Engineering

Comparing the Lotus Evija to other cars is 'like comparing a fighter jet to a child's kite'

The Lotus Evija is a forthcoming all-electric hypercar.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

It's sleek and sophisticated. It's also slippery. The Lotus Evija is the first-ever British all-electric hypercar, and it's here to make a statement.

That statement, in large part, is thanks to the car's sophisticated aerodynamics. Richard Hill is a senior engineer with 30 years of experience the brand working on everything from road cars to race cars. As the Chief Engineer of Aerodynamics and Thermal Management at Lotus, he is responsible for making the Evija as slippery as possible.

Lotus Evija

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars


During a recent interview, Hill shared the vision behind the sleek Evija's design and compared it to the competition.

The overall philosophy in designing the Evija was to do what happens with most new cars, especially supercars, "It's about keeping the airflow low and flat at the front and guiding it through the body to emerge high at the rear. Put simply, it transforms the whole car into an inverted wing to produce that all-important dynamic downforce."

That downforce and the car's technical details are extraordinary says Hill. When asked how the Evija compares to regular sports cars, he replied: "It's like comparing a fighter jet to a child's kite.'' He went further, "Most cars have to punch a hole in the air, to get through using brute force, but the Evija is unique because of its porosity. The car literally 'breathes' the air. The front acts like a mouth; it ingests the air, sucks every kilogram of value from it – in this case, the downforce – then exhales it through that dramatic rear end."

McLaren designed Evija's splitter into three sections. The large central area provides cool air to the battery pack, which is mounted at the car's midpoint, similar to where Audi keep the V12 in its R8. The splitter minimizes the amount of air allowed under the vehicle, which reduces drag, making the car more aerodynamic. It also works to generate downforce.

At the back of the car are Venturi tunnels. Named for Giovanni Battista Venturi, an Italian physicist who first published on them in 1797, Venturi tunnels on the Evija work to reduce the pressure on the car and cut drag. Hill says, "Think of it this way; without them the Evija would be like a parachute but with them it's a butterfly net, and they make the car unique in the hypercar world."

To make the car stick even more to the road, there's a rear wing. It gets deployed into the "clean air" above the car helping the rear wheels stay planted. Lotus has also equipped the car with an F1-style Drag Reduction System, which is a horizontal plane mounted centrally at the rear. This helps the car achieve higher speeds, quicker.

Even the car's chassis plays a part. "The chassis a single piece of moulded carbon fibre for exceptional strength, rigidity and safety," said Hill. "The underside is sculpted to force the airflow through the rear diffuser and into the Evija's wake, causing an 'upwash' and the car's phenomenal level of downforce."

Official coefficient of drag and speed numbers are forthcoming. The model is projected to achieve over 200 mph.

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Formula One driver Max Verstappen won this week's race in Monaco.

Photo courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Inc.

If you've spent any time watching Formula One racing this season, it's hard not to be excited by the progression of events. The sport has been dominated by Mercedes-AMG and its world conquering driver, Lewis Hamilton, but 2021 looks to be different. Red Bull Racing Honda has a star driver of its own in Max Verstappen but the car, Honda power unit, and teammate Sergio Perez also look to be in top form. The team and its drivers are presenting quite the challenge for Mercedes, as the dominant team is in second place for the first time in a long time.

Red Bull Racing Honda The team leads F1's constructor championshipPhoto courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Inc.

The win by Verstappen sets Honda atop the leaderboard for the F1 constructors championship for the first time since the end of the 1991 season. Honda previously announced its exit from the sport, and will turn over power unit development efforts to Red Bull itself, which has begun a hiring spree to fill key positions in development and management.

For its part, Red Bull has to be happy with the result, both for its drivers and for the team. Verstappen's win puts him ahead of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and moves the team itself to the top of the leaderboard. The result is impressive, despite the fact that Monaco is a notoriously difficult track for passing. Max started in second and finished first, but teammate Sergio Perez moved from his qualifying position of ninth up to fourth, gaining several additional points in the process.

Red Bull Racing Honda Honda is set to exit F1 after 2021Photo courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Inc.

In two weeks, the Red Bull cars will be put to the test again in Azerbaijan. The team has seen mixed results at the Baku circuit in recent years, but this time it will be defending its one-point lead over Mercedes. As for Max, his four-point lead over Hamilton is the big headline of today, but anything can happen as the sport moves to its sixth race of the 2021 season.

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The Lotus Emira will make its debut soon.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars
The next generation of Lotus is on its way. After the company ditched the Elise, Evora, and Exige in favor of the Evija and a new sports car. That new sports car now officially has a name: Emira.

Emira, pronounced 'E-meer-a" is a strong choice. It is derived from a number of ancient languages and means 'commander' or 'leader'.

Before the car was named Emira, it was called the Lotus Type 131, a codename styling that is common in the automotive world as companies work out trademarks in a timeline that still keeps the vehicle under wraps. However, in recent days, Lotus had been dropping hints regarding the car's name.

A film released ons social media featured a pattern of dots and dashes that made up the central line on the roadway. Those that know Morse Code could have spotted that it spelled Emira. Today, April 27, is the anniversary of the birthday of Samuel Morse, inventor of Morse Code.

The company has revealed that the car will fully debut on July 6 ahead of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed a few days later. A fresh peek at a film the automaker added to Instagram today show off the face of the new car in a sort of sneak peak. Further, another promotional photo released by the company appears to show off the car's driver's side rear haunch.

Lotus Emira teaser rear The shapely back end of the of the Lotus Emira.Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

In a move sure to anger eco warriors but please driving enthusiasts, Lotus has confirmed that the new car will not be a hybrid. It will be the last time that Lotus launches a car with an internal combustion engine and is brought to the masses thanks to what the company calls "an exciting new partnership". Promises have been made to give the car "cutting edge" technology that will make it efficient.

"It's the most accomplished Lotus for generations – the perfectly packaged, powered and formed sports car. Beautifully proportioned, shrink-wrapped, but with comfort, technology and ergonomics built in. With a design inspired by the Evija all-electric hypercar, it's a game-changing Lotus sports car," said Matt Windle, managing director, Lotus Cars.

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