The world’s most powerful production car has arrived

The arrival of the Lotus Evija marks a watershed moment for Lotus. It wasn’t that long ago when the British automaker was floundering. It was strapped for cash and it barely produced enough models to thrive in a segment that had no shortage of worthy adversaries. Just when things were taking a turn for the worse, Chinese auto giant Geely came in, bought Lotus, and, well, the rest is history.

The Evija all-electric hypercar is the first Lotus product to be unveiled since its fortunes turned for the better. And what a product it is. The Evija is a technological tour de force, a stunning creation born from technological innovations that trace its roots to motor racing. Everything, and I mean everything, about the Lotus Evija is extraordinary. From its incredible aerodynamic design to the four electric motors and 70-kWh battery pack that feeds them, the Lotus Evija is the pinnacle of all-electric hypercar development. It also happens to be the most powerful production car in the world. All that for $2.1 million? This is no dream, folks. The Lotus Evija has arrived.

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior

  • Built specifically to be one of the most aerodynamic cars in the world
  • Carbon fiber body
  • Venturi tunnel design
  • Active aerodynamics in the rear wing and DRS
  • Striking red LED taillamps

Lotus has officially grown up

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 850393
This isn’t your dad’s Lotus, folks.

The Lotus Evija represents a huge leap for Lotus in so many ways. From the tech to the presentation, the Evija is the furthest thing you’d associate with a British automaker that’s mostly known for its lightweight sports cars.

The Evija looks every bit like the hypercar Lotus promised us it would be. Granted, a promise from Lotus in the past didn’t mean as much as the spit from the mouths that they came from, but ever since the company was bought out by Chinese auto conglomerate Geely, Lotus has had a resurgence of sorts, in part because it now has the kind of financial resources that would allow them to develop and, more importantly, build a hypercar.

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 879622

The Evija is the embodiment of Lotus’ new stature in the industry, and for what that’s worth, the automaker is making good use of its new-found stability by designing the Evija to look the part of a bonafide hypercar.

Everything about the Evija screams 'exotic!'

From the sharp design lines throughout its body to the curved hood that’s reminiscent of past Lotus racers, the Evija was designed to evoke emotions normally reserved for the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini.

In some ways, the Evija carries design characteristics from the aforementioned automakers. I don’t know if that’s intentional on Lotus’ part, but certain elements like the bi-plane front splitter and the cut-up side panels evoke images of Lamborghinis and McLarens, respectively. The front splitter, in particular, is interesting in its aerodynamic design. It’s split into three sections with a large section designed as an air intake, presumably to cool the car’s battery, and two smaller outer sections to send air to the front axle.

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 879623

Those with a grasp of the design of yesteryear’s Lotus racers will recognize this design characteristic, which is reminiscent of the ones Lotus used in the Colin Chapman-designed Type 72 Formula One race car that competed in the 1970 Formula One season. Other areas of the Evija’s front section will also remind you of certain design cues of other performance cars in the market today. The shape of the nose, in particular, and the way it integrates into the muscular haunches are similar to Ford’s design of the Ford GT.

The Venturi tunnel design is aesthetically and aerodynamically important

The thing that’s striking about the Evija’s design is that even with all these stylistic hints and nods to other automakers, there’s a singularity to the hypercar’s design that isn’t meant to simply look pretty.

The fancy cuts and aggressive details are all part of Lotus’ goal of making the Evija one of the most aerodynamically sound hypercars in the market. Take the McLaren-like side architecture. It’s a Venturi tunnel design that maximizes the airflow around the car, directing it through the body to help reduce drag. Even the bi-plane front splitter in the front that we talked about was designed specifically to improve the hypercar’s aerodynamics. Even Lotus’ decision to use deployable cameras in lieu of traditional side mirrors is rooted in eliminating drag brought about by the presence of side mirrors.

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 879613

From an aesthetic standpoint, the Venturi tunnel design also gives way to what might be the most eye-catching design of the Evija: the red LED lights around each tunnel that double as the hypercar’s rear headlamps. From their shape to how they look flanking the sloping rear bumper and the angry-looking rear diffuser, the rear section of the Evija is both visually evocative and aerodynamically peerless.

