Automotive

Lotus unveils powerful electric supercar for $2 million

Evija has 1,900 horsepower engine

(CNN) - British sports car maker, Lotus, has unveiled a 1,900 horsepower all-electric supercar with a price tag that surpasses $2 million.

The new Evija is a big departure for Lotus, a brand usually known for making small, nimble sports cars at relatively affordable prices. Prices for the Lotus Elise, for instance, start at about £42,000 in England, or roughly $52,000. Prices for the Lotus Evora 400, the only Lotus model currently available in the United States, start at under $100,000.

Lotus also doesn't usually boast about enormous horsepower. The battery-powered Evija, however, is being touted as "the world's most powerful series production road car" -- if the car can actually deliver Lotus' 1,900 horsepower target once it's produced. The car will be able to go from zero to over 60 miles an hour in less than three seconds and will have a top speed of more than 200 miles an hour.

"The Lotus Evija is a car like no other. It will reestablish our brand in the hearts and minds of sports car fans and on the global automotive stage," Lotus chief executive Phil Popham said in an announcement. "It will also pave the way for further visionary models."

The Evija, which is pronounced "e-vy-a," will be able to drive "flat-out" on a race track for at least seven minutes before having to slow down, according to Lotus. Electric cars generally can't operate at full performance for very long before batteries begin to drain and overheat. That's one reason high-performance automakers like Lamborghini and Ferrari have said they are not rushing to produce all-electric cars.

The Lotus Evija will compete against very expensive electric supercars like the Pininfarina Battista and the Rimac C_Two. Lotus's car was developed with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering, a British company that was involved in the development of Formula E electric race cars.

The Evija does carry some of Lotus's historical ethos of simplicity. Lotus founder Colin Chapman is famously said to have instructed the company's race car designers to "simplify, then add lightness."

Lotus boasts that the Evija is the lightest electric hypercar yet at 3,700 pounds. To make the car more aerodynamic, it has no mirrors on the doors. Instead, cameras deploy from the front fenders while another camera built into the roof provides a central rear view.

A rear wing comes up automatically when the car is put into Track mode, but can also be extended whenever the driver chooses. Large air intakes that open up in front of the rear wheels are shaped to pull air through the car, helping counteract the area of low pressure that tends to form behind a fast moving car.

Besides the car's speed and power, Lotus also boasts that the Evija has the "world's fastest charging battery." Using existing charging technology, the car can charge to 80% of its capacity in 18 minutes. Lotus hopes to give the car a final driving range of about 250 miles, or 400 kilometers. The battery pack is mounted behind the seats, where the engine is mounted in most high-end supercars. It feeds power to four electric motors, each powering one wheel of the car, allowing for the best performance when cornering or in slippery conditions.

Lotus worked with Tesla to create the original Tesla Roadster, which was based on a Lotus sports car. Lotus is now owned by China's Geely Holding Group, the same company that owns Volvo.

With support from Geely, Lotus has plans to greatly expand its model lineup, which could possibly include a crossover SUV. The Evija will be the first entirely new car produced under Geely's ownership. It will be made at Lotus's Hethel, England, headquarters beginning next year.


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