Lotus Evija: 2000bhp hypercar stars at Concours of Elegance

The new Lotus Evija has been shown at London’s Concours of Elegance, as the company gears up to begin customer deliveries in 2021.

The hypercar’s second public appearance – following a debut at last week’s London Concours – comes following the company’s announcement that deliveries have been pushed back five months as a result of the pandemic. As exclusively reported by Autocar, lockdowns, travel restrictions and quarantine rules hampered the firm’s ability to continue the model’s testing programme, which will recommence as restrictions ease.

More recently, Lotus ended its technical development partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, which had seen the two forms collaborate on the Evija, citing “delivery problems”. Hethel added that “the end result will be a better product” as a result.

Claimed to be the most powerful production car in the world, the 1973bhp electric hypercar is sold out for its initial 2020 production run.

A video of the newly designed configurator show how the ordering experience begins for buyers. Autocar had a chance to play with the high-tech configurator, and meet the team behind it, earlier this year.

The Evija is being built in at a refurbished facility at Lotus’s headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, called Factory 3. Work on the facility, which is a former Lotus Engineering building that was once home to the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton, is now near completion. Each of the 130 Evijas will be hand-built there.

Lotus has told Autocar that all of the Evijas due to be built this year have already been sold, although it hasn’t given an exact figure.

“With our new factory ready, we are ahead of the pack in the emerging EV hypercar segment and 100% ready for some healthy competition,” said Lotus boss Phil Popham, an indirect reference to the likes of the Pininfarina Battista that have so far remained quiet on sales.

Dynamic testing of the car got underway earlier this year at Lotus’s Hethel test track, which sits adjacent to the Evija production facility.

Gavan Kershaw, director of vehicle attributes at Lotus, said: “Physical prototype testing at speed is a landmark moment for the Evija and hugely exciting for everyone involved. Our aim is to make sure it’s a true Lotus in every sense, with exceptional performance that’s going to set new standards in the hypercar sector.”

While most track testing will be done at Hethel, Lotus claims it will use other demanding European circuits, too. “Over the coming months several prototypes will cover many thousands of miles and hundreds of hours of driving assessment, including on public roads” the maker said in a release.

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Q&A with Russell Carr, design director, Lotus Cars

Tell us about the way air moves around this car. 

“Something very Lotus which we’ve taken to another level is the aerodynamics. It’s always been part of our history and motorsport: in the ’60s we were among the first teams putting wings on cars, we had ground effects in the ’70s and streamlining way back in the ’50s. With this car, the philosophy was that we wanted to harness the airflow over the body of the car, but also through the body of the car. We’re not the first people to do it, but we wanted to do it in a very sculptural manner that would give a different aesthetic to the car.”

What does that mean for aesthetics? 

“When you look at the car from the outside you see familiar volume, we hope a very beautiful-looking car. It’s important that it’s beautiful in the first place. But as you walk around it you start to see openings that go through the car, which allow the air to pass through. As I say, that gives it a different aesthetic, draws the eye through the car and over the car, and gives it a great sense of movement.”