Active aero all around

Obviously, we can’t talk about the rear section of the Evija without mentioning the rear wing, which works with an F1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS) to provide real-time active aerodynamic assists, either automatically or when called upon.

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 850388
These systems kick in automatically when the vehicle is in Track mode, but they can also be activated manually whenever required.

Overall, the exterior design of the Evija is a masterpiece in marrying aesthetics and aerodynamics into one package. A lot of automakers can claim to have done the same, and while there’s some truth to that, it’s different when it comes from Lotus. The British automaker isn’t supposed to be able to create something like this, and yet, here we are.

2020 Lotus Evija Interior

  • Floating dashboard
  • Carbon fiber seats and surfaces
  • Ski-slope center console
  • Racing steering wheel
2020 Lotus Evija Interior
- image 850387
Stepping inside the interior of the Lotus Evija is like stepping inside a completely different world, at least as far as Lotus interiors are concerned.

Whereas the cab of most Lotus models can be described as spartan by almost everyone that’s seen one, the Evija’s interior tells a different story. The interior is still largely minimalist in keeping with Lotus’ goals of keeping the Evija as light as possible.

But just because that’s the case, that doesn’t mean the cabin isn’t dripping with the kind of luxury bits befitting a hypercar of its stature. First and foremost is Lotus’ generous use of carbon fiber. The premium material covers a lot of the interior’s surface area. The use of carbon fiber accomplishes two things for Lotus: it keeps the Evija’s weight as light as it can be and, just as important, it screams luxury in ways no other Lotus interior has accomplished in the best.

2020 Lotus Evija Interior
- image 879625

Marrying these two characteristics is crucial for an automaker like Lotus, which has taken pride throughout its history as a car maker in delivering some of the most lightweight performance cars in the business. That goal remains with the Evija, but since this is a hypercar that occupies a completely different space from the Evoras and Exiges of the world, the added requirement of making it as premium and as luxurious as possible isn’t lost in the British automaker.

The carbon fiber shell seats look like a place I’d want to spend a lot of time in, not only because they feature manual fore/aft adjustment plus electric back operation, but, more importantly, because they look really comfortable. Three-point seatbelts are fitted as standard, with four-point harnesses an option. There are even two bespoke storage areas built into the body shell. They’re not necessary, but it’s still nice to have them around.

2020 Lotus Evija Interior
- image 850399
Beyond the carbon-fiber seats and surfaces, you also need to pay attention to the Evija’s floating dashboard.

It’s probably the thinnest of all the dashboards we’ve seen from today’s hypercars, and, for what that’s worth, the design works incredibly well in espousing a minimalist look without compromising the modern vibe of the entire interior. In fact, the only objects that stick out from the dashboard are the air-conditioning vents and the floating center console that Lotus designed in the vein of a ski slope. It does look like one, and if you remember, the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1 had similar-looking center consoles that slid diagonally from the dashboard and into the center tunnel. The big difference? The Evija’s sleek and stylish console — it looks like a giant remote control, doesn’t it? — makes the 918 Spyder and P1’s consoles look old and completely dated.

For one, there’s really just one thing that sticks out in the Evija’s console: the round knob near the base. Every other button is integrated into hexagonal recesses and they’re all touch-sensitive with haptic feedback, meaning Lotus didn’t have to litter the entire console with buttons and switches that stick out like the ones you’ll see in the P1. It’s far more ergonomic to the eyes. Chalk this up to Lotus taking cues from the designs of Porsche and McLaren and making its version fresher, more modern, and simply put, better-looking.

2020 Lotus Evija Interior
- image 850387
The Evija’s steering wheel is another interior highlight, in part to its aesthetic similarity to the steering wheels you normally see in a Formula One or LMP race car.

