2,000-horsepower Lotus Evija becomes the world's most powerful production car
Until today, the world's most powerful production car was the all-electric Rimac C_Two, which makes a puny 1,914 horsepower. Now, British carmaker Lotus has introduced a proper, lunch-money stealing, wedgie-pulling 2,000-hp 'leccy hypercar with a name that you'll need help pronouncing.
E-vi-ya, that's how you're supposed to say it, and each of the new Evija's four wheels can lay down more power by itself than any car Lotus has ever made. Buoyed by money from its new owners, Chinese automaking giant Geely, Lotus has decided to augment its range of lightweight, sharp-handling sportscars with a terrifying electric hero car that can bludgeon any other production car on the planet into submission – at least, in a bench race.
Two thousand horsepower, folks. Wrap your thinking gear around that. The vast majority of people on this planet never get to drive a car with a quarter of that power. And make no mistake, electric horsepower always feels much faster than gasoline horsepower because of the instant, maddening rush of torque electric motors supply.
The Evija's peak torque will be 1,700 Nm (1,254 lb-ft), and you can have all of it at once from a standstill, if you don't mind your car staying completely still, making a whizzing sound for a few seconds, and then flinging shredded pieces of ragged Pirelli Trofeo R rubber in all directions before dropping you onto your 20- and 21-inch Magnesium rims. Totally worth it.
Williams Advanced Engineering is involved with the project, in particular supplying a monster battery pack capable of 2,000-kW discharge rates. It sits in the middle of the carbon fiber monocoque chassis, emulating the weight distribution you'd get from a mid-engined supercar, and holds 70 kWh of energy, which is enough to achieve a range of 250 mi (400 km), if you drive it like a WLTP (World harmonized Light vehicle Testing Procedure) test robot. Drive it flat-out like a lunatic, and Lotus says its four-radiator cooling package will keep temperatures under control long enough to subject you to the most horrifying seven minutes of your life. Again, totally worth it.
The battery also features a whopping 800-kW charging capability, which will enable a full charge in just nine minutes, should anyone ever get around to building a charger that fast. Until then, the Evija will be one of the first cars around that can take full advantage of the current world's fastest chargers, which at 350 kW will blast you from 0-80 percent in 12 minutes or fill you right up in 18.
Lotus hasn't tested it yet, so it won't be drawn on performance figures other than to say it expects the Evija to deliver you from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in "under three seconds" – yeah, no kidding, Sherlock. The company goes on to say it should be able to get you from 0-186 mph (300 km/h) in less than nine seconds – or about the same time it takes the average family car to get up to freeway speed. Top speed is "over 200 mph (320 km/h)" – the electrics might smash it on acceleration, but they won't be challenging the Koeniggsegg Jesko, with its alleged 300-mph (483-km/h) capability, for sheer final velocity for a long time.
Power is delivered to the wheels through individual single-speed, helical gear ground planetary gearboxes on each drive shaft. Naturally, there's torque vectoring to keep things under a modicum of control – or, stated more accurately, to fire you even faster out of a corner – and in Track mode the Evija will even add power to individual wheels to help tighten up your cornering radius by swinging the rear around a bit. Good grief.
The "aeronautically inspired" body design features some interesting aerodynamic touches, including stonking great Venturi tunnels that funnel air in behind the doors, behind the smoothly molded insides of the rear wheel arches, and then out two giant holes in the back of the car, which are big enough to stick a volleyball in. Lotus says they help reduce drag by balancing out some of the low-pressure air behind the car at speed, but their main function is clearly looking sick. You'll want to check them regularly for barnacles and stowaways.
These two colossal holes are rimmed by glowing LED tail and brake lights, a touch Lotus hopes will remind you of a jet's afterburners and not the morning after a vindaloo. The headlights, for their part, are world-first laser units for both main and high beam. Don't expect old-school mirrors, either – the Evija uses low-drag extending camera pods for the side mirrors and a discreet rear-facing camera for the main rear view.
The doors open dihedrally upwards, as is customary beyond a certain price point, and they don't have handles at all, opening instead in response to buttons on your key fob. We expect the lower portions of these doors to be caked with decorative mud thanks to lewd openings in the backs of the front wheel arches, which will pull cooling air through the brakes and presumably fling road grime back along the scoopy door panels at the same time.
The interior is pleasantly technological-looking, with the dash designed as a "flying wing" that floats separate from the firewall to create an interesting sensation of space in front of the seats. The dash is joined to the center console by a slim ski-ramp crammed with sleek, hexagonal button-and-dialery. The great holes behind the dash and instrument panel, as well as the jaunty grab-handle ventilation holes beneath the crotch area of the seats, are there to echo the "porosity" of the car's exterior design, and underscore the fact that "no Lotus component goes along for a free ride," according to Lotus Design Director Russell Carr, who has certainly rustled up a nice car in this case.
Only 130 Evijas will be built, each personalized in terms of color, finish, interior trims and details, right down to sticking your own family crest on the C-pillars if your family is the kind that has crests. Which, heck, it may well be if you've got £1.7 million (US$2.1 million) to spend on garage candy like this.
We are most certainly in the midst of a new golden age for hypercars, folks. To be an auto writer in today's market is to subject oneself to what seems like a never-ending deluge of exotic press releases, each making promises more ludicrous than the last. Be they combustion-engined, hybrid or electric, there has never been more ultra-exclusive gear on the market, and the seemingly limitless performance capabilities of electric powertrains point toward a future where things like the five-thousand-and-something horsepower Alieno Arcanum may well actually walk the Earth in the next decade or two. We'd tell you to drink it in before somebody in government puts a stop to it – but then, governments rarely have the cojones to put a stop to anyone's fun at this end of the market, do they?
Enjoy a video below introducing the Evija below.