The Lotus Evija – the first all-electric British hypercar – has a target power output of 2,000 PS, and 1,700 Nm of torque, making it the world’s most powerful series production road car. It also has a target 0-62mph in under three seconds, a top speed over 200mph, and a pure electric driving range target of 250 miles.
The battery has the ability to accept an 800kW charge – when charging units capable of delivering this are commercially available it will be possible to fully replenish the battery in just nine minutes.
In Lotus tradition, the ultra-lightweight carbon fibre monocoque makes it the world’s lightest production EV hypercar, at 1,680kg.
That’s all the good news – the bad news is that production, starting in 2020, is limited to just 130 cars. Oh, and it costs £1.7 million (but you only need a £250,000 deposit to secure a production slot).
This is the first hypercar from Lotus, and the company’s first model with an electrified powertrain – as well as being the first completely new car to be launched under the ownership of Geely, the world’s fastest growing automotive group.
Production of the Evija will be in the UK, at Hethel, near Norwich.
The Evija is the first Lotus road car to feature a one-piece carbon fibre monocoque chassis. At the heart of the Evija is an ultra-advanced all-electric powertrain. It has been developed with technical partner Williams Advanced Engineering, famed for success in motorsport, from Formula One to electrifying the first four seasons of Formula E. The battery pack is mid-mounted immediately behind the two seats and supplies energy directly to four powerful e-motors. This highly efficient system is the lightest, most energy dense, electric power package ever fitted to a road car. With a target weight of just 1,680 kg, it will be the lightest pure electric hypercar ever to go into series production. The Evija has five driving modes – Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track.
Key to the 2,000 PS power output is the 2,000 kW lithium-ion battery, supplied with its management system by Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) as part of a joint venture with Lotus to collaborate on advanced propulsion technologies. WAE won a 2018 Queen’s Award for Enterprise for translating its EV expertise from the race track to road-going vehicles.
The battery pack is mounted centrally behind the passenger compartment, and its cover is visible through the glass rear screen. This positioning delivers significant advantages in terms of styling, aerodynamics, packaging, weight distribution, occupant comfort and dynamic handling. It also supports fast and convenient servicing and maintenance. Furthermore, the set-up has been designed so that in the future alternative battery packs – for example, to optimise track performance – can be easily installed.
Power is fed from the battery pack to a bespoke in-line axial arrangement of two high-power density e-motors. These feature integrated silicon carbide inverters and epicyclic transmission on each axle of the four-wheel drive powertrain. The motors and inverters being supplied by Integral Powertrain Ltd.
Four exceptionally compact, extremely light and highly efficient single-speed, helical gear ground planetary gearboxes transfer power to each driveshaft. Measuring a mere 100mm in depth, each gearbox comes packaged with the e-motor and inverter as a single cylindrical Electrical Drive Unit (EDU). With a target power of 500 PS per e-motor, this is the most efficient and elegant engineering solution to deploying so much power with precision.
Torque-vectoring, enabled by the four e-motors, provides exceptional dynamic response and agility on the road. This fully automatic, self-adjusting system can instantly distribute power to any combination of two, three or four wheels within a fraction of a second. In Track mode the ability to add more power to individual wheels enables the radius of corners to be tightened, potentially reducing lap times.
The Lotus Evija is equipped with ESP stability control to ensure safety in all road conditions, with further grip provided by the four-wheel drive system. A pure steering feel – a vital ingredient of every Lotus – is assured via an electro-hydraulic system.
The car is built on a one-piece motorsport-inspired carbon fibre monocoque chassis. It is supplied by CPC, the Modena, Italy-based world-leader in composite technology. Constructed from multiple carbon plies, the manufacturing process is identical to that of an F1 chassis, and ensures the lightest, stiffest, safest and most technically advanced Lotus road car platform ever built. The total weight of the monocoque tub is a mere 129kg.
This chassis, coupled with innovative engineering and clever packaging throughout every element of the Evija’s powertrain, has contributed to the class-leading target weight of 1,680kg in its lightest specification.
Power can also be delivered over a sustained period. The car’s advanced aerodynamics and four-radiator cooling package keep the battery at an optimum temperature. It means that the Evija is capable of being driven flat-out with no derate for at least seven minutes in Track mode.
Not only does the Lotus Evija feature the world’s most powerful automotive drivetrain, it also boasts the world’s fastest charging battery. Thanks to the partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, the battery has the ability to accept an 800kW charge. Although charging units capable of delivering this are not yet commercially available, when they are it will be possible to fully replenish the battery in just nine minutes.
Using existing charging technology – such as a 350kW unit, which is currently the most powerful available – the Evija’s charge time will be 12 minutes to 80% and 18 minutes to 100%. The car’s range is 250 miles (400 km) on the WLTP Combined Cycle, or 270 miles on the NEDC Combined Cycle. Lotus is in discussions with external suppliers on a charging solution for customers.