Alcantara covers the outer ring section of the wheel, though you can switch things up and opt for leather if you wish. In keeping with the racing theme, the Evija’s steering wheel is also littered with buttons, though “littered” might not be a proper description for them. The buttons are grouped intuitively on the center and lower sections of the steering wheel. Looking for which buttons engage phone use, cruise control, or DRS deployment shouldn’t be too hard with this kind of setup.

The digital display sitting behind the steering wheel comes with all the necessary information you’d want from the Evija, whether it’s driving mode, battery level, or how much range the batteries have left before they’re sipped bare and dry. There’s an element of straightforwardness to the display that belies its state-of-the-art qualities.

2020 Lotus Evija Interior
- image 850390

Only essential information appears on the screen and you only get access to it at the push of specific buttons. The information then fades when it’s no longer needed. You might say that this setup is weird, but it’s representative of Lotus’ goals for the Evija. The electric hypercar is a performance car that’s meant to be driven fast. Lotus didn’t even bother putting an infotainment system in the car. That’s a far cry from the Mercedes-AMG One, which has not just one digital display, but two of them.

2020 Lotus Evija Powertrain

  • Four electric motors
  • 1,972 horsepower
  • 1,696 pound-feet of torque
  • 70-kWh battery
  • 250 miles of range
  • 0-60 mph in <3 seconds
  • Top speed of over 250 mph
  • Motorsport suspension
  • AP Racing brake system
  • Carbon-ceramic discs
2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 879622

Power and performance for days

Lotus is betting big on the Evija and if you didn’t believe it by how the hypercar looks, perhaps you’ll be converted once you find out what the car’s four electric motors can do.

These motors work in concert with a 70-kWh lithium-ion battery located immediately behind the two seats to produce a staggering output of 1,972 horsepower and 1,254 pound-feet of torque. Yes, you read that right. The Lotus Evija is the world’s most powerful car. It has the kind of power that would make all the Ferraris, McLarens, and Lamborghinis in the world whimper in fear. Not too bad for an automaker that was dangerously close to shutting down a few years ago, huh?

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 850383

The Evija also utilizes four single-speed gearboxes that each sends power to each driveshaft. All told, Lotus claims that the Evija can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in under three seconds before maxing out its speed at over 200 mph.

The performance figures will grab all the headlines, and understandably so. But there’s more to the Evija than those gobsmacked numbers and figures. The car’s gargantuan battery, which was developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, can run on a single charge for around 250 miles.

When the barrel runs dry, it only takes 12 minutes for the battery to be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity using a 350-kW plug.

Even more impressive than these numbers is that Lotus isn’t done trying to come up with better solutions, including faster charging times, for the Evija. That tells you that even with the staggering power and performance numbers of the Evija, Lotus isn’t sitting on its laurels. There’s plenty of room for improvement with the hypercar, and even that thought should scare the bejeezus out of rival hypercars.

There’s more to the Evija than straight-up performance

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 879615

For now, prospective customers shouldn’t concern themselves on what’s to come further down the road. As it is, the Evija’s setup is already cause for a lot of excitement, especially with all the fun to be had going stir crazy on any of the five driving modes — Range, City, Tour, Sport, and Track — that are available in the Evija.

Without jumping into too much detail — and because Lotus didn’t really expound on any of these modes’ capabilities — you can assume by the names of said driving modes that each one comes with a unique performance setup. Range and City, for example, revolve around easy and carefree driving that doesn’t involve any torque twisting performance capabilities. Tour, Sport, and especially Track, on the other hand, are all performance-specific modes, each coming with its own unique set of performance features that can be activated or deactivated depending on which mode is selected.

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 850384

A battery as big as the one the Evija is carrying can be a fragile thing, and with the amount of energy that it’s capable of producing, ensuring its integrity was a top priority for Lotus. Fortunately, the automaker didn’t skimp on the details with this; it fitted a four-radiator cooling package to keep the battery’s temperatures from heating to the point of exhaustion. It’s a tiny detail for most people who are in it for the thrills that the Evija provides. But those thrills come with a huge price if you don’t have the proper supplemental technology to ensure that the important components remain in tip-top shape at all times.

