(Pocket-lint) - "Evija is our new calling card," said Lotus CEO Phil Popham, on revealing the £2 million electric hypercar at an event in London. The first car that Lotus has launched for over 10 years, it sets the scene to move the Geely-owned company forward in an electric world.
While many of the principles stick to what Lotus is known for - it's built for the driver - it pitches itself into a radically different position to cars like the Elise. This isn't an affordable production car that will tear up the track. Instead, it's a limited run of 130 models that only the super rich will be able to afford.
If you fall into that category, Lotus will accept your £250,000 deposit before they start hand-building the car in Hethel, Norfolk.
From the exterior, the Type 130 or Evija shows plenty of drama, allowing Lotus to really go to town on designing a car that takes advantage of its EV status. It's not just about aerodynamics, it's about how the airflow has sculpted the body of the car, according to design director Russell Carr.
The result is huge air channels, not for cooling (although there is a four-radiator battery cooling system), but to create down force and cancel out lift that would normally be generated by things like the wheel arches. Looking closely at this car, you can see right into parts like the suspension, with Lotus keen to expose working elements of this super car.
It's carbonfibre throughout, with a carbon tub and bodywork. The seats have a carbonfibre structure topped with padding and even the pop-out cameras that replace wing mirrors are carbon. That's right - there are no mirrors on this car, with even the rear mirror getting its image from a rear-facing camera. That all means it weighs just 1680kg, which is classically Lotus.
Working with Williams Advanced Engineering on the powertrain, Lotus moves to full electric, looking to produce the most powerful electric car on the road. There's a 70kWh battery producing 2000kW of power. Lotus says that this is a 2000PS production car thanks to the four motors driving wheels, but is shying away from giving the exact performance figures.
The 0-62 time is given as "under 3 seconds" while the 0-186 time is given as "under 9 seconds". It's the latter of these figures that is important, because that's where the Lotus is seriously fast, with the maximum speed given as over 200mph.
Exactly how long the battery will last at those sorts of speeds we don't want to guess, but Lotus says you'll get 250 miles from it and the aim will be to support up to 800kW charging, meaning you could recharge it in 9 minutes.
That 800kW charging solution doesn't really exist at the moment, but if you can find a 350kW charger - which is starting to roll-out - then you'll be able to charge it in 18 minutes.
The interior takes a similar dramatic line to the exterior, with a floating bar hold the digital display and steering column in place, while a central pillar provides all the touch controls. You'll get the convenience of being able to plug in your phone, with support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, meaning it could be perfectly convenient too.
Lotus says that this is the start of a new era for Lotus, that the Evija is designed to put Lotus back on the map as it looks towards a future with more its traditional sports cars, with the aim to offer electric and conventional power options.
The Evija will be on the road from 2020, but this is going to be something exceptionally rare.
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