Pure-electric Lotus Evija hypercar takes to the track for the first time

Work well underway to start Evija production next year, Lotus says

LOTUS is on track (in a very literal sense) with the development of its 1,973bhp Evija pure-electric hypercar, judging by a new video from the British sports car maker.

Having already been put through an array of “validation programmes”, the Evija has now entered its high speed testing phase. This marks the first time Lotus engineers have been able to properly stretch the prototypes’ legs on track and fine-tune their performance, ride and handling ahead of production next year.

The video doesn’t give too much away but the car can been seen getting fairly sideways, with the rear wheels allowed to spin for oversteer on demand, though the wet circuit would have made it a lot easy to coax the back end to step out.

The Evija’s intense development programme will continue with the prototypes being taken to a number of other tracks across Europe (including the Lotus track at Hethel, of course), with “many thousands of miles” of additional testing on public roads.

With nearly 2,000bhp and 1,254 lb ft of torque, and tipping the scales at just 1,680kg (claimed), the Evija should have performance far in excess of anything to have previously emerged from the firm’s factory in Norfolk. Lotus says it’s targeting a 0-62mph time of under three seconds and a staggering sub-nine-seconds time for 0-186mph. Lotus also claims it will be able to hit speeds in excess of 200mph.

Power comes from four electric motors, one mounted to each of the vehicle’s wheels.

Gavan Kershaw, director of vehicle attributes at Lotus Cars, 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.”

Underpinning the Evija is tech that’s never before featured in a production Lotus, including a carbon fibre monocoque chassis and active aerodynamics, and the battery — developed in collaboration with the Williams Formula 1 team’s Advanced Engineering division — has been future-proofed to accept an 800kW charge, which is way in excess of what the UK’s most powerful 350kW public charging points can produce.

Lotus says it can take just 18 minutes to fully replenish the battery at 350kW, or half that time using an 800kW charger — if you ever find one (race tracks are obvious locations, we’d have thought).

The range between charges is expected to be 250 miles, under the WLTP test cycle, though, of course hooning around a track would reduce that dramatically.

Lotus says prices will start at £1.7m before taxes. A £250,000 deposit will secure clients one of the 130 available build slots (a reference to the car’s “Type 130” project codename).

Lotus Evija: 1,973bhp, 200mph+ pure-electric hypercar unveiled in London