A Huge Shakeup At Lotus Means Leaving Gasoline and Hybrid Vehicles Behind
British automaker Lotus is currently elbows deep in revamping its entire lineup of sports cars and previous rumors suggested that we will see new generations of the Evora, Elise, a brand-new Esprit, and an SUV.
However, word is now that Lotus is planning to unveil a new gasoline car in 2021 and everything after that will be fully electric.
The $3 Million Lotus Evija Is Already Sold Out for 2020; Major Testing Underway
The Lotus Evija look us back when it was first announced. Not only was it primed to be the world’s most powerful production car, but it was also an all-electric beast that carries a price tag of £2.04 million or $3.11 million at current exchange rates. In a crazy turn of events that usually only happens for brands like Bugatti, Koenigsegg, and Ferrari, Lotus is now reporting that the Evija – which will be buil tin just 130 examples – has been sold out for the 2020 model year. It sounds like a big deal, and it is, but we have no idea of how many Lotus has actually sold.
2020 Lotus Evija
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.
The List of Predecessors to the Lotus Evija That You Didn’t Know Existed
Lotus just took a big step into the future by launching the Evija, its first-ever hypercar and first fully electric vehicle. Also likely to become the world most powerful production car, the Evija is a rather unusual car for an automaker known for affordable and lightweight sports cars. But as surprising as the Evija might seem, the truth is Lotus has been working with electrified drivetrains since the late 2000s. That’s a full decade of EVs and hybrids that haven’t received the attention they deserved. Granted, they’re all concept cars that never made it into production, but their existence signalled Lotus’ intentions. Also, several automakers based a handful of electrified vehicles on Lotus platforms. Let’s have a closer look at them.
Lotus Isn’t Planning Another Hypercar But a New Sports Car Is Coming in 2020 - Will It Be Electric, Though?
Lotus’ first real hypercar, the all-electric Evija stunned enthusiasts and pundits alike last week and is a sign of things to come for the Geely-owned British sports car specialist. But, in the meantime, Lotus is also preparing to rejuvenate its otherwise dated lineup of more affordable sports cars. The new model, that will become its bread and butter in the following years, should arrive next year and pop up in showrooms by 2021. The big question, however, is this: will it be electric as we’ve heard in the past few months?
Taking a look through Lotus’ current catalog is akin to taking a trip down memory lane as you see old friends such as the Elise, the Exige, and, lastly, the Evora - the only one still available Stateside - soldiering on. It’s not uncommon for a low-volume manufacturer to push the envelope when it comes to keeping a model on life support before there’s an influx of capital that allows it to create something new but there’s no denying that the entire Lotus lineup is very much long in the tooth by now and in dire need of an update.
The Lotus Evija isn’t quick enough for a near-2,000 horsepower EV hypercar
Lotus has shown its most powerful and most extreme car ever, the Evija all-electric hypercar. In fact, according to the specs published by the U.K.-based sports car maker (now owned by Chinese giant Geely), it will be the most powerful production car ever made, just nudging ahead of the likes of thePininfarina Battista.
It’s a truly gorgeous looking thing, with typical Lotus design but rendered in a more futuristic manner that not only makes the car stand out, but at the same time it makes it look far more exclusive than anything the automaker has previously sold. However, while I love the way it looks, there’s something a bit peculiar about its claimed performance - to me, the amount of power and torque and the declared benchmark sprint time just don’t add up. I think it should be faster than they say it is, so keep on reading as I try to elaborate as to why.
Opinion: The Lotus Evija is a Big Mistake for the Brand
The Lotus Evija, a £1.7 million ($2.1 million at current exchange rates) all-electric hypercar, has just been announced, and I’m already wondering just WTF Lotus is thinking. Sure, it probably has a lot to do with Geely backing the brand now – Lotus actually has some money to play with – but we’re talking about a brand that has been selling $50,000 - $120,000 cars for years. We’re talking about a company that posted its first self-proclaimed profit in years back in August of 2017. And, we’re talking about a company that hasn’t presented an all-new car in more than a decade (hello Lotus Evora) and has managed to soldier on by building random and slightly more potent versions of existing cars. Yet, here we are looking at a $2 million Lotus. This just doesn’t seem like the right move, and I have good reason why.
Did Lotus Just Rewrite The Book on All-Electric Supercars with the 2020 Evija?
