THE NEW LOTUS EVIJA IN DEPTH LOOK

24th Jul 2019

As petrol heads ourselves we love a huge variety of performance cars, even if we don’t feature them in our supercar self drive hire in London inventory. Lotus, the long running British sport car manufacturer and F1 team have just released a vehicle that combines quite a few of our loves: electric vehicles, hypercars and technological and design innovation and in this blog we will explore this unexpected and interesting model in more depth.

A long running Lotus tradition has been to name all of their cars with words beginning with E (Espirit, Elan, Elise, Exige, Evora) and, despite the differences this hyper EV has to all other current lotus cars, it continues this tradition. Taken from Hebrew ‘Evija’ translates roughly as ‘living, to breath’ and considering it’s functional, integrated aerodynamic design, this seems quite apt. Evija was originally refereed to by its code name ‘type 130’ (‘type..’ being another Lotus naming tradition) which actually eluded to the amount of cars that will be built...130.

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Evija is based on a carbon fibre monocoque which is covered in carbon fibre panels. This element of it’s design contributes to it currently being the lightest hyper EV (for comparison Rimac’s C Two weighs 1950kg) at 1680kg, however, it is still 2m wide and probably close to 5m long. It takes inspiration directly from F1 with it’s integrated front splitter that’s inspired by the Lotus type 73 F1 car. This F1 inspired aero comes with two main functions: firstly to help cool the battery and front axle and secondly, to push the front of the car into the ground at high speed for greater stability. As we move along Evija we come to two large openings (one on each side) that extend right through the car and exit at the rear where they are outlined by LED brake lights, that are actually meant to look like fighter jet afterburners when on. These openings contribute to the car’s lower weight as they’re negative space and may act as body integrated venturi tunnels that speed up airflow. Either side of these channels Evija sits on 20 inch front and 21 inch rear super lightweight magnesium wheels. Above the fighter jet inspired rear lights we find an active spoiler that can raise, tilt and lower to balance aero from the front spoiler, increase high speed stability and act and as airbrake. The interior is equally stripped down with a rectangular, F1 style multifunctional steering wheel, a single digital display for the diver, touch controls along the central column and lightweight carbon fibre bucket seats.

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The Lotus Evjia is powered by a 70kwh lithium-ion battery pack that has been supplied by William’s Advanced engineering. This is mounted low in the chassis to ensure a low centre of gravity and thanks to careful design and placement of motors, Evija even has a 50:50 weight distribution. There are 4 electric motors in total, 1 bound to each wheel and thanks to the car’s smart torque vectoring system power can be distributed to each wheel independently for enhanced traction and responsiveness. Total output is currently aimed at 1972bhp and 1700nm of torque. If these figures are verified in the production cars it will mean lotus have produced the most powerful production car ever. With all that power Evija must be able to make some astonishing performance figures, surely? Lotus’ hyper EV is currently aiming at a sub 3 second 0-62mph or 100kph time and 186mph or 300kph in under 9 seconds, with a top speed of over 200mph. All very general figures and apart from the 0-186mph aim, not that impressive either. Let’s hope it’s ‘real world’ times can easily rival the likes of the Chiron considering how much it costs.

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Outright performance is usually the key hyper EV’s hold and range and usability are typically the factors that cause worry and doubt. Evija has a quoted range of 250 miles, which is only 50 miles less than Tesla’s Model X P100d. It will be interesting to see what the ‘real-world’ range actually is as these figures are variable due to driving style and road conditions. Evija’s 70kwh battery pack can be fully charged in only 18 minutes or 80% in 12 minutes when using a 350kwh charger (of which there are very few of), but it can also receive charge of up to 800kwh. There are currently a growing number of 100kwh and 120kwh chargers in the UK (the highest output generally available), so expect real-world charging times to be quite a bit longer than quoted above.

If enough of you enjoy our cars over the next couple of months, who knows, maybe we will be able to offer a 2020 Lotus Evija hire in London!

Watch this space.....

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