This past week I’ve been processing THOUSANDS of photos. I just finished going through the first day of photos from the Reunion Practice Sessions, but I’ll be adding the qualifying and race session photos very soon!
In the meantime, check out the list of galleries below!
Could this be the future of “Simplify, then add Lightness?”
Lotus has finally revealed the all-electric hypercar they’ve been teasing for months, and now it has a proper name: Evija. The Lotus Evija is Lotus Cars’ attempt at chasing down the Tesla Roadster with a lightweight carbon monocoque chassis mated to a 2000 horsepower motor and the industry’s lightest weight battery pack. Tipping the scales at 1680 kilograms (3703 pounds), Lotus claims that the Evija is the lightest production electric hypercar to enter production. For comparison, the Nio EP9 weighs 1735 kilograms (3825 pounds).
Marbled carved by the wind
While the massive weight doesn’t seem very Lotus-like, the large swaths of bodywork seemingly carved out of the car does lend itself well to Lotus’ modus operandi. Done for the sake of aerodynamics and lightening, the Evija has openings practically everywhere. My particularly favorite angle of the car is from behind; where the taillight LEDs line the inside of the rear airflow exhaust. The massive rear diffuser with the integrated LED safety light is an interesting touch as well. Noticeably absent are the inclusion of wing mirrors. Instead, the car uses retractable camera pods behind the front wheels, leaving the profile of the car unfettered. Altogether, the car does look like a Lotus, with some styling references to the Lotus Evora and even the Danny Bahar Esprit concept car.
The styling continues into the interior, with the dashboard and center console being dominated by open spaces. Reminiscent of the tubular frames in some of Lotus’ cars from the 50s and 60s, the interior is pretty sparse. The climate controls, radio, and drive controls are all on the center console “blade”, and the only other decorations in the interior are the instrument cluster and the steering wheel. Inspired by Formula 1, the steering wheel is squared-off and simplified. All of the controls are compressed into the center of the wheel, with turn indicators, lights, cruise control, and other functions beings within thumb’s reach. The steering wheel is dominated by a single red dial that controls the driving modes, with five distinct settings. Lastly, a single multi-function display provides just the information you need according to the different driving modes.
The Bleeding Edge
Technologically speaking, the Evija is at the bleeding edge of electric vehicle design thanks to the involvement of Geely. While the power and speed of the car are nothing to scoff at, the time it takes to charge the batteries is leaning toward the realm of science fiction. Lotus claims that the Evija can completely replenish its batteries in nine minutes using an 800kW charger. Even when using a 350kW charger, the Evija would still take 18 minutes to completely charge. Thanks to its Williams Formula-E-derived drivetrain, the Evija has the lightest, most energy-dense battery pack ever fitted to a production car. The total range for this car is rated at 270 miles; comparable to the current generation Evora.
A true Lotus?
One question remains, however: Can an ultra-limited production car valued at $2 million be considered a Lotus? Honestly, I’m on the fence about this one. When I first wrote about the Lotus Hypercar, I claimed that such a car flies in the face of Colin Chapman’s ideals of what made a great sports car. The creed “Simplify, then add lightness” was more than a mantra; it was the formula for what made a Lotus, a Lotus. You don’t need massive amounts of power and displacement to make an engaging car. You just need a lightweight reinforced chassis and great suspension tuning. The Evora is probably the best car I’ve ever driven thanks to its incredibly stiff chassis and excellent suspension.
On the other hand, Lotus has always been introducing innovative technologies. In the 70s, Lotus dominated Formula 1 thanks to its adoption of ground effects. When Lotus was involved in sports car racing in the 60s, cars like the Lotus 23B were miles ahead of the competition thanks to Lotus’ innovative use of fiberglass and other lightweight materials. For Lotus to find a way to develop a lighter-weight, denser battery pack, they could potentially lead the way in making actual lightweight, electric sports cars for the masses.
In my Weekend Rear-view, I mentioned that the car is based on the Apollo Intenza Emozione. Personally, I think the P72 is much, much better looking! But, it does use the same naturally-aspirated 6.3-liter V12, so it looks as good as it sounds! Speaking of its looks; the car is inspired by the styling of some famous prototype race cars from the 60s. Cars like the Ferrari 330 P4 / 412P and Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale are definitely reflected in the lines of the car. In fact, this has actually caused some issues with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, who has called out DeTomaso for copying their design for the Pininfarina P4/5.
I think this is a bit of a moot point since it’s clear that both cars were inspired by the design of the Ferrari 330 P4 and other similar race cars. That being said, I think the P72 pulls it off a little better than the Pininfarina P4/5. I mean, just look at it!
It’s just gorgeous!
The car looks exactly like the kind of thing I would sketch in the margins of my notebooks during elementary school. Hell, I still sketch cars like this when I get a chance! It has all the classic lines and proportions, and the interior is simply beautiful. Polished and machined copper adorn the inside and outside of the car, and most notably, the top-mounted exhaust. Both the wing mirrors and wheels are finished with polished copper as well, giving the car a weird combination of retro 60’s styling and steampunk aesthetics. I might even go far as to say that the interior looks just as good, if not, better than the Pagani Huayra’s!
Now, I know what I said about hypercars. But, this car just happens to be one of the very few that I’m actually excited about! Part of that is because this car looks nothing like your typical hypercar. Cars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie have their designs dictated purely by aerodynamics, and in a way, that takes away from the overall design. The cars aren’t beautiful; they’re purposeful. The P72 is the opposite of what a typical hypercar looks like, and that’s why I like it so much. The P72 is retro design absolutely done right.
DeTomaso couldn’t have picked a better way to return.