It’s not often you get to write an article about an all-new Lotus road car, but here we are. Meet the 2020 Lotus Evija. With more than 2000HP on tap, the Evija is the most powerful series production car ever built. As such, the car will– no doubt– prove to be one of the fastest production cars ever built, too, once one of the only 130 examples of the car finally finds its way into the hands of independent testers. Oh! I almost forgot: the new Lotus Eviga is 100% electric.
You read that right. The most powerful production car to ever hit the streets is 100%, fully electric. The Lotus Evija is not a hybrid, like the carbon-bodied McLaren P1, the 1500HP, single-gear Koenigsegg Regera, or the 968 HP Ferrari SF90. It’s not even a “range-extended EV” like the Volvo Polestar 1 or BMW i8. No, this is a straight-up, plug it into the wall and drive it ’til the battery runs dry, state-of-the-art, fully electric vehicle. From Lotus. The same Lotus that, not too long ago, seemed destined for bankruptcy, irrelevance, and the dustbin of history.
Well– that’s not entirely fair, I guess. Because that Lotus is also the same Lotus that developed some of the most innovative racing cars in Grand Prix history. It’s also the very same Lotus that engineered the Elise, whose bonded, extruded aluminum chassis formed the basis for the original Tesla Roadster— the car that, you might argue, launched the modern era of automotive electrification. So, like, looked at in that sort of context, maybe the world’s most powerful, fastest, and (dare I say) prettiest electric supercar was always going to roll out from Lotus’ Hethel, UK factory. Eventually.
Maybe Geely– the Chinese parent company of Volvo and Lynk & Co.– realized that fact before anyone else did, and that’s why they decided to pour a few billion dollars’ worth of realization into Lotus’ war chest to get this thing built rather sooner than later? Seems like it, to me. So, before we get to talking about the car, itself, let’s take a few seconds to just look at the thing …
2020 Lotus Evija Electric Supercar | Gallery
… it’s a stunner. And, if the shape of the all-new Lotus Evija manages to look vaguely familiar, that’s totally intentional. “The shape is inspired by the company’s prototype racing cars of the late Fifties and early Sixties,” explained Russell Carr, Design Director, Lotus Cars. “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 (Lotus Founder) Colin Chapman’s cast-iron rule that no Lotus component goes along for a free ride.”
What Carr means by that is that every component must serve some essential function. There are no excessive adornments or artistic flourishes like Rolls Royce’s
Flying Lady Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament or the Ferrari Testarossa’s famous infamous door strakes.
The scissor-style doors open upward with a “hands-free” operation– you just need the key fob. It’s the first time Lotus has used doors like that on a road car. Once in the car, a switch in the roof console closes the doors. Once inside, “the cabin strikes the perfect balance between the precise functionality of a track car and the comfort of a road car,” reads Lotus’ website. “The driving position is fully adjustable to accommodate the greatest range of occupants. The elegant (adjustable) carbon fiber shell seats are hand-trimmed with thick Alcantara-finished pads.”
The Lotus Evija has a few other features of note, as well. First-ever laser low-beam headlights, for example– but, more importantly, it also features a mid-mounted battery, ultra lightweight magnesium wheels, and a whole slew of cleverly sculpted body panels that develop massive downforce without massive drag. In another first, teh Lotus Evija is also the company’s first all-wheel drive production car, and combines its individual electric motors with advanced, traction-keeping software to deliver “the optimum blend of extreme track performance and on-road comfort.”
All of which is the long form of saying: it’s a thing.
I am absolutely smitten, at this point– what about you guys? Do you think this ultra-fast electric Lotus is the biggest nail in the internal combustion engine’s coffin, yet, or just a PR stunt to help sell electrified Volvo and Geely cars? Question 2: would that even be such a bad thing, anyway? Read the official Lotus press release, below, then leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Evija: Lotus Unveils World’s Most Powerful Production Car
- Lotus Evija makes world debut in front of more than 350 international media and VIP guests
- Convoy of 12 historic and current Lotus cars – all yellow – whipped up interest around London and outside the venue
- UK Business Secretary calls Evija “a testament to the skills and expertise of the workforce at Lotus”
- Huge interest on social media: more than 500,000 YouTube views in 12 hours
- Evija is a bold statement of intent from Lotus, illustrating the company’s ambition
- Target output of 2000 PS means Evija is world’s most powerful series production road car
- First all-electric British hypercar and first Lotus with an electrified powertrain
Resurgent British sports car maker Lotus has unveiled the Evija, the world’s first all-electric British hypercar, at an exclusive event in London, hosted at the Royal Horticultural Halls, Victoria.
Over two sessions, more than 350 VIP guests attended. They were made up of international automotive, business, technology and design media, plus a host of UK business leaders, corporate and commercial partners, government officials, Lotus employees, racing drivers and other distinguished friends of the brand.
Also in attendance was a delegation of senior figures from Geely Auto, the world’s fastest growing automotive group and majority shareholder of Group Lotus. Phil Popham, Lotus Cars CEO, and Russell Carr, Design Director, presented the striking two-seater EV hypercar to the audience. Popham described it as a bold statement of intent from the iconic British company, illustrative of its ambition under the stewardship of Geely. He added: “Evija will re-establish Lotus as a leader in terms of engineering and design. It is a hypercar that is built ‘For The Drivers’.”
Russell Carr commented: “The Evija is beyond anything Lotus has ever done… beyond anything I’ve ever done. We have created something beautiful, something new, dramatic and unique.”
The Rt Hon Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, attended the unveiling. He commented: “Our auto industry has long been a source of national pride. The launch of the UK’s first all-electric hypercar – designed, engineered and built here in the UK – is testament to the skills and expertise of the workforce at Lotus. He added: “A key part of our modern Industrial Strategy is to seize the opportunities of the future of mobility, including the move from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles. The Lotus Evija fits with this clear ambition.”
Further speeches were made by Mr An Conghui, President of Geely Holding Group and CEO of Geely Auto, and by Minister Ma Hui, from the Chinese Embassy, London.
The Evija is the most powerful and dynamically accomplished road car in the history of Lotus, and sets a new standard for Lotus driving performance. It is the first all-electric British hypercar and the first Lotus with an electrified powertrain. It is also the first new model since Geely took control (of Lotus) in 2017.
A technical tour de force, the Evija is illustrative of the innovative thinking and ingenuity that has always been part of the Lotus DNA. With a target output of 2000 PS, it is the world’s most powerful series production road car. It has been designed and engineered in the UK, and will be produced at Hethel, UK, the home of Lotus since 1966. A maximum of 130 will be built.
News of the unveil event exploded on social media as the car was unveiled. Within 12 hours videos of the Evija had been viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube.
Buzz around the Evija’s debut had been whipped up amongst fans and the public, thanks to a convoy of 12 historic and current Lotus sports cars – all yellow – which had driven around Central London during the afternoon. Crowds of intrigued onlookers, who gathered as the cars lined up outside the venue in the evening, further increased excitement.
Speaking as the event drew to a close, Phil Popham commented: “The world premiere of the Evija has been nothing short of spectacular – the perfect way to start a new chapter in this iconic company’s history. I am incredibly proud of what the team has achieved.” He added: “The Evija is a seismic shift for Lotus and signifies the rebirth of one of the UK’s most renowned sports car marques. It will act as a halo for the thrilling new range of Lotus performance cars that will follow.”
Source | Images: Lotus Cars.