Lotus Evija hypercar is an electric rebirth for the British sports car maker
This is a new dawn for Lotus.
This is the Evora, the name means the living one.
Or the first one in existence appropriate given that this is lotuses first major launch under dealing fairly obviously it is not an elite replacement.
This is a halo hypercar of which only 113 will ever be built, each one costing.
Wait for it from 1.7 million pounds.
However, for that, you will get 2000 horsepower and 1254 pounds so to talk in a purely electric 70 kilowatt hour drive train powering all four wheels, not 62 miles an hour under three seconds not to 186 miles now in under nine seconds And top speed in excess of 200 miles an hour mounted centrally behind the passenger compartment.
The 2000 kilowatt lithium ion battery comes from Williams advanced engineering on each axle will be a single electrical drive unit combining a motor and inverter supplied by integral power drink in two slim gearboxes one for each wheel supplied by.
The range is said to be 250 miles on the WLTP combined cycle.
No charge in just 18 minutes on 350 kilowatt charger.
And just in case you think this is some pipe dream projected for the middle of the next decade, Lotus is promising the production will start next year.
Today to talk us through it's extraordinary looks, we have Lotus's head of design, Russell Carr.
Russell, thank you so much for joining us here and talking us round this wonderful car.
How long have you been working on this?
Well, we did the very first sketches in the Summer of 2017.
And then by the christmas that year we had some scale models and then we really started in earnest about February last year
Wow so it's been relatively sort swift, relatively quick
Relatively quick a lot of hours gone into it we've used every possible our possible on this so
It looks fantastic is the dimensions sort of.
Sometimes difficult to get over on film.
But it's quite compact really isn't it?
It's pretty small.
It's quite compact.
It's just under two meters wide, which is fairly typical for a car of this sort.
We are just under 11, 30 high, so we're a little bit taller than the very lowest cars in this category, but we're a bit shorter.
We're about 4.4 meters.
Cuz it's sort of shorter than a 911 there.
And it's really great.
Which is still really important for us, to keep our cars compact, because size is waste.
And we like the cars to look very much like they're shrink wrapped, because the car's all about the dynamics, the agility of the car.
So keeping the body very shrink wrapped is part of our character.
Yeah, and we'll get on to weight in a bit.
But whilst we're at the front, a couple of details I've noticed here looking around.
Let's start with the The badge there, is beautiful.
Thank you, something we are working on at the moment and hopefully we can execute it like we want to on this.
The idea really is to give this car some sort of crafted premium elements on it and one of the things we wanted to do is Actually almost like markets freeze actually to insert the metal into the carbon and it's proving quite difficult.
So whether or not the final production one will have it we can't say but it's certainly an idea and we're trying to get this blend between this being a serious track car but also this it's just this beautiful object that people can park outside an expensive home or outside an expensive hotel or whatever it might be.
Absolutely, and other details just looking lights I always find fascinating, and I see the little fan just in there which is, it's pretty cool as well.
Yeah the detail in the lights is really important, so there's a fan in there to sort of circulate the air, and we'll also probably talk a little bit in a moment about the blades in there there's two blades which are a little bit like the wing tips on a modern air liner So they just flip up on this.
And when the thing switches on the DRL, daylight running lights and the direction indicator they illuminate this way.
so A little bit like a warrior putting on this war paint or something like that.
So a little bit of theatre in there and then some beautiful detailing the heat soaks in there all the metal components in there as well.
So you've got this very simple external form very lightweight in terms of its size, but all the detailing in there is exquisite again, because this type of car, people have got to be able to look at it and discover new things as I am in the car.
And I feel we ought to talk about Eric marriage, sort of all right, there's no point just talking about the downside of the rear.
Let's talk about some of the arrow around the front of the car as well before we move on.
Well aerodynamics is really important on this car because of the performance characteristic of it.
But it's also important to Lotus we sort of have three really important brand pillars for for our cars over the years, aerodynamic efficiency, lightweight thing and also the driving dynamics of the car.
Obviously on this car because of the performance aerodynamics is even more important.
And at a very early stage we had this idea to explore the porosity of the car so we could manage the air flow through the vehicle as well as over the top.
So that's something we've dabbled in on a few vehicles we've worked on in the past.
We've obviously seen it on motor sport vehicles as well and we just thought it was a fantastic opportunity to introduce some intriguing sculpture into the car.
So it works from a technical standpoint but also from a visual standpoint it adds interest and so if you can blend the art and the science together on the car then I think you've got something a little bit different.
