Lotus as a brand has always shrouded itself with mystique and over the past few years has been trying to exorcise the ghosts of its past debacle. In 2010 under ex-CEO Dany Bahar, Lotus had shocked the world with not one but 5 gorgeous concept cars that immediately propelled itself to the center of the world’s attention.
In many ways, it was the right thing to do as it was the next step that is needed to take in order to be a rival to the likes of Porsche or even Ferrari. The word Lotus brings Colin Chapman, F1, and Roger Moore to your minds; now the Norfolk based car-maker would be hoping it would be the Evija.
The Evija is a new hypercar that will cost a staggering 2 million pounds and promises to alter physics while ripping the hypercar rulebook to shreds. It is Lotus in one-go taking a swipe at the Mercedes AMG One and Aston Martin Valkyrie while reaching for the stratosphere in terms of clientele. Pretty bullish if you ask us but a closer look at this ‘fighter jet for the road’ monster and you will see the method rearing its head around this madness.
Lotus has always meant lightweight sports cars and its founder, Colin Chapman was fanatical about saving weight. The cars bearing the Lotus have been icons to this day including the Elise and Exige. These are track-focused lightweight cars that trade ergonomics for the ultimate feel and the thrill of motoring.
The Evija is a different kind of thrill. Possibly about leaving a Bugatti owner red-faced at traffic lights since the Evija will do 0-186 mph in less than 9 seconds. Let that number sink in for a moment as the all-electric Evija can easily outrun internal combustion-engined hypercars or even the hybrid ones quite easily.
We all know that speed is the biggest allure of an electric car and the countless Tesla drag races on the web have only proved that. In-case of the Evija, it has a mind-numbing 2,000 PS of power and 1,700 Nm of torque. It is the most powerful road car. Ever. Being an EV the key to all those galloping horses is the 2,000 kW lithium-ion battery which is mounted behind the passenger compartment. And of course, you get four electric motors coupled with four single-speed gearboxes no less!
The 0-62 mph time and the top-speed seem a bit conservative though at ‘under’ 3 seconds and ‘excess’ of 200 mph. A slightly less glamorous figure is the 250-mile range.
Of course with electric cars, the caveat has to be the weight of those batteries and components. Lotus, being the flag-bearer for light-weight sports cars has certainly done their best to avoid this anomaly.
Being built on a one-piece motorsport-inspired carbon fiber monocoque chassis, the whole monocoque tub weighs only 129 kg while the car’s weight is 1,680kg.
However, not just straight-line histrionics as aerodynamic properties of the Evija are also top-drawer. The suspension is dripping with motorsport DNA and it has lightweight magnesium wheels along with specifically made tires. The techno-wizardry does not end there as you have F1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS), active rear spoiler plus there are no traditional mirrors also- so as to not to reduce the drag!
However, amidst this rather impressive technology showcase, the Evija gets one thing right- its design. It is unquestionably a beautiful car and that is something of a rarity these days. The shape is low and streamlined while dotted with stunning details. Lotus says the inspiration has been its glorious prototype racing cars of the 50s and 60s. Our favorite bit has to be the rear styling with all those red LEDs as when lit up, they mimic the afterburners of a fighter jet.
Getting inside the Evija is via dihedral doors which can be accessed only via the key. The dashboard reminds you of Star Trek than anything else. It looks bare and the carbon fiber shell holds two Alcantara seats while exposed carbon everywhere adds to the sense of purity.
The F1 like steering wheel just fits in perfectly here while it is festooned with buttons of all kinds. The dash gets haptic feedback infused touch surfaces while the car is having a digitally connected infotainment system.
Amongst other things, a chronograph allows the driver to record their lap times. Plus is connected to the cloud data means that owners can compare with their previous track sessions too! Of course, a car like this thrives on personalization and customers can do bespoke style badging and also pretty much get anything they want in terms of paint finishes and various interior trims.
Around 130 would be built so pulling up next to an Evija at a charging station is highly unlikely and that exclusivity is what buyers crave for when paying so much. A £250,000 deposit gets you a production slot (it might have sold out though, sorry) and if you are a billionaire being bored of having the ‘same’ supercars, this is a fine way to joining the elite hypercar club.
Lotus is entering a fiercely contested arena with Pagani, Koenigsegg on one hand and the Mercedes AMG One, Aston Valkyrie, and Rimac on the other. Not to mention the Pininfarina Battista and the upcoming La Ferrari replacement.
However unlike all of the above; Lotus promises that cars would be delivered to customers at the end of this year. Making these highly complex hypercars road legal and complying with all regulations is something that is difficult looking at the outrageous specifications of these cars. Thus Lotus seems to be ahead of others on this aspect and for now, has made the prettiest one also.
The Evija is perhaps the first electric hypercar that we have endeared to the most as it does not have only speed and numbers as its main arsenal as there is design plus mechanical purity. It was always ambitious for Lotus to do this but it seems they have pulled it off by the skin of its teeth. What we are glad about is that beneath all that technology and horsepower, lies a proper Lotus at heart.