It’s not just the radiator cooling package, though. Lotus also added an ESP system and an electro-hydraulic steering system to ensure that the Evija handles as advertised on the road or on the track. On the suspension front, the Evija comes with a motorsport-derived setup that comes with three adaptive spool-vale dampers at each axle, ensuring that the Evija can handle the rigours of being thrown around the streets or the tracks. A set of 20- and 21-inch magnesium wheels on the front and rear, respectively, wear Pirelli Trofeo R tires.

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 879611

Then there’s the braking system, which might as well be one of the unsung heroes of the Evija’s setup. An AP Racing brake system with carbon-ceramic discs in the front and rear are also included in the setup. When you’re going at the speeds that Lotus claims the Evija is capable of, you need a touch braking system that can handle that kind of wear and tear on a car as sophisticated as the Evija.

Comparing the Lotus Evija with some of the more recent hypercars to hit the scene makes it seem like the comparisons are fair. But remember, the Evija does not have an internal combustion engine; it relies solely on its four electric motors and that mammoth 70-kWh battery. As a result, well, let’s just say that the Evija will have no problems when you line it up against the models in the table below.

Model Mercedes-AMG Project One Aston Martin Valkyrie Ferrari LaFerrari McLaren P1 Porsche 918 Spyder
Internal Combustion Engine 1.6-liter turbo V-6 engine 6.5-liter V-12 engine 6.2-liter V-12 engine 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine 4.6-liter V-8 engine
Electric motor 3X direct-drive electric motors Single direct-drive electric motor Single direct-drive electric motor Single direct-drive electric motor 3X direct-drive electric motors
Max power 986 horsepower + 986 horsepower + 950 horsepower 903 horsepower 875 horsepower
Torque N/A N/A 664 pound-feet of torque 664 pound-feet of torque 944 pound-feet of torque
Transmission 8-speed semi-automatic transmission 7-speed semi-automatic transmission 7-speed dual-clutch transmission 7-speed dual-clutch transmission 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
Weight (kerb) N/A 1,000 kg (est) 1,585 kg 1,547 kg 1,675 kg
Power-weight ratio N/A 986 horsepower - ton (best) 599 horsepower - ton 583 horsepower - ton 522 horsepower - ton
0 to 62 mph N/A N/A Less than three seconds 2.8 seconds (claimed) 2.6 seconds
Top Speed 217 mph N/A 217 mph (limited) 217 mph 214 mph (claimed)
Price (from new) £2.07 million (plus local taxes) £2.5-3 million (est) £1.15 million £866,000 £781,155

Truth be told, there really are just a handful of cars in the world that can directly compete with what the Lotus Evija brings to the table. One of them is the Rimac C_Two and the other is the Pininfarina Battista. Check out how these three electric powerhouses compare against each other.

Model Lotus Evija Rimac C_Two Pininfarina Battista
Powertrain Four electric motors Four electric motors Four electric motors
Battery 70 kWh battery pack 120 kWh battery pack 120 kWh battery pack
Horsepower 1,972 horsepower 1,914 horsepower 1,874 horsepower
Torque 1,254 pound-feet of torque 1,696 pound-feet of torque 1,694 pound-feet of torque
Transmission Four single-shift gearboxes Two two-speed gearboxes Multiple single-shift gearboxes
Weight 3,703 pounds 4,300 pounds 4,500 pounds
Power-to-Weight Ratio 1,174 horsepower - ton (estimate) 981 horsepower - ton (estimate) 925 horsepower - ton
0 to 60 MPH Less than three seconds 1.85 seconds (claimed) 2.0 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed Over 200 mph 258 mph (claimed) 217 mph (claimed)
Electric range 250 miles (estimate) 400 miles (estimate) 280 miles (estimate)
Price $2.07 million €1.8 million $2.5 million

Prices

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 850428
The Lotus Evija is limited to just 130 units.

That may seem like an arbitrary number, but it’s actually an homage to the car’s project code, Type 130. Each of the 130 units will cost £1.7 million, plus duties and taxes. That converts to around $2.07 million based on current exchange rates. The Rimac C_Two is a tad cheaper if you base it on conversions. Only 150 units will be built and each model costs €1.8 million. That converts to $2 million at current exchange rates.