And is this sort of, I suppose, because this is loss' at with my sport, first or full carbon car and obviously fully electric and both those things combined must have opened up certain avenues and opportunities for you that haven't been there in the past.
It's a very different
Structure, we're not working with our traditional aluminium tub.
The carbon fiber allows us to re package things slightly differently.
The electric motors and the battery pack allow us to package things differently, which allows us to work with the design of the car and the aerodynamic management of the car.
So out the front in terms of arrow, we've also got this sorta the bonnet with the cutouts there, which is presuming forcing air.
Here we'll, what's interesting was when you get down below, you can actually see that air passes underneath the trailing edge of the hood.
It's actually a little wing section.
So, not only is that something which we believe is very beautiful.
But it also helps clean the airflow as it passes on to the the windscreen of the car.
It's amazing actually when you are down here you see those front arches and how prominent they are actually.
So obviously the arches give the car certain amount of muscle, strength and you want the car to look athletic.
They're important for the driver because he wants to be able to see the corners the car when he sits inside.
We had a ride and handling Guru Lotus for many years called Roger Becker.
And he always used to go on and on about seeing the corners of the car.
So the Becker points as we refer to them were really important and also, it helps Seat the cabin within the car so the cabin looks like it's sunk down between the wheel arches.
And I think that's really important because it gives the car sense that the central gravity of the car is very low.
And that means the cars gonna have great dynamics when you drive that which know we're Visualizing the experience of driving the car.
Absolutely, and then the air going through under here as well.
Yep, so where you would normally have radiators in the corner of the car.
It's completely open and that allows the airflow to pass in through the corner of the car.
And then it's evacuated behind the wheel.
So very high velocity air, so minimum drag And it allows us to maximize the aerodynamic surfaces and to then to create down flows.
So you can see we've got twin elements in there.
Well, twin, it's more than two elements in there.
So that area is an interesting one.
We've got some beautiful sculpture in there, but we've also got some great technical components in there which are contributing to the down flows.
As you look through here, you've got the dive planes in the corner and the air currents as well which create downforce and help smooth the airflow past the wheel.
So there's a lot going on.
So beautifully sort of integrated with use the same biplanes on the front of cars, but sort of jumping out and then even sort of, again, sort of airing as smoothly as possible, but you wouldn't necessarily.
Nice until you start looking.>> Exactly.>> I think that's one of the intriguing things about this car when you see it first from certain angles.
It just seemed like a conventional sports got hopefully a very beautiful one, but a conventional sports car with perfect proportions, but if you walk around it, it starts revealing these things which Are very well integrated.
And we wanted to do the integration of the aerodynamic elements in a very elegant way.
It's the very latest thing to do, in an elegant way.
Wheels, center lock obviously.
Wheels are center lock, yes, and they're magnesium for light weight.
Obviously On this type of car, weight, and particularly unsprung mass is really important.
So it's something that's been drummed into us, I like to say [UNKNOWN] keep the wheels light, so very important to us.
Absolutely, obviously [UNKNOWN] as well.
We'll come back to probably those in a bit, but they're worth They wouldn't always be flush with-
No, they deploy.
So that's where we got the cameras on the car.
So this is the first car that we're going to have cameras rather than traditional mirrors.
So another first one this month for us.
The side of the car.
Now is, for me, this is sort of It almost gets more and more interesting the further you go down inside of the car and it is he said you walk up to it you said in profile and it's lovely big scoop and then as you walk up to it and you just look through this fantastic internal layer.
It's it's breathtaking.
Well there's there's a couple of things going on here which I think are interesting.
First of all, You say the sculpture of the car.
So you say this lovely concave section going to prescribe.
And we use as all designers, we have lots of fighter planes as reference in our studio you them.
And this is where it really comes to [UNKNOWN].
So this is pretty much part of our full moon we are going forward.
And then you [UNKNOWN] you now we see from this angle.
The start of this tunnel or ducks which builds the big story at the back of a car.
And this again is all part of the porosity of the airflow management on the car which ultimately helps create downforce but also reduce tranq.
It keeps the air energized, it keeps the air moving fast through the car.
Let's go down to the back of the car that sir I think arguably the most extraordinary bit of it also starts to this is where it in a way the whole design makes sense.
Now when you see the rear of the car and these huge Exit tiles here and I said to you before it's once you see the shapes and sizes and you know it's functional but it but it's so beautiful It's like a Barbara Hepworth sort of sculpture.
