The development of the first all-electric Lotus hypercar, the Lotus Evija, is well underway as the British carmaker prepares for start of production next year.
In a newly released video, the 2000 hp Evija is seen testing on track at Hethel, UK – Lotus’s base – with all driving aids and torque vectoring switched off.
Lotus has three prototype on test for the Evija, and the one featured in this test is engineering prototype #2, which is the most advanced chassis of all three.
The prototype features final production-specification suspensions, EV powertrain, brakes and carbon-fibre body panels, and hydraulics system for the deployment of the car’s active aerodynamics.
Prototype #2 also features the most complete interior of the bunch, with key elements such as the ‘ski slope-style’ floating centre console already in place.
In the driving seat for the all-electric prototype is Gavan Kershaw, Lotus Cars Director of Attributes and Product Integrity. He noted that “The car is in a completely pure state at the moment, with no stability control or torque-vectoring.
“This is so we can evaluate the fundamentals of the chassis, to create the mechanical advantage before the other layers, such as the electronics, are added. It means we can really read the car. Later we can tune what we’ve gained as a mechanical advantage as we add layers.
“It’s the Lotus way – get the fundamentals right from the start and use baseline aerodynamics, suspension kinematics and geometry to feel the vehicle’s response,” Kershaw added.
However, Lotus purists may still argue that the true Lotus way, “simplify, then add lightness”, is long gone now, with the Evija coming in at 1680 kg, despite being carbon fibre bodied.
Contributing to the significant weight is the four electric motors that produce 2,000 hp and 1,700 Nm – making it the most powerful production hypercar in the world come 2020.
The production-specification Lotus Evija will use a 70 kWh battery. Range is estimated at 400 km on the WLTP scale, and can be topped off in 9 minutes with a 800 kW charger.
Kershaw reaffirms that the Evija will still drive like a Lotus. “I feel really at home in it, it’s really driveable. We assessed the stability and agility through tight corners. We did brisk accelerations to work out the torque split and looked at tyre grip and response.
“It’s also about bringing in experience from other vehicles – what we know from driving Exige and Evora, the Lotus GT race cars – and making sure that core Lotus DNA is all at its absolute best in the Evija.”