We’d love to talk about the 2020 Lotus Evija’s stunning good looks. It looks as is DaVinci himself molded the Evija’s breathtaking aerodynamics, especially those rear Venturi tunnels. But we can’t. Everything, even its GQ-ready design is eclipsed by the singularly absurd 1,972 horsepower its electric motors produce. That’s just, well, making us giggle uncontrollably. We’re going to need a minute to pull ourselves together.
The propulsion for the 2020 Lotus Evija—the first all-electric car in the brand’s 71-year history—is rooted in the hypercar’s Williams Advanced Engineering-sourced drivetrain. Williams has long helped develop technology for Formula 1, Formula E, and other racing series; as well as recently a handful of road-going EV solutions. This marks the company’s most powerful unit to date. According to Lotus, “Power is fed from the battery pack to a bespoke in-line axial arrangement of two high-power density e-motors,” and from there, sends its all-electric hellfire to the four hub-attached e-motors. And you’ll need to it wrestle 1,972 horsepower and 1,253 pound-feet of torque.
The central battery is located directly behind the Evija’s seats, while each individual wheel holds a drive unit. This allows the Evija’s 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.” Furthermore, while Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bentley all use rear-wheel steer systems, the Evija can adjust the torque split to each wheel in such a way as to negate needing those heavy electrically actuated systems.
Lotus says the Evija is “For the Drivers’” and based on its purported performance metrics, we’re inclined to agree. Though we’d likely modify it as it’s “For the Lunatics’.” 62 mph occurs in under three seconds and 186 mph takes less than nine seconds—our giggles have returned.
Though whoever buys an Evija likely won’t really care about range, Lotus and Williams state that the battery, e-motors, and transmission all operate on a 98-percent efficiency and gives the hypercar the ability to deliver 250 miles of range. Charging will also be lightning-quick thanks to the Evija being able to accept an 800kW ultra-fast charge. That ensures it takes just nine minutes from dead to a full recharge. More normal 350kW units, 800kW is still in its infancy, will take only 18 minutes.
As for its design, please excuse our drool.
Design Director Russell Carr for Lotus Cars said, “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.”
The most notable of the function-with-form design has to be the massive twin Venturi tunnels that “pierce” the Evija’s rear quarter panels. Lotus says its work studying Le Mans racers propelled the design to direct the air as best as it could, which just also happened to err on the side of beautifully sculpted. Both not only reduce drag, counteracting the low-pressure zone behind the hypercar, but the two tunnels “pull air through the rear wheel arch louvers” to maintain “air quality in the diffuser.” Further rearward, an active rear spoiler sits flush and operates similarly to an F1-style “Drag Reduction System” and can either automatically deploy in Track Mode or manually deploy for certain circumstances. Lotus also forewent traditional side mirrors to further reduce Evija’s drag.
According to the company, the Evija’s design will be brought to future Lotus cars as it expands its lineup, and cars like the Evora, evolve.
As Lotus tasked its designers with the brief to create a car “For the Drivers’,” the interior is as you’d expect a cockpit to be for a 1,972 horsepower hypercar. Drivers will be treated as soon as they step into the interior as even closing the doors is an event with a roof-mounted actuator. The center stack is a futuristic cadre of haptic buttons that give the driver complete control over the entire machine. Twin carbon fiber seats will feature hand-trimmed Alcantara pads to ensure each seat is bespoke for the driver and their passengers. And everything the driver touches is adjustable, including the steering rack and seat’s forward and incline operations.
The steering wheel, however, takes center stage. Designed to be similar to “that found in an LMP or F1 car,” the square unit is all business. Included on the wheel are buttons for phone use, cruise control, mode selection, turn signals, and of course Evija’s Drag Reduction System. The outward view isn’t bad either with Carr saying, “At the core of the appeal of any Lotus is that the driver is in sync with the car at all times and almost feels as if they are wearing it. Looking out from behind the wheel, it’s a wonderfully emotional moment to be able to see the bodywork outside, both in front and behind you.” Everything was designed to ensure driver capability.
Ensuring driving dynamics, however, Lotus turned to Multimatic. Attached to the carbon fiber chassis are three adaptive spool-valve dampers at each corner, similar to the ones in Ford’s GT supercar. There are two corner dampers and one to control the car’s heave, all of which have been mounted in-board to “optimize aerodynamic performance.” A set of AP Racing carbon-ceramic brakes halt the hypercar’s eye-watering acceleration. Lotus, always known for its adherence to The Holy Book of Lightweighting, went with lightweight magnesium race-derived wheels shod with a specially developed Pirelli Trofeo R tire to eke out the maximum performance of the Evija.
Evija owners will also have access to an unparalleled amount of customization and bespoke builds through the brand. This also includes VIP track days and “other high-performance motorsport opportunities.” One part of that VIP-ness is built into the limited production run of the car. Lotus says only 130 Evija’s will ever be built. That means when Lotus begins deliveries in 2020, the Evija will be one of the rarest cars on Earth, beating out even the likes of the Bugatti Chiron. As such, it also carries the sort of price tag you’d expect from a 1,972 horsepower hypercar.
Lotus has already opened the order books for the Evija, which is apparently pronounced “E-vi-ya,” and customers will have to drop a cool $1.9 million to own Hethel’s ultimate Lotus. Speaking ahead of the reveal, Lotus Cars’ CEO Phil Popham, said, “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.”
Now if you’ll excuse us, we need another moment or two to pore over the Evija’s details. Good day.