- Here are the first images of the prototype version of Lotus's 1972-hp EV hypercar, the Evija.
- The car is being developed without stability control or torque vectoring—but the production car will have stability control, Lotus says.
- The Evija will go into production next year but will be available only on a "show and display" basis in the United States.
While U.S. buyers aren't going to be able to buy the forthcoming Lotus Evija, we're still deeply fascinated by the very idea of a 1972-hp all-wheel-driven pure electric hypercar from a company most famous for lightweight sports cars. Lotus has now released these images of a prototype version being tested at the company's headquarters in Hethel, England, along with a selection of quotes about the car from the company's director of attributes, Gavan Kershaw.
Although Lotus has previously shown an apparently finished exterior design model of the forthcoming car, the prototype is wearing the traditional camouflage design of a test mule, with the shot taken from the rear showing the spectacular Venturi tunnels that pass through the rear haunches of the car, and which have the taillamps positioned around them. According to Kershaw, the Evija is being developed in a "completely pure state" and without the use of stability control or torque vectoring so that Lotus "can evaluate the fundamentals of the chassis, to create the mechanical advantage before other layers such as electronics are added." Stability control will, however, be on the production car.
Kershaw joined Lotus as an engineering apprentice at the same time as Matt Becker, who has gone on to become Aston Martin's chief engineer, and who recently described his former colleague as the most naturally talented test driver he has ever worked with. All of Kershaw's considerable talents will be required in a car with a targeted zero-to-62-mph time of under three seconds and a zero-to-186-mph time of under nine seconds. We've also been told the Evija should weigh just 3700 pounds in its lightest configuration.
Lotus says that three physical prototypes of the Evija are currently on test, in both the U.K. and Italy. The release mentions 200-mph testing, which strongly suggests use of the vast Nardò test track in southern Italy. Behind the scenes, the program is well advanced, with the first customer deliveries set to take place next summer.
Lotus says that the first year's production is now allocated to buyers, who will pay the equivalent of $2.3 million for the car before duties and taxes, although there are still slots available for later delivery. No more than 130 will be produced, with construction taking place in a specially constructed new workshop in Hethel as part of the considerable investment being made at the site by Lotus's Chinese owner, Geely. Presuming Lotus manages to sell all of them, Evija production will continue into 2022.
There's never been a better time to be a thrill-seeking gearhead with the ability to drop seven figures on an ultimate performance automotive indulgence: Croatian maker Rimacand Pininfarina are also racing to bring their EV hypercars to market, while Aston Martin, AMG, McLaren, and Gordon Murray Automotive are all working on conventionally powered alternatives. For many prospective customers, the biggest question is likely to be if one would be enough, or if they want to try to complete the set.