When can we expect to see the British hypercar go into production?
The worldwide launch of the all-electric Porsche Taycan seems to be opening the floodgates on electric supercars, and Lotus has joined in by teasing further information about the Evija, the brand’s upcoming all-electric hypercar that claims to pack a maximum power output of 1,972 horsepower or 2,000PS.
Lotus states that the car is still in the engineering development phase, and aims to be the first british, all-electric hypercar to make it to production. The car was first revealed in July 2019, and more details are being trickled out of the development office as the carmaker aims to show the world that it is still on track for building its halo car.
Full technical details are still under wraps, but it’s been revealed that the Evija is powered by four individual motors, one at each wheel, which combine to give a total output of 1,470 kW and an incredible 1,700 Nm of torque. Automatic torque vectoring controls the output to each wheel in a split second, driving any combination of four, three, or two wheels at any given moment.
A full carbon fibre chassis gives the car torsional stability in the face of such mind-bending power outputs, with a claim that the car can accelerate from 0 to 300km/h in under nine seconds.
The car will feature five driving modes: Range, City, Tour, Sport, and Track.
In case you think the Range mode will make the car less of a monster, you’ll be glad to know that it simply limits the car’s power output to 986 horsepower, or 1,000PS, and 800Nm. It optimises the power usage to maximise the distance available, and Lotus claims that it is targeting a range of 346km on the WLTP combined cycle.
Meanwhile City mode changes the throttle response for easier power control and decreases the level of regenerative braking for urban environments.
The Tour setting provides automatically switchable four-wheel or rear-wheel drive, while delivering more than 1,300 horsepower with torque-vectoring.
Sport mode delivers performance figures of 1,676 horsepower (1,700PS) and the final Track mode lets lose all 1,972 horses from the four electric motors. It also delivers the highest level of torque-vectoring, with the Evija’s Drag Reduction System (DRS) available on request.
Production is said to be limited to just 130 units worldwide, though when the car will actually go into production has yet to be confirmed.
The storied British sports car brand has had a patchy run in the last two decades. After changing hands multiple times with owners including General Motors and Toyota, Malaysian automaker Proton acquired a majority stake in the company in 1996. By 2009, Lotus had been operating at a loss for 15 years.
In 2010 the flamboyant Dany Bahar, formerly of Ferrari, was placed as the company CEO, and he launched a five-year plan to turn Lotus around. Across multiple high profile interviews, he boasted of a plan to build five new models in five years, including relaunching the legendary Lotus Esprit. But just two years later in 2012, the plan was in shambles due to the firm’s continued financial difficulties. Bahar was ousted, with tales of him overspending on misusing company funds for his personal expenses.
Chinese carmaker Geely took a 51 percent controlling stake in Lotus in May 2017, and the remaining 49 percent were acquired by Malaysia-based Etika Automotive.
Even in Singapore, the Lotus brand has been a quiet seller for many years. Hong Kong-based Richburg Motors, better known as a parallel importer of cars here, held the official dealership for five years from 2013 to 2017, after which it appeared to quietly relinquish the dealership role. Records show that In 2018, only two new Lotus cars were registered in Singapore, possibly through parallel import channels.
Wearnes Automotive, which also has Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Renault and Volvo in its stable of dealerships here, took the brand back into Singapore in mid-2019. Currently, only two models are available here: the Lotus Elise Sport 220 and Lotus Exige Sport 350.
We recently reviewed the Lotus Exige, and the brand clearly still knows how to build exciting sports cars. But when you’re up against the bigger players like Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari and even McLaren, you need more than just a bunch of halo concepts, you need a ready stock of cars that can draw moneyed customers away from the other distracting temptations.