Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars: “Simplify, then add lightness.” But he died in 1982, and I suspect he’s reached the redline right about now:
Lotus has finally revealed its new halo vehicle, the Evija, claiming it will become “the world’s most powerful production car.” However, due to the Evija’s extremely limited availability and 1.7 million-pound ($2.1 million) price, there’s a lot undercutting that claim. It also leads Lotus away from its role as a scrappy underdog, delivering stripped-down featherweights designed to embarrass similarly priced sporting vehicles with more luxurious amenities.
And to keep that price down, Lotus has been buying V6 engines from Toyota. Few complained, since Loti usually weighed several hundred pounds less than your garden-variety Camry. Well, forget that:
The Chino-British brand is promising output a skosh below 2,000 horsepower and a targeted curb weight of 3,704 pounds. That’s portly for a Lotus but a 70 kilowatt-hour battery pack (co-developed with Williams Advanced Engineering) is bound to add some undesirable heft. Oh, did we not mention it’s electric? It is.
“Chino-British”? Well, okay, if you say so.
More important is the top speed, which is said to be over 200 mph, and zero-to-60 time. Lotus said to expect 100kph (62 mph) to arrive in “under three seconds.” While that sounds good, we’re wondering how many times you can do it before seeking out a charger. With ludicrous power figures routed through four motors, the all-wheel drive Evija is likely to deplete its battery extremely quickly under enthusiastic driving conditions. Fortunately the brand said it can be fully recharged in about 18 minutes if you can find a 350-kW charging point.
I’m figuring the 130 buyers of this sled will have the bucks to pony up for their very own charging points. Still, charging points are like Star Trek transporters: one is neat, but at some point you need a second one.