Lotus hasn’t released a truly new car since it launched the Evora back 2008. Since then, it’s made continuous improvements to it, the Elise, and Exige, but the new 2020 Lotus Evija is the first new Lotus in over a decade. I might be saying this a little early, but I say it with confidence: Boy was it worth the wait. The basics of this car are simple – it’s all-electric, delivers close to 2,000 horsepower, and has a claimed range of 250 miles on the WLTP scale. That’s not bad. Lotus says it’ll get to 60 mph in under three seconds which isn’t all that radical when you look at other supercars or even the Tesla Model S P100D, but what it does beyond 60 is damn near-mythical and outrageous at the same time.
The Lotus Type 130 Electric Hypercar Will Have an Interesting Name; Will Offer More Room than a Ford GT
Lotus’ long-awaited entry into the fast and nutty world of exotic cars is finally taking shape. The first order of business? Finding a name for said exotic. Well, it looks like Lotus can cross that off its list. The model that we know today as the “Type 130” will eventually be called the “Evija.” The name revelation comes by way of Auto Express, which discovered a trademark filed by Lotus earlier this month pertaining to the supposed name. A quick look at the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office reveals that the Evija trademark covered a number of classes, including “land vehicles, parts and fittings for land vehicles included in Class 12,” “Repair and maintenance of vehicles, custom built construction of vehicles” (Class 37), and “Engineering services, vehicle, and engine design services” (Class 42). If that doesn’t scream like a trademark for a future vehicle, I don’t know what does. Group Lotus Limited filed the trademark on June 18, 2019.
Lotus Flexes its Chinese Backing With a New Hypercar
Lotus made its presence felt at Auto Shanghai 2019 in the cheekiest of ways, revealing a teaser sketch of the Type 130, the automaker’s first-ever fully electric hypercar. You would have thought that Lotus would drop a bombshell in Shanghai by revealing the actual Type 130, but the British automaker is saving that for a rainy day. The actual date of the Type 130’s unveiling has yet to be finalized, but Lotus has indicated that it will take place in London “later this year.” It seems like a waste of a good auto show reveal, but we trust that Lotus has something special planned for the début of its first-ever hypercar. Expect that debut to be a spectacle, not only because of the Type 130’s stature as an EV hypercar but, just as important, its place as the first all-new Lotus model since 2008.
Introducing Omega, a $2.5 Million Electric Lotus Hypercar Aimed At the Bugatti Chiron
With the performance scene moving towards ever-more advanced battery-powered mega-machines, some companies will inevitably get left behind in the electron dust. Luckily, it looks like Lotus won’t be among them, as it was just revealed that the Hethel-based brand might be working on a brand-new all-electric hypercar!
The Lotus Nemesis was able to shatter the U.K. land speed record for an electric vehicle in September 2012, but many people didn’t even know this vehicle existed. Did Lotus create an electric model while no one was looking?
No, the Nemesis isn’t an all-new electric vehicle built by Lotus in an attempt to rebuild its damaged image. The Nemesis is actually a one-off Lotus Elise converted to electric power by Ecotricity – a Great Britain-based renewable energy company.
Typically, when you think of the electric vehicle, you imagine the likes of the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV; you think, a slow and ugly buggy that looks as if the manufacturer built it out of spite rather than to actually sell. Well, first we had Tesla eliminating the ugly and slow stereotypes rather effectively and now you have this Nemesis ripping that stereo type to shreds and stomping it into the ground.
Click past the just to read our full review on the Lotus Nemesis.
While the folks in France are checking out the new rides at the Paris Auto Show, in the UK, people are keeping themselves busy breaking records. A battery-powered Lotus Elise developed by utility company, Ecotricity, has reached an average speed of 151 mph near York today. Behind the wheel was 21-year-old Nick Ponting, who managed to smash the previous record of 137 mph set by a Bluebird Electric in 2000.
The Nemesis completed two runs along Elvington Airfield over a one mile distance, with Nick Ponting breaking the record on the first set of consecutive runs with an average speed of 148 mph. The electric supercar achieved this record with the use of two electric motors that develop a total of 330 HP. This setup also sprints it from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds.
Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity said: "This is brilliant. We built the Nemesis to smash the stereotype of electric cars as something Noddy would drive – slow, boring, not cool – and I think we’ve done exactly that today. Hopefully this will further stimulate debate about the future of transport in Britain and how we’ll be getting around when the world runs out of oil. What we’ve been able to demonstrate is that wind-powered cars are not just feasible, but can be a load of fun."
It was only a few days ago that Lotus announced their intentions on building a small city car to rival the new Aston Martin Cygnet, and now they have unveiled details on a project they have been working on with the International Council on Clean Transportation that was undertaken with the California Air Resources Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The project is for a Lotus World Car Concept and only exists in a computer somewhere for the time being. It features the Toyota Venza’s interior package, capability, performance, wheels, and tires.
