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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Lotus Evija is the most powerful series production road car ever built.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The Lotus Evija is Britain's first all-electric hypercar. Its powertrain delivers a minimum of 986 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, with its upper limits reaching near 1,973 horsepower, making it the most powerful series production road car ever built.

The British automaker is showing off the prowess of the Evija for the first time on the track. A new video (vailable below) showcases the model at the 2.2-mile track at Hethel, Lotus's headquarters.

Piloting the Evija is Gavan Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes for Lotus. In the video, he provides extensive new commentary on key elements of the Evija project as on-board cameras reveal the capabilities of the car.

Gavan Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes for Lotus Gavan Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes for Lotus, pilots the car in the video.Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

In the film, Kershaw takes the audience through the development journey of the Evija from the earliest discussions amongst Lotus staff to today.

The model features five drive modes, each designed to enhance a different part of the Evija driving experience. Range mode is limited to 986 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, switching the Evija from four-wheel drive to all-wheel drive, in an effort to save power.

The City driving mode adds power Control, compared to the Range mode, by increasing regenerative braking ability, which is optimal for urban environments.

In Tour mode, the drive system is switchable to four- or rear-wheel drive. This drive mode delivers 1,381 horsepower and activates torque vectoring technology.

The car's Sport and Track mode deliver the most power and performance. Sport mode ups the power to 1,677 horsepower and 1,254 pound-feet of torque, and increases traction levels. Using Track mode, power is boosted to 1,973 horsepower. The car's Drag Reduction System is available on request to deliver the highest level of torque vectoring technology available. In this mode, the chassis setting is automatically switched to Track.

Lotus has given the Evija a top track speed of 200 mph.

Lotus Evija development prototype on test at Hethel www.youtube.com

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The Bentley Flying Spur is available in a new specification for the new model year.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The 2021 Bentley Flying Spur will be available in a new specification for the 2021 model year in addition to a host of already-announced upgrades. The carbon fiber accents and detailing are designed to give the world's fastest production sedan.

The hand-crafted model is available with a high gloss carbon fiber. The features include a front bumper splitter, side skirts with metallic Bentley badges, rear diffuser, and trunk lid spoiler.

These exterior components have been strength-tested while being optimized for minimal weight and designed to enhance the car's aerodynamics.

2021 Bentley Flying Spur


The side skirts include a three-dimensional Bentley badge that was developed exclusively for the specification and designed to minimize the risk of air bubbles forming during the lacquer coating process, which still providing a faceted aesthetic.

Bentley also tested the glossy accents to ensure that they would minimize any effect on a number of the super luxury sedan's advanced technology systems from the parking distance control to radar and antennae for on-board communications and entertainment.

Additionally, the parts were put thought durability tests including overall vehicle tests of 100,000 km - to abuse testing such as wading, kerb strikes, and rough roads. Rig testing in Bentley's Quality lab assesses performance through the rigors of vibration, thermal cycling, point loading, and impacts.

The model, which was new for the 2019, continues to come with all-wheel drive with torque-vectoring technology, and a 48-volt electric anti-roll bar system.

The Styling Specification is available to order through Bentley's network of retailers, and can be specified when a new car is ordered or retrofitted at a later date to enhance a customer's existing car.

Bentley has further enhanced many of its other vehicles for the 2021 model year including the Bentayga, which has gotten a thorough mid-cycle upgrade. The company also recently celebrated the last Mulsanne to come off the line. The 2021 Continental also received a few upgrades.

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