By on July 17, 2019

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]

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20 Comments on “One Hell of a Halo: Lotus Building Most Powerful ‘Production Car’ in Existence...”

  • avatar

    Maybe one will show up at LOG in a few years, otherwise I just can’t get too excited over a $2 million car, no matter the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      My biggest concern is how this is supposed to reshape Lotus as a brand. If they’re going this expensive and electric, while also talking about crossovers, it makes me wonder if there will be any room for something like an Evora in their new lineup.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t worry about the price, the Chinese will produce a cheap knock off in a few years.

  • avatar

    Of course, without the $7,500 EV tax credit, no one would buy one. They estimate about 200 miles EPA range, so that’s what, ten years of driving for a 2 million dollar car.

    • 0 avatar

      ” without the $7,500 EV tax credit, no one would buy one.”

      There are millions of Americans who would consider an EV as a second vehicle, many of those Americans quite well to do, who don’t even pay that much in taxes.

      The Bolt, the Volt and the Leaf could have been viewed as a “people’s car”, a la Volkswagen as it was designed to be, but this $2M car? No way.

  • avatar

    “This is much too real to be exciting. Besides, it’s already outdated if it can’t hover.”
    -Elon ‘Snake Oil’ Musk

  • avatar

    I stopped reading at ‘electric’.

  • avatar

    More detailed reports than this say after this specialty car, Lotus will make new sports cars in England, and ta da! new Lotus SUVs in China. British production will mean a second factory, apparently.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    What a terrible joke.

  • avatar

    1. Simplify
    2. Then add lightness
    3. Then add heavy batteries
    4. ?
    5. Profit!

  • avatar

    Hypercar prices have been getting ridiculous, but $2 million is nothing to billionaires many times over.

    That being said, Lotus is now Chinese-owned, so even if had the means, wouldn’t be on my radar.

  • avatar

    Geely haven’t messed up Volvo yet, but right out of the gate they miss the point on what Lotus is supposed to be. This could’ve worn any generic badge and sold just as quickly.

    I really don’t know how anyone is supposed to tell these modern six figure hypercars apart, 90% of them look identical.

    • 0 avatar

      More to the point, how embarrassed will Mr. billionaire be when someone on the streets of Monaco mistake this for a $100K McLaren. I genuinely would not have known the difference from that side view.

  • avatar

    A relatively small 70 kWhr battery would make this a frustratingly brief day at the track. At 200 miles of road range, on the track at full throttle would only be a small fraction of that.

  • avatar

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


  • avatar

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

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