it performs multiple functions. It houses the instrument panel and air ducts, and is also an integral structural support. It reinforces Colin Chapman’s cast-iron rule that no Lotus component goes along for a free ride.”
Priced at over £1.7m, production of the full carbon-fibre-bodied Evija will be limited to just 130 units – in tribute to its Lotus ‘Type’ number, 130 – beginning in 2020.