One Hell of a Halo: Lotus Building Most Powerful 'Production Car' in Existence

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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.

When you think of present-day Lotus, you don’t typically think grandiose — but that term sums up the Evija rather well. Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham said it would be like nothing else and “re-establish our brand in the hearts and minds of sports car fans and on the global automotive stage,” while simultaneously paving the way for new models.

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.

Likely spurred on by parent company Geely, the British nameplate has been using Porsche as its new benchmark — necessitating some amount of electrification and a few crossover vehicles. Though, to us, it seems like a chicken-and-the-egg scenario. Either Geely wanted EVs and crossovers, forcing Lotus into a product strategy that mimics Porsche a bit, or the Brits liked what the German automaker was doing and rejiggered its business model. Ultimately, the outcome is the same and we’ll have to wait to see what’s in Lotus’ evolving lineup.

Previously referenced as the Type 130, and codenamed internally as Omega, the Evija’s only indicated to yield a maximum range of 250 miles under Europe’s WLTP testing cycle… so less than that. That’s not a terribly impressive operating area but, as this isn’t going to be anyone’s daily driver, we’re not sure how much that matters. But the automaker framed the auto as having the “optimum blend of extreme track performance and on-road comfort,” suggesting it’s supposed to be more than just a track-day darling.

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.

Designed to be reminiscent of Le Mans racers, the hypercar incorporates Venturi tunnels through both rear quarter panels. The front reminds of us of the Ferrari 488 a little more than we’d like but there are enough touches elsewhere to keep things from being too derivative.

The interior is a mostly minimalist affair. The most interesting thing we can say is that it has some no-nonsense seating. A singular screen feeds information to the driver, who holds onto the squarest wheel we’ve ever seen outside of an F1 car. While that has buttons, the floating center console does not. Lotus opted to go with a honeycomb design with a haptic-feedback interface and one giant knob. Not our favorite.

Limited to just 130 examples, most people are likely never to see one in person. That makes the bigger story, which we buried here in paragraph nine, how will the Evija inform Lotus’s evolving image. It’s not going to be going up against Porsche with this one. It’ll have to mix it up with Rimac’s C_Two, the Koenigsegg Regera, Bugatti Chiron, Nio EP9, and all the rest of the mentally priced hypercar crowd. Several of the cars we just mentioned already have specs that trump what Lotus is promising, which doesn’t bode well for the British brand.

The rest boils down to the company’s future product line. We know it wants to build an “SUV” (more likely a premium crossover vehicle — think Lamborghini Urus) and broaden the lineup in general. With Geely at the helm, that’s likely to translate into more EVs. We’re wondering if that’s prudent, though we don’t have a better pathway to help Lotus thrive.

Assembly of the Evija is slated to commence in Hethel, England, in 2020.

[Images: Lotus Cars]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Jul 18, 2019

    So will Elon Musk buy some of these, chop the top off, and convert them to ICE power, as the new Tesla Roadster? /yswidt?

  • 427Cobra 427Cobra on Jul 18, 2019

    now taking bets on which YouTube car Vlogger punk will be the first to get one of these...

  • 28-Cars-Later Ronin.
  • Scott Le Mans - Steve McQueen. It's an oldy and cult only but those who saw it know who's cars were featured.
  • Sobhuza Trooper Gas powered generators? The Wretched Past. UGH!!!! Battery powered generators? The Glorious FUTURE. YEA!!!!! Let California Californicate the World!!!!
  • Yuda Power grid is already failing with the few chargers there are This is just gonna make things worse for normal people
  • Yuda EVs in general are a scam LMAO I'm not surprised
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