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the lotus evija is so insane it s making us all giggle uncontrollably

The Lotus Evija is so insane it’s making us all giggle uncontrollably

Hypercar looks aside, the electric motors make an insane 1,972hp to see it crack 300kph in under nine seconds

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

17 Jul 2019

In about the time it took you to read the headline and sub-heading of this piece; about nine seconds or so, the Lotus Evija would have sprinted from a standstill to 300kph. Yes, the latest Lotus is going to rip a hole in the space and time continuum.

Lotus hasn’t had a brand new model in over a decade but when they do, boy do they leave us all needing a visit to the cardiologist. The 2020 Evija will be the marque’s first ever electric model and everything about it just makes us giggle like giddy schoolgirls when the cute guy walks into class.

Those breathtaking looks are absolutely stunning and purely function over form. Leonardo da Vinci would’ve had a poster of the Evija on his bedroom’s wall.

As sexy as its sculpted lines are, we’re going to have to start underneath them. Williams Advanced Engineering definitely turned to its Formula 1, Formula E and plethora of other racing experience to produce its most powerful electric powertrain to date with 1,972hp and 1,699Nm of torque. The century sprint is a scant under 3.0-seconds.

Power is fed from the battery pack behind the seats to a bespoke in-line axial arrangement of two high-power density e-motors that in turn forwards its all-electric charge to the four hub-attached e-motors for all-wheel drive.

Having a motor at each wheel allows the torque vectoring system to “provide exceptional dynamic response and agility,” and can self-adjust “instantly to distribute power to any combination of two, three or four wheels within a fraction of a second.”

While its peers such as Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley employ rear-wheel steer systems, Lotus one-ups them with its advanced torque-vectoring that’s capable of splitting torque to each wheel enough to negate the additional weight of rear-steer.

With so much juice on tap, range anxiety should be a genuine concern for buyers, right? Dead wrong. Lotus and Williams claim 98 per cent operating efficiency for the battery, e-motors, and transmission for a range of roughly 400km.

Charging it’ll be as quick as driving it courtesy of supporting 800kW ultra-fast charging units. That translates to nine minutes from dead to full. Regular 350kW chargers that are more common will still only require 18 minutes.

Now onto the part that gives us raging boners; the way it looks.

“We studied how Le Mans race cars use airflow creatively to go over, under and around the vehicle, but also through it. This concept of “porosity” is key to the Evija and has enabled us to create a timeless design with exceptional amounts of downforce. As such, the pure carbon fiber body, mated to the carbon fiber monocoque, was designed to not only funnel air throughout the hypercar but to appear “stretched taut, appearing shrink-wrapped over the mechanical components,” explained design director Russell Carr of Lotus Cars.

Drawing all eyes on it; much like how it’ll be drawing massive amounts of air in, the massive twin Venturi tunnels remind us a little of the Ford GT… but like on steroids in a suit. It’s ravishing yet not too racy.

Lotus took inspiration from Le Mans racers to dictate the airflow as best it could. The Venturi tunnels reduce drag by counteracting the low-pressure zone behind the hypercar and subsequently pulls air through the rear wheel arch louvers to maintain a clean flow in the diffuser. You have to love the audacity of those taillights surrounding the tunnel exits.

Right out of the Formula 1 rulebook is an active rear spoiler sitting flush with the body and functions similarly to the “Drag Reduction System.” It’ll function automatically or can be programmed to deploy manually under specific circumstances. And if you haven’t noticed yet, there’s no side-view mirrors to reduce drag. Tiny cameras on the side display onto screens mounted on the door ahead of the handles as you’ll see in the photos.

The cabin is very much similar to the modern hypercars such as the Mercedes-AMG One. Even ingress and egress will be a show on its own with roof-mounted actuators for the doors.

A floating centre stack houses haptic buttons that govern all the key functions of the car. The carbon fibre bucket seats will be tailored individually with Alcantara pads to fit the driver and passenger perfectly.

Further taking a leaf out of the Le Mans books, the square steering wheel is straight out of an LMP racer and has buttons for drive mode selection, turn signals, the DRS, cruise control and something not found in the racers; phone use.

Although having mastered the dark arts of ride and handling, it never hurts to get an extra hand. Seeing that not getting a hand might hurt even more if you park your Evija up a tree, Lotus turned to Multimatic.

The Canadian company went with its tried and tested formula from the Ford GT and mounted inboard three adaptive spool-valve dampers at each corner of the carbon fibre chassis. Two are corner dampers while the third controls the Evija’s “heave.”

AP Racing carbon ceramic brakes will do its utmost best to slow down lightspeed. They sit behind lightweight magnesium race-derived wheels wrapped in specially developed Pirelli Trofeo R rubbers.

Each of the lucky 130 owners will be shelling out at least USD1.9 million before customisation. Lotus will understandably be offering bespoke options that will make you hand over more of your hard-earned money.

Nonetheless, owners will also be privy to VIP track days and “other high-performance motorsport opportunities.”

Lotus Cars CEO; Phil Popham, summed it up perfectly, “The Lotus Evija is a car like no other. It will reestablish our brand in the hearts and minds of sports car fans and on the global automotive stage. It will also pave the way for further visionary models. This is another amazing moment in the history of our company. The Evija is a true Lotus in every sense – it has been developed with an unwavering passion to push boundaries, to explore new ways of thinking and to apply ground-breaking technologies.”