Totally through the design it back.
Well yeah, you're right.
I mean I think for me this is this is the killer view of the car.
So you've not only go Looking over the top surface of the car, where you see the breadth of the muscle over the wheels, which in itself I think is is gorgeous.
You also looking through, you're seeing through to the power pack, on the car the top of the battery pack, and the top of the dampers.
Which is a beautiful spring.
beautiful in there which i'm sure will come into a second.
But then as you look dead rear what you see is the exit from the [UNKNOWN] tunnels or whatever you wanna call them on the car, which are all part of this process to reduce strength.
And as you said, it's a little bit like a piece of sculpture.
And then we've accentuated it by placing the rear lights Around those ducts.
So if we're using aircraft references, they look a little bit like the after burners on an aircraft when it's taking off.
One of the things that you thought, sort of, you had the idea of doing that, and then had to go to [UNKNOWN] Sort of say, is this possible?
Kinda sort of [LAUGH]
Very much so, yeah.
So we did the sketch We went wow, this is super cool.
Everything about it.
The negative section on the back, the exit ducks the lights going around the surfaces.
And then you have this agonizing thought there's probably a reason why no one's done this before.
It will be impossible to get the amount of light out that thickness.
Or it doesn't meet the legal criteria.
It's in the wrong place.
That somehow we've managed to do it.
So, yeah, it's very exciting.
It's I think it's something very distinctive.
It's not been done before.
And then we've got a Mobile rear wing up here, and this I think is where you do the recharging.
Recharge yes, so there's a nice bit of detailing in there, you got it.
When that's deployed you'll see inside, it's a little plaque saying hand built in Britain.
At the back the Lotus letter's a nice detail on there, so they illuminate.
The T provides the reverse light function.
And of course what supporting it is the diffuser, huge diffuser with a DRS flap which is currently in the up position but exactly, yeah.
So hours and hours of CFD work to develop that.
Really a blend of design form and then function as well.
So people always talk about that form and function but really is on the scale.
And then as we come back over here, you said you mentioned the invalid suspension up there as well.
And we've just made a feature of it because As we move towards electric vehicles and we put screens inside there, we've gotta be careful we don't lose some of the emotion of what a sports car is all about.
And we talk about having technology with soul.
So the fact that people like you, who may get excited about technical detailing on cars, can look through the glass And see these beautiful inbuilt suspension units, I think is a balance for not having a traditional power train in there.
And all the electric power train and you can see the cabling and you can see some of the heat sinks and things like that on there as well.
So it's introducing something new to get excited about.
Yes.>>Incidentally if you're wondering about luggage space, well there are couple of holes down here by the door but other than that well every inch of the car is already housing something mechanical or pedal ways to let the air flow through it You'll just have to apply a Chapman-esque lightweight philosophy to your road trip packing.
Talking of lightweight, Lotus is quoting a not inconsiderable 1680 kilos or 3,700 pounds for the Avaya.
They're not about to claim that this is particularly feathery, but as they say it has to be judged against others in its EV class.
And as you can see from the interior It's not like they haven't worked hard at saving weight.
This is quite extraordinary in here.
The first thing I suppose I notice about in here is the similarity in here compare to the exterior design as well, because we've got all these sort of holes, negative space, sort of the shapes, the sense of sort of lightness in here as well.
But it's good you seen that similarity between the interior and the exterior.
So, this very open dashboard is a really unique feature of the car.
So you got this beam that runs across and it's completely open through there.
Which you really notice looking through the windscreen more than sitting here.
It gives a feeling whilst you're sitting here but you only notice it really when you look through.
The excitement as you walk up to the car which is which is good.
So the inspiration for that really was because we're all big classic car, race car fans.
You know if you look at some of the cars from the 50s and 60s like the birdcage and maybe some [UNKNOWN] You can see some of the structure through the screen.
And on that day it would have been metal chips.
And that cost today it's all about car and fiber.
Once you get in to that, you can draw a references from.
Beautiful cotton fiber particles fine or covers on the wish bone or whatever it might be.
But what's great about this as well is.
The openness of it brings light into the cabin.
So sometimes in these cars they can be very businesslike interiors like a dark racing car, but this one brings the light in and the light is is a form of luxury as well.
So in this relatively small cabin, you have a sense of space, which I think is very different.
