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

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
one hell of a halo lotus building most powerful 8216 production car in existence

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]

Join the conversation
2 of 20 comments
  • 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...

  • Marvin Im a current owner of a 2012 Golf R 2 Door with 5 grand on the odometer . Fun car to drive ! It's my summer cruiser. 2006 GLI with 33,000 . The R can be money pit if service by the dealership. For both cars I deal with Foreign car specialist , non union shop but they know their stuff !!! From what I gather the newer R's 22,23' too many electronic controls on the screen, plus the 12 is the last of the of the trouble free ones and fun to drive no on screen electronics Maze !
  • VoGhost It's very odd to me to see so many commenters reflexively attack an American company like this. Maybe they will be able to find a job with BYD or Vinfast.
  • VoGhost I'm clearly in the minority here, but I think this is a smart move. Apple is getting very powerful, and has slowly been encroaching on the driving experience over the last decade. Companies like GM were on the verge of turning into mere hardware vendors to the Apple brand. "Is that a new car; what did you get?" "I don't remember. But it has the latest Apple OS, which is all I care about." Taking back the driving experience before it was too late might just be GM's smartest move in a while.
  • VoGhost Can someone Christian explain to me what this has to do with Jesus and bunnies?
  • Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.