Lotus Wants Its First Electric Sports Car to Weigh the Same as Its Last Gas-Powered Car

evija 1619543652
evija 1619543652

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In 2025, Lotus will debut its first all-electric sports car. The company has been using the letter E to name its road cars for years, so it’s already ahead of most other automakers on that front. But the company has set some truly aggressive goals to make sure that the new car, on its new architecture, stays true to what makes a Lotus so wonderful to drive.

“That is a challenge, but it’s a challenge that we’re taking on,” Matt Windle, Lotus’s managing director, told Road & Track. “Our vehicles will still have Lotus dynamics. They will drive like a Lotus that you’re used to and the way we’re looking at it is, we’re probably not going to go the skateboard route with batteries. We’ll probably go chest. So it’s a mid-engine configuration for the battery packs. The weight is still there, so you still get the driver characteristics.”

Stacking the batteries behind the driver should create a weight distribution that is similar to current mid-engine cars. It won’t sound the same and you won’t shift gears, but it should provide for similar characteristics through the corner.

Of course, the weight is the bigger concern. Lotus traditionally emphasizes lightness in its products. So much so that company founder Colin Chapman’s line “simplify and add lightness” is one of the few notable quotes from a car company founder. Lotus is hoping to buck the trend of additional weight when it shifts to EVs.

“There is a weight penalty but, again, as we’ve done with Evija, we’ll do with future vehicles is, they will be the lightest in their category,” Windle says. “And the challenge that we’ve set ourselves for the sports car that follows Emira, is in those batteries, to try and get it back to the weight that Emira will be.”

An aggressive target, especially considering the Emira should weigh in at 3000 pounds or less like the Elise, Exige, and Evora it replaces. Windle says the company plans to achieve its weight targets by looking at different lightweight alloys, as well as developing its own architecture, which he says is key to the weight savings.

“We could have gone and got Geely architectures or other architectures, but they wouldn’t have been the lightest. They wouldn’t have been designed for a Lotus.” Windle says. “So we decided we had to do our own platforms or we would be taking a penalty of 200 or 300 kilos. That leads on to allowing us to market those platforms as well. They’re open for OEMs, they’re open for startups. And with the modular, flexible design that we’re working on, we can have a different scale of cars coming off the same platform.”

This platform will already be used by Alpine with its new electric sports car, and the company is open to letting more manufacturers take a chance with it. If Lotus is able to build an EV that is actually lightweight with the characteristics its cars are known for, it’ll be a huge jump for electric cars.

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