And this is one is it sort of it does feel Small and sort of compact but equally as you say it doesn't where we've got enough room between our shoulders here which is is nice.
And the mixture as you were saying before between the sort of the racing side of the car, the track element of the car, and luxury side of the car.
Feels very apparent in terms of obviously this steering wheels a good example in terms of the shape of it in the minimalism all the buttons on it but then the quality of actually the switch gear and the pedals down there just again really sculptural and beautiful or is that sort of that's the whole It's not something I've seen in a lotus kind of sort of, to some extent before the pedals actually I suppose Ellie's I always loved minium bits but it is just another.
Well, two, three steps on from that in terms of your sanctuary.
Well, certainly I mean obviously a car like this everything has to be exquisite in a new play the sort of money you
Very, very special.
But yes, we wanted to capture particularly on the interior of this balance between the serious tracker and a luxury car and find our position on that scale.
So we think we've got a really good balance in here is it's very sort of pure, minimal but rather like a high end minimalist interior in a in a house or hotel or whatever.
So it's not raw or naked but it's simple, but it's calm.
It's very functional inside here.
And of course we just got some beautiful materials to finish things off.
So you got leather or Arkansas or whatever the customer specs on the dashboard.
They can basically have whatever they want.
So carbon here and then the trim subsurface and the same on the doors.
We got some other nice materials in this particular show car.
We got a soft new buck on here.
Which is something really unique.
Then lots of metal elements.
We have metal around the vents.
We obviously metal elements on the steering wheel.
As you said the controls are rather like camera type controls on the metal.
Got the same sort of mechanical filter them as well.
And we've got some very nice details on the seat here.
You'll see the latest line is inlaid.
I see that, and then on here as well for the drivers between there.
Exactly so there's a metal band that runs through the carbon shell Seat and you can put whatever message you want on there hopefully something not rude but we put for the drivers but it could be the number of championships the Lotus is one or it could be the name of your favorite.
Child or it could be your family motto or your blood group or whatever you wanna put on there.
But there's ways of bespoking it for your own personal taste.
And of course the heart of it all really is just the layout of the interior.
So you mentioned the steering wheel.
We've got Gavin Kershaw who is our time racing driver guy responsible for attributes and Lotus very experienced developer of road and racecars.
So we weren't really care closely with him to make sure all the controls were positioned economically.
And obviously ultimately you really wanna be looking down the road.
Concentrating, driving, holding the steering wheel instruments in front of you displaying all the key information and then everything else should be just intuitive full to hand on the steering wheel.
So Richard is control control wheel and space wise as you highlighted.
We've got a good amount of space in between ourselves here which is Certainly better than a lot of other cars in this class.
And we worked around a good amount of headroom so people like yourself, a bit taller can fit in.
And people like yourself can actually drive it with a crash helmet when required as well so, very important, the package layout to start with.
And of course in this car
We also have an adjustable seat which is not always the case in this type of hyper car, but we felt that was the best to get the optimum position, positioning in the car.
So from the smallest persons largest can find somebody comfortable.
And from a technical standpoint, it works very well as well because you don't have to put as much structure into support the The color [INAUDIBLE] extends as you might do if you have an adjustable pedal box in there in the steering [INAUDIBLE].
Absolutely, and obviously that view out we talked about, right back at the start, as well as the two front arches there that you can place very easily.
Now that's Here's a very functional thing, that if you're driving on the track, you can place it for the perfect apex when you're driving.
But also, it's just a very romantic thing, to see the body work, and maybe the reflections on there.
That's all, thank you very much indeed.
Absolute pleasure talking around this car.
When I first clapped eyes on this car a few months ago, I knew nothing about it.
And instinctively, I imagined a multi cylinder exhaust note.
Then, very quickly, I obviously discovered it was electric and I'll admit to the old fashioned part of me was a little disappointed.
But I get why Lotus is going in this direction.
It needs to make a statement and getting the jump on other traditional Zipcar manufacturers and bringing EV to market.
Is a very good way to do that.
However, regardless of the drive train and how the car will drive, and I am excited about the possibilities that top veteran opens up, I think this car is already something of a success.
Because it is genuinely beautiful.
So often these days I think Form follows too far behind function.
an extremist we end up with cars like the Mclaren center.
The Avaya however has a stunning sculptural quality to it, that seems to speak of glamour as much as G forces.
For that alone i think it deserves to be a success.
And it Heralds a new profitable era of lotus with a fresh generation of affordable leases and exlition.
And even better.
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