British carmaker Lotus has unveiled the first car fully developed since the company got bought by Chinese automotive group Geely, and it’s an all-around stunner. Dubbed the Evija — pronounced “E-vi-ya” — this electric hypercar’s spec sheet implies that it will be able to stand up to some of the fastest cars in the world when it starts production in 2020. In true hypercar fashion, only 130 will be made, and they will each start at £1.5 million ($1.86 million).
The price isn’t the Evija’s only spine-shivering number. The hypercar packs a 1,972-horsepower punch thanks to four electric motors, one dedicated to each wheel. It will have a top speed of over 200 miles per hour and can go from 0 to 60 miles per in under 3 seconds. Lotus is targeting 250 miles of range, which is quite high considering the performance the company is touting, and the company also says the car can be charged to 80 percent from zero in just 12 minutes on 350kW chargers (like can be found on Volkswagen’s Electrify America network), with a full charge taking only 18 minutes. And when 800kW charging becomes available, Lotus says a full charge will take just nine minutes.
Contributing to the speed is the fact that the car weighs 1,680 kilograms, or about 3,700 pounds — just shy of the similarly-specced Pininfarina Battista, which was unveiled earlier this year. Lotus says that will make it the “lightest production EV hypercar,” and that the Evija will also be the “most powerful series production road car” when it launches.
Whether the Evija ultimately claims any of these titles is almost beside the point. It will undoubtedly be a very fast car. What sets it apart, for me at least, is its striking design. The Evija takes the modern hypercar look — one that companies like McLaren and Ferrari have honed over the last decade or so — and puts a twist on it by carving out big holes in the bodywork and building a massive diffuser into the rear end of the car. It has a bit of a second-generation Tesla Roadster vibe, too — which feels appropriate, since the original Tesla Roadster was based on a Lotus Elise.
The result is something that looks like a cross between a McLaren and a futuristic racecar. That extends to the interior, too, which features a racing-style wheel set against a stark, no-frills dashboard. The center console is also a sight to behold. Lotus calls it “ski slope-style,” which doesn’t quite track. Simply put, it’s a slab of black material marked by honeycomb indentations, most of which are home to touch-sensitive controls. It is not going to be for everyone. But of course, neither is this car.
The Evija contains many other little surprises, all the kind you’d expect to find on a ultra-rare car such as this. The doors (which dramatically flare out and up) don’t have handles and can only be opened using a key fob or by a switch on the roof. The seats and the steering wheel are lined with Alcantara fabric. The headlights use lasers to light up the road. Mirrors have been replaced by little cameras that jut out of the sides of the car. The Evija can be further customized, too, though the price will jump even higher.
The Evija is cloud-connected, and can be updated over-the-air as well as record information about a customer’s track drives. Lotus is developing a companion app, but the car also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Even millionaires and billionaires need real-time access to their contacts and automotive-approved apps, you know.
Geely bought a majority stake in Lotus in 2017, and over the last decade the Chinese group has added everything from Volvo to an electric vertical takeoff and landing company to its portfolio. Even before the Evija’s debut, the company had garnered something of a reputation for resuscitating stale brands, like it did with Volvo, or the Swedish automaker’s Polestar brand. The Evija is a sign that, despite recent trouble in the Chinese car market, Geely is still willing to swing for the fences with the brands its taken under its wing. And it’s a wonderful tease of what might be coming next from the revived British sports car brand.