Lotus published footage of the Evija, its first series-produced electric car, undergoing shakedown testing on its Hethel, England, track. It also detailed the model’s different driving modes, and the effect they’ll have on the powertrain.
Electric technology is heavy, and Lotus is known for making ultra-light cars, so engineers walked a fine line as they developed the Evija. Gavan Kershwa, the brand’s director of vehicle attributes, explained his team managed to give the 2,000-horsepower coupe the handling enthusiasts expect from a mid-engined model by placing the lithium-ion battery pack, which is the heaviest part of the car, directly behind the passenger compartment.
Matt Windle, the company’s research and development boss, told Autoblog composite materials and clever packaging help offset the battery’s weight. The part the steering column is mounted to is also used as a ducting for the climate control system, for example. All told, the Evija tips the scale at approximately 3,700 pounds.
Enthusiasts will have five driving modes, named Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track, at their fingertips. Range mode caps the car’s output at 1,000 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque and makes the Evija rear-wheel drive to maximize driving range. City makes the Evija easier to drive around town, while Tour lets the driver choose between rear- and all-wheel drive while raising the powertrain’s output to 1,400 horsepower.
Sport puts 1,700 horsepower and 1,254 pound-feet of torque under the driver’s right foot, and it tweaks the various stability control systems to improve traction. Finally, Track unleashes the car’s full potential while dialing in the highest level of torque vectoring. It also changes the chassis settings, according to the company.
Lotus will continue fine-tuning the Evija in the coming months, and production is scheduled to start in 2021. Though it was delayed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 130 units are planned, and Autoblog can confirm the first year of production is sold out — but there are still build slots available, contrary to what some sources are reporting. Looking ahead, Windle told us the Evija is a trailblazer whose design language and technology will permeate future models.