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 new Lotus Hypercar will be Built in Partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering
Strategic alliance is the best way to go forward these days. We recently heard about Ford and Volkswagen collaborating, and this time, it is Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering. The two companies will work hand-in-hand to share “research and development into advanced propulsion technologies.” The newly-wed companies have not provided any details on their forthcoming projects yet, but rumors suggest they could be working on the upcoming Lotus all-electric hypercar.
Okay, so as we all know, the automotive rumormill has a habit of bouncing back and forth before finally resting on the truth. Back in August, we heard a rumor that the Alpine would be built in a joint venture between Renault-Nissan and Caterham. Then just days later, we started exploring the possibility of the Alpine and Infiniti Emerg-E being a Renault-Nissan and Lotus project, given the Emerg-E was already built on the Lotus Evora platform and it would be simpler to build both the Emerg-e and Alpine on the same platform.
Well, it looks as if the Lotus and Nissan talk is done with, as Caterham appears to have swooped in and all but completed a deal with Renault Nissan. Sky News is reporting that Caterham boss, Tony Fernandes, is just about to put ink to paper on a $400 million production deal that will join Caterham and Renault-Nissan at the hip on the Alpine project. The deal would involve a 50-50 split in cost and profits between Renault-Nissan and Caterham.
There is no mention as to whether this will also affect the Emerg-E’s production plans, but chances are that the Emerg-E will remain a Lotus and Renault-Nissan project, since both companies are already so deeply entrenched in the deal.
This also effectively eliminates the chances that the Emerg-E and Renault Alpine will share any significant DNA. It is very doubtful if Lotus would be willing to lend its platform to Caterham for a project that it back-doored from the already struggling sports car builder.
We’ll keep a close eye on this situation because it could boil over into something a little more, as the two rivals compete to snag up a little extra business. The deal is expected to be reviewed on Monday and approved in just a few weeks.
Lotus hasn’t seen a great share of luck in recent years, but in the past few weeks, its luck has taken a slight turn for the better. First came INDYCAR’s approval of desired changes to its IRL engines. Now Lotus is now extending this run of decent luck a little more by announcing that its running prototype for the Evopra 414E hybrid is ahead of schedule and ready for dynamic testing.
Lotus first unveiled the prototype at Geneva in 2010, but it was just that, a prototype. It had no engine or motor driving it; it was essentially just a shell. No one in the automotive world expected anything from Lotus in the next year or so, as it seeks a new CEO, fights a rumored lawsuit from its former CEO, and attempts to right this sinking shop.
It looks like we were all wrong, as Lotus just sent out a press release detailing all of the Evora 414E’s main specifications. So, we did what we do best and used our speculative abilities to put together a review for you to use to make an educated shopping decision, if you are lucky enough to be in the market for this type of car.
Click past the jump to read our full review.
The gang over at Lotus has been putting in its hours lately with tons of new projects and ideas scheduled for production. We thought they would be done what with their five revamped models and the production of their new engines, but now we find out there may be more. It seems Lotus is also planning a new top version of the Evora model inspired by the GT racer car.
While there aren’t many details on the upcoming model just yet, we do know it will be placed above the Evora S model. The first rumors suggest it will be powered by an upgraded version of the 3.5-liter supercharged V6 engine that will deliver around 400bhp.
Before the Ultimate Evora arrives, however, we’ll get to see the revamped Lotus Evora and its "147 improvements" including higher-grade cabin materials, a sportier exhaust note, and sharper gearbox. Lotus boss, Dany Bahar, says that Lotus’ priority is to "improve the quality, to give the car a soul." This refreshed model is scheduled to be unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and will then be followed by a convertible version in about a year and a possible plug-in hybrid concept in two years.
Full story after the jump.
Lotus made a step forward at this year’s Paris Auto Show with the unveiling of the company’s first hybrid four door super saloon. Called Eterne, the new model will go on sale in early 2015 and will be priced at £120,000 (around $190,000 at the current rates).
The 2015 Eterne’s powertrain will combine a 5,0 liter V8 engine with a hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and KERS. The total output of 620 HP and 720 NM of torque will help the Eterne to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds and to hit a top speed of 195 mph.
"The Eterne is sensational to look and as with the rest of the range it also over delivers in all other aspects as well. Similar to the Elite, it’s a car of perfect contradictions, it’s compact yet spacious, high performing yet low emitting, relative lightweight yet still reassuringly solid. We truly believe that there is a market for the Eterne, there is nothing else like it out there both in terms of design, capacity and performance. The biggest difference between the Eterne and it’s class competitors is that it’s not an evolution of an existing two-door model, it’s a deliberate and considered stand-alone creation. It’s the ultimate four door sports car."
Press release after the jump.
Lotus will unveil a hybrid version for its now famous Evora sports car at the Geneva Motor Show. Called Evora 414E Hybrid, the new version develops a total of 414 hp, makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in in under 4 seconds and has a hybrid range of over 300 miles.
The hybrid drive-train system consist of twin motors each limited to providing 204 hp of power and 400 Nm (295 lbft) of torque to each wheel via independent, single speed, reduction transmissions integrated into a single housing, enabling torque vectoring dynamic control of the vehicle. There is also a Lotus Range Extender engine that 47 hp of power at 3,500 rpm via the integrated electrical generator .
The Evora hybrid version is painted in Copper, in both exterior and interior, and is distinguished by circuit inspired graphics.
Updated 03/04/2010: Official images added. Check the gallery to see them all!
Press release after the jump.
With a plethora of new cars set to make their debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Lotus is taking a different route by bringing with them their newly-developed engine designed for future hybrid-drive vehicles.
The new engine, which comes in a revolutionary aluminum encasing that integrates the cylinder block, cylinder head, and exhaust manifold into one solid casting, which results in the car being extremely lightweight – weighing no more than 56 kilos – while also improving emissions and engine durability.
Likewise, the engine also comes with a 1.2 Liter, 3 cylinder Range Extender that, as Lotus claims, is the first of its kind built to cater specifically to the hybrid market. The new Lotus engine also features a two-valve port fuel injection system that can release a maximum output of 15kQ from 1,500 RPM to 3,500 RPM.
The new Lotus engine, which was developed as part of a project by the U.K. Technology Strategy Board, is a revolutionary achievement by Lotus in producing hybrid engines that are both highly-efficient and affordable.
Continued after the jump.
Lotus unveiled the safe & sound hybrid, a new technology that synthesize external sound on electric and hybrid vehicles to counteract the growing concern these ‘quiet’ vehicles pose to pedestrians and cyclists.
Electric and hybrid vehicles, a favourite choice of the environmentally conscientious have recently come in for criticism from blind and partially sighted people.
Due to the almost silent operation of hybrid vehicles at slower speed when running on electric power, the independent travel of the blind and partially sighted may be put at risk as they cannot hear these quiet vehicles as they approach, making crossing a road or walking through a car park hazardous.
The Lotus ‘Safe & Sound’ Hybrid technology demonstrator uses a standard Toyota Prius, one of the highest volume and most advanced hybrid vehicles to demonstrate the sound synthesis application and compensate for the lack of engine noise emitted by the vehicle when running on an electric motor. What has resulted is the same environmentally conscious hybrid vehicle, without the potential risk to pedestrians and cyclists.
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.