Don’t expect to be able to buy one, though, because all 150 units of the C_Two are already accounted for. The Pininfarina Battista is the most expensive among the three all-electric hypercars with a $2.5 million price tag. Like the C_Two, only 150 units are planned with the U.S. receiving 50 cars of the total allocation. Lotus has yet to announce distribution details of the Evija, specifically which markets get how many units.

Competition

Rimac C_Two

2019 Rimac C Two
- image 829402

Just when Rimac was toasting on the glory of building the most powerful production car in the world in the 1,914-horsepower C_Two, Lotus came from out of nowhere to snatch that title when it unveiled the 1,972-horsepower Evija hypercar. The Croatian automaker may have lost the horsepower battle with Lotus, but just because that’s the case, it doesn’t mean the C_Two is automatically taking a backseat to the Evija. No.

One thing you have to consider is that with the amount of power both the Evija and C_Two have at their disposal, the actual figures don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. They’re nothing more but sources of pride on who has the most powerful car on the planet. But other than that, can you really separate one from the other? If that’s the game, then the C_Two has one thing it can lord over the Evija: range.

Rimac’s claim that the 120-kWh battery inside the C_Two can last a staggering 400 miles until it’s completely bone dry. That’s significantly more than the Evija’s 250-mile range from its smaller 70-kWh battery pack. If you want to nitpick, you can also point to the C_Two’s $2 million price tag, which is a hair cheaper than Lotus’ $2.07 million asking price for the Evija.

The best thing to do when it comes to comparing two all-electric hypercars like the Evija and the C_Two is to line them up side-by-side to see which electric car can lord over the other’s performance times. Everything else is just picking between apples and oranges. These two represent the pinnacle of automotive ingenuity and we should all count our blessing that both are actually coming to life soon.

Read our full review on the 2019 Rimac C_Two

Pininfarina Battista

2020 Pininfarina PF0 Battista
- image 828787

The Pininfarina Battista is another electric hypercar that we should all be paying attention to. Like the Evija and the C_Two, the Battista is a car sent from beyond this world to destroy any notion that electric cars are slow and putrid. It carries roughly the same power and performance figures as the C_Two owing to the fact that around 50 percent of its components is shared with its Croatian counterpart. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who are aware of the Pininfarina’s roots.

The famed company was once one of the most revered auto design houses in the world. But now that it’s venturing into building its own cars, the Battista serves as quite the first foray for Pininfarina. Power and performance figures for the hypercar are what you’d expect, too. The Battista uses four electric motors — one for each wheel — that produce a total of almost 1,900 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under two seconds, faster even than today’s slate of Formula One race cars.

Since the Battista is an EV at heart, it also utilizes a 120-kWh battery pack that carries a range of almost 300 miles on a single charge. Everything about the Battista speaks to the goals and ambitions of Pininfarina as an automaker. The car costs $2.5 million, making it the most expensive car among the three hyper EVs, but that comes with the territory of all that ambition. Production is limited to just 150 units and 50 of those units are earmarked for America. Let’s hope and pray that one day, a Pininfarina Battista graces us with its presence. It’s going to be a rare sight seeing one in the metal.

Read our full review on the 2020 Pininfarina Battista

Final Thoughts

2020 Lotus Evija Exterior
- image 879630

What’s there left to say about the Lotus Evija? It’s a stunning level up from an automaker that’s largely known for developing fun-to-drive, lightweight sports cars. But as I said, Lotus’ ambitions are different now that it has the support of Geely to fall back on. No longer is it limited by financial burdens or development limitations. The gloves are off, as they say, and the Evija is proof of that. This 1,972-horsepower all-electric hypercar could change the way we view performance cars in the future, and for what that’s worth, the Evija could end up becoming one of the most influential cars to hit the streets in a long time.

  • Leave it
    • Super expensive
    • Super limited
    • Caters to a very niched market
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
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