LOTUS has unveiled its vision for a future all-electric endurance racing car that pays homage to the brand’s motorsport heritage.
The iconic British marque says its E-R9 concept could be on the starting grid of circuits around the world for the 2030 season.
Finished in striking black and gold like Lotus racers of yesteryear, the EV features a sleek fighter jet-style canopy centrally mounted in a delta-wing upper body.
E-R stands for Endurance Racer, while 9 is the car’s competition number carefully chosen in tribute to the firm’s racing past.
The team made its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Lotus Mark IX, with company founder Colin Chapman among the drivers, in 1955. So if the E-R9 races in 2030, it would be in celebration of the Mark IX’s 75th anniversary.
Innovations include “morphing” body panels that would deliver minimum drag on the straights and maximum downforce in the corners.
The technology would enable active surfaces to change their shape and attitude to the air flow either at the press of a button by the driver or automatically according to performance sensor inputs.
Meanwhile, vertical control surfaces at the rear would generate aerodynamic forces to help the car change direction, without the limitations of grip at the tyre contact patch.
Lotus claims that the result is a racing machine that’s partly driven like a car and partly flown like a fighter jet.
The E-R9 features an advanced electric drivetrain powering each wheel independently, a system enhanced with torque-vectoring. It builds on technology already integrated on the Lotus Evija pure-electric hypercar.
Engineering chiefs are confident that battery technology will have moved on hugely by 2030 and that it will be possible to “hot-swap” batteries during pit stops.
Aerodynamics boss Richard Hill said: “The E-R9 incorporates technologies that we fully expect to develop and be practical.
“Lotus has an amazing history of developing unique solutions, and we’ve done it many times in motorsport and with our road cars.”