Here’s one more reason to hate the coronavirus pandemic

In what has already been the most challenging year of our lifetime, the malaise surrounding 2020 isn’t getting going away anytime soon, at least not for Lotus. The British automaker had planned to showcase the Evija hypercar by the latter of the year, but those plans have since been scuttled because of circumstances beyond the automaker’s control.

The culprit? The COVID-19 pandemic. Repeated delays in the development of the Evija have forced Lotus to move the car’s highly anticipated debut to the first of 2021. It’s rough news for all those who have been waiting earnestly — us included — for the Evija’s arrival to at least bring some measure of excitement to what has so far been a crappy year. Unfortunately, this pandemic has no regard for our feelings as it continues to wreak havoc all over the world.

When was the original unveiling scheduled

The Lotus Evija Has Been Delayed, But Don't Blame Lotus Exterior
- image 879627

All things considered, the Lotus Evija was supposed to be unveiled later this year. It would’ve been the crowning achievement of Lotus’ return to prominence and would’ve made 2020 one of the most important years in Lotus’ 72-year history as a car brand.

Every automaker has been affected — and continues to be affected — by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s been especially difficult for Lotus with regards to the development of the Evija.

How did the pandemic affect the Evija’s development?

The Lotus Evija Has Been Delayed, But Don't Blame Lotus Exterior
- image 879624

Speaking with Autocar, Lotus boss Phil Popham laid out all the elements that came into play that caused numerous delays in the Evija’s development. According to Popham, the Evija’s delay was caused by all the lockdowns that happened all over Europe because of the pandemic.

The travel restrictions didn’t help, either, as did all quarantine requirements that a lot of people were subjected to. All these elements prevented Lotus from testing its prototype models in the conditions that the Evija needed. All told, Popham said that Lotus lost “five months of testing, mainly in continental Europe.”

“We have missed hot weather testing in Spain,” Popham added. “It’s not as simple as moving everything to the right as you have to book facilities and there’s a queue, with everyone in the same boat.”

Are the current conditions in Europe better for testing the Lotus Evija?

The Lotus Evija Has Been Delayed, But Don't Blame Lotus Exterior
- image 895759

It remains to be seen as the Lotus boss said that the company remains in “catch-up mode” and that testing schedules are still moving targets with no set time or location.

Fortunately, the automaker isn’t sitting idly by and wasting precious time. It’s already invested in extra resources, mainly in terms of engineering, to get the Evija ready for production. That’s a good sign if you’re waiting for the Evija to arrive. With some aspects of development still in flux, Lotus is making sure that the development of the hypercar doesn’t completely stop, particularly when it comes to the things that it can work on to speed up the process.

Improvements to the Evija’s aerodynamics and downforce were two things that Lotus successfully worked on in lieu of all the canceled on-road tests. The automaker also found out that the Evija’s overall output exceeds 2,000 horsepower, a far cry from the 1,973-horsepower output it revealed during the model’s public debut last year.

Model Powertrain Horsepower Torque 0 to 62 MPH 0 to 124 MPH Top Speed
Ferrari SF90 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine / Three electric motors 986 horsepower (combined) 590 pound-feet 2.5 seconds 6.7 seconds 211 mph
Bugatti Chiron 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 engine 1,479 horsepower 1,180 pound-feet 2.4 seconds 6.5 seconds 261 mph
Lotus Evija Four electric motors (one on each wheel) 1,970 horsepower 1,254 pound-feet Under three seconds Under six seconds More than 200 mph

Is the Lotus Evija debuting in 2021?

The Lotus Evija Has Been Delayed, But Don't Blame Lotus Exterior
- image 895763

That’s Lotus’ new goal and the company is working hard to hit that target. That said, Popham also made it clear that further delays could still happen because of the evolving global situation brought about by the pandemic.

In the meantime, Lotus is already proceeding with marketing events that were canceled earlier this year because of the pandemic. A world tour to show the Evija to potential customers was scrapped in March, but that event is already being reorganized by the automaker.

As this disaster of a year continues, let’s hope that its last months offer a hopeful glimpse into a future that’s markedly better than our current situation. This doesn’t just go out to automakers like Lotus, a lot of whom have suffered in many ways because of the pandemic. This goes out to everyone whose lives have either suffered or irrevocably changed because of the pandemic.

2020 Lotus Evija Specifications
Name Lotus Evija (Type 130)
Powertrain Pure electric, 4WD
Power The target is to be the most powerful production car in the world, at 2,000 PS
Battery power 70 kw/h / 2,000 kW
Torque 1,700 Nm with torque vectoring
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) Under three seconds
0-300 km/h (0-186 mph) Under nine seconds
Max speed In excess of 200 mph (320 km/h)
All-electric range (WLTP Combined) Approximately 250 miles (400 km)
Charging time (350kW charger) 18 mins
Weight 1,680 kg
Production run Maximum of 130 cars
Overall dimensions (L/W/H) 4,459 / 2,000 / 1,122 mm
Price £1.5m-2m + duties and taxes
Reservation process £250k refundable deposit secures a production slot
Start of Production 2020

Source: Autocar

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author

Related Articles

2020 Lotus Evija

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: