The Lotus Evija will re-define electric mobility and performance when it arrives later this year. For now, the team at Lotus is busy making sure that the car delivers in terms of design, drive and sound.
The goal behind the Lotus Evija was to build a powerful performance car “for the drivers”, illustrating world-class engineering at its peak. It is the ideal blend of Lotus’ innovative past and its ambitious future and has set a new design language at Lotus.
The design itself speaks volumes – it was recently recognised at the prestigious International Design Awards (IDAs), picking up the award for ‘Product Design of the Year’. Selected among entries from more than 80 countries, the Evija was chosen for its outstanding ability in stretching the limits of automotive design. Judges felt that the Evija set a new benchmark for a sustainable future whilst embodying an exceptional aerodynamic aesthetic and overall seductive style, making it the world’s most premium sustainable car.
Beyond design, engineers are also hard at work in fine-tuning and testing the car. Gavin Kershaw, Director of Vehicle Attributes at Lotus, has previously given new insights into the driving characteristics of the Evija and why it remains a true Lotus. According to Gavin, the Evija comes with five driving modes, each progressively distributes power and torque differently.
Range switches the car to rear-wheel drive to maximise the distance that the car can travel, whilst City provides greater control and decreases the level of regenerative braking suitable for urban environments. Then, there is Tour, which provides automatically switchable four-wheel or rear-wheel drive, and Sport, which delivers higher power but is linked to stability to increase traction levels. Finally, the most extreme mode, Track, boosts power delivery to a maximum 2,000PS.
The Evija’s battery pack is located right behind the two seats, resonating with many of Lotus’ previous ICE cars. As Gavin explains, the mid-mounted electric powertrain creates optimum weight distribution, allowing for exceptional manoeuvrability as it aims to reach the top speed of more than 200mph.
Another important attribute embedded among the DNA of past and present Lotus cars which can’t be compromised in future models is its agile handling and remarkable steering. Gavin stressed that this was a top priority when determining the Evija’s performance characteristics. In short, the Evija will remain nimble just like its predecessors, instilling drivers with extreme confidence.
With its design already recognised by peers and performance in its final stages of testing, another crucial element is now being incorporated – the sound. Lotus isn’t cutting any corners in this department as it announced that renowned British music producer Patrick Patrikios will be working with them to develop a range of sounds for the Evija.
Patrick, whose previous work includes Hollywood movie soundtracks as well as songs from world-famous singers such as Britney Spears, Olly Murs and Sia, will primarily be crafting the external noise of the Evija as it begins acceleration. Additionally, he will also be creating the soundscape for the Evija, including chimes and tone for everything, from the activation of the indicators to the seatbelt warning.
Ideally, the soundscape for the Evija needs to be recognisably and distinctively Lotus and will serve as an audio blueprint for any future electric car from Lotus. To attain this, Patrick is drawing inspirations from one of the most iconic race cars of all time – the Lotus Type 49. He likens the raw edge and emotions felt from the purity of its V8 engine that stirs into one’s soul, to the same feeling when listening to powerful music. Hence it’s essential to incorporate that same nostalgia into the Evija.
Patrick commenced this process by feeding the recording of a Type 49 into his computer and then digitally manipulating the sound to reach an equilibrium with what’s being generated by the Type 49’s engine and the natural driving sound produced by the Evija’s advanced all-electric drivetrain. The result, he hopes, will spark an emotional connection between the car and driver.
It would seem that though the Evija represents an exciting new direction for Lotus, the carmaker isn’t forgetting its beloved heritage that makes a Lotus what it is to the Drivers. Its past design, drive and even sound, all serve as inspiration for its newest creation. Coupled with the latest in technology and aspirations of sustainability, the best Lotus is yet to come.