Electric Vehicles

Lotus Evija hypercar enters initial build phase in the UK

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The Lotus Evija is moving from sexy proposition to hypercard reality. The model is the first-ever British all-electric hypercar and it has the looks and powertrain to make an instant impact during track days worldwide.

Sporting a name that means "the first in existence", the Evija boasts a 1972-horsepower output, sub-three second zero to 62 mph time, and a top speed over 200 mph. The model is the first project launched at Lotus under its Geely stewardship. Geely also owns Lynk & Co, Volvo, and Polestar among other brands that are less familiar to Americans like PROTON.

Meet the Lotus Evija Video courtesy of YouTube

The car's all-electric powertrain was co-developed with Williams Automotive Engeineering, the company behind many Formula One and Formula E successes. Its battery pack is mid-mounted directly behind the coupe's two seats, supplying energy to four motors. Lotus says that the, "highly efficient system is the lightest, most energy dense, electric power package ever fitted to a road car."

Power is stored in the car's 2,000 kWh lithium-ion battery, which can accept an 800kW charge and be fully loaded in just nine minutes. However, charging infrastructure for 800 kW charging is not currently in place. On readily available 350 kWh charging devices, the the Evija's charge time will be 12 mins to 80 percent and 18 mins to full. The car's range is 250 miles on the WLTP Combined Cycle, or 270 miles on the NEDC Combined Cycle.

The Evija's charging port is located at its rear.

Lotus has given the car a F1-style steering wheel and five drive modes: Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track.

Lotus is targeting a total vehicle weight of just 3703 pounds.

Lotus Evija

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The car ports a carbon fiber body.

Evija is built for speed. It sports a carbon fiber body and a ride height of just 105 mm, meaning a can of soda won't even fit below the car's splitter. The four-wheel drive auto features a full carbon fiber chassis. It has a rear spoiler and F1-style Drag Reduction System. At the back is a ribbon-style light signature designed to remind admirers of fighter jets. The Lotus badge illuminates as well.

The car's four radiators and dynamic exterior design aid with cooling, allowing the Evija to be driven flat out with no derate for at least seven minutes in Track mode.

Inside the cabin, the car features a "floating wing" dashboard. "The shape is inspired by the company's prototype racing cars of the late Fifties and early Sixties," said Russell Carr, Design Director, Lotus Cars. "It has a beauty and an elegance to it, and represents a typically Lotus approach because it performs multiple functions. It houses the instrument panel and air ducts, and is also an integral structural support. It reinforces Colin Chapman's cast-iron rule that no Lotus component goes along for a free ride."

A unique sloping center console features additional controls for the car including those for the climate and audio systems. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Passengers get in and out of the vehicle via two dihedral doors. The hands-free doors are operated via a key fob.

Lotus Evija Makes Dynamic Debut www.youtube.com

Production will be limited to 130 models.

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McLaren F1 chassis no. 63 at Hampton Court during Salon Prive.

Photo courtesy of Salon Prive
When the McLaren F1 launched in 1992, it was priced at £540,000, the equivalent to £965,000 when adjusted to 2020 values. The price wasn't just extraordinary - so was the car.

The F1 wasn't like anything the world have ever seen before. It was a no-compromise model and is now one of the most sought-after cars in the world.

It's story starts in 1988 when then-McLaren designer Gordon Murray was flying back from the 1988 Italian Grand Prix. The flight was delayed so Murray took the opportunity to sketch some ideas for a high-performance three-seater car. He then went on toe persuade Ron Dennis and other McLaren managers at the time to build the most intriguing road car ever conceived.

McLaren F1 Salon Prive McLaren F1 chassis no. 63 at Hampton Court during Salon Prive.Photo courtesy of Sale Prive

The car's body was sculpted by designer Peter Stevens from Murray's sketches. It was shaped to cut through the air but remain stable without needed wings. Only the airbrake would deploy when necessary. Like Murray's later T.50, the car's three-seat arrangement put the driver at center stage.

The F1 has the world's first carbon-fiber tub chassis - something that is quite common among supercars these days. That tub took 3,000 man-hours to make. The car featured a titanium subframe and magnesium alloy wheels, which factored into the idea of making the car as light as possible. Even the toolkit was titanium, as a means of saving weight.

At the model's heart is a 620-brake horsepower 6.1-liter V12 engine that was developed by Paul Rosche and the team at BMW Motorsport. It's top speed was over 230 mph. The heat it put out was so hot, McLaren needed to line the engine bay. What material did they choose? Pure gold, of course.

The engine is paired with a manual gearbox. The steering and brakes are unassisted.

Big brother was always watching. On-board diagnostics transferred data to the factory so every single one of the 64 road cars made could be monitored for performance.

McLaren made a promise. If a customer had a problem with their F1, McLaren would fly out a technician to fix it. Alternately, there were eight official service centres worldwide.

Even priced at £540,000, McLaren didn't profit from the car.

However, for owners, purchasing the F1 became a solid investment, if they were willing to play the long game. According to the Hagerty Price Guide, until 2006 F1s were changing hands for just over the original asking price, but by 2008 prices began to rise and the F1 was valued at £1.5 million.

It's only gone up from there. By 2014 the cost was over £5 million. In 2015, Mr. Bean actor Rowan Atkinson sold his F1 for £8 million, despite crashing it twice and making what was at the time possibly the world's biggest auto insurance claim.

In 2017 chassis no. 44 sold at Bonham's Quail Lodge Auction for $15.6 million (£12.1 million at the time), while the Hagerty Price Guide now values the cars at in excess of £16 million.

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