As of right now, all of this sounds like a normal beginning point for a new, cleaner model, but Lotus has also announced that the Word Car may go into production fairly soon. Does this mean that we may be looking at a concept that previews their City Car? Stranger things have happened. We are all used to concept cars coming out with extravagant details that we only wish would make it on the production version, but most of the time, we are left with just a shadow of what the concept was. Following this trend, it would seem fitting to start off with a World Car just to downsize it to a City Car come production time.
The Lotus World Car Concept offers interior room for two passengers and a 9-cubic-foot luggage area or fourth occasional seat. There’s no instrument panel, so the driver will need to get all the necessary information from a smart phone or tablet.
As far as power, on paper, the Lotus World Car Concept is powered by a 50 HP 600cc engine placed ahead of the rear axle and combined to a shaft-drive motorcycle transmission. It is said to weigh just 1,150 lbs and will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in the 8-9 second range. Top speed is supposed to be about 120 mph and fuel economy has been reported at 84 city/127 highway.
Not much information was given on Lotus’ future City Car, but images released of both vehicles illustrate a similar exterior look. They did, however, offer a price on the City Car - about £29,000 (or about $45,300 at the current exchange rates) - which is a far cry from the intended price of the World Car - less than $9,000 if put into production.
Lotus is in high gear, attempting to fill in every gap of their "five year, five model" plan. So much so, in fact, that they are even stepping away from their sports car roots and developing a city car to rival the new Aston Martin Cygnet. The baby Lotus will first be developed by parent company, Proton, and is set to go on sale in 2014.
The move to develop a city car stems from the fact that Lotus didn’t feel confident going against Mini, BMW, and Audi in the small car segment. During an interview with Auto Express Dany Bahar said: "There’s no point in trying to fight the MINIs, and the small BMWs and Audis unless you have a special offering. Our car will be an EV or range extended EV and will offer performance of no other small car."
The future Lotus city car will first be offered as a Proton, but will be easily adapted to a Lotus platform when the time comes. The Lotus version will be more expensive than the Proton, a move that Lotus says will be justified in the additions to the car. That being said, it will be about £2000 cheaper (or $3,125 at the current exchange rates) than the Cygnet so expect to pay about £29,000 - or about $45,300 at the current exchange rates.
The Lotus City Car will be a production version of the Ethos concept unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. The concept used a 1.2 liter, 3 cylinder Lotus Range Extender engine with a peak torque of 177 lb-ft. The concept finished the 0 to 60 mph in just 9 seconds and was capable of hitting a top speed of 105 mph.
The gloom and doom that fans felt when Tesla announced it was ending production of the Roadster electric car will end up being short-lived.
According to reports, Tesla’s flagship model will be returning to our lives in 2014, albeit in a slightly different guise. Unlike the first incarnation of the Roadster, which used a body supplied from Lotus and was limited to only 2,500 units, the new Roadster will be built from the ground up by Tesla themselves. This set-up is similar to the company’s second model, the Model S, which had Tesla’s fingerprints all over it from the very beginning.
No word yet on what the parameters for the 2014 Roadster is going to be but it appears that it would carry a tweaked version of theModel S platform or the "third generation platform" as some folks within the Tesla circle have called it.
Tesla CEO Elan Musk has said that this new ’mass-market’ platform will be the jumping board for all of the company’s cars in the next four to five years and it appears that we already have an answer as to what model will spearhead that transition.
So rest easy, all you "Tes-lovers". It appears that the Roadster’s demise was greatly exaggerated. It’ll only take a hiatus before it returns to our lives in 2014.
Oh, happy days!
Lotus has decided to tackle the recently voiced concerns over hybrid vehicle safety concerns. Since the hybrid cars produce very little noise at slow speeds, there is an increased chance that the cars can catch a person by surprise. This is especially true for visually impaired pedestrians who rely heavily on audio inputs to judge what is occurring around them.
Lotus has created a working prototype, using a Toyota Prius, of an external sound systems that would make engine-type noises. The Prius was fit with a waterproof speaker next to the radiator that works only when the car is being electrically driven. The speaker will emit engine sounds with the appropriate pitch and frequency to match the speed of the car. This will enable pedestrians to judge how far and fast the approaching car is moving. When the hybrid’s gasoline engine starts up, the system stops emitting sound and restarts seamlessly when the electric motor takes back over.