Lotus is jumping from sports car to hypercar maker.
Geely will have to dig deep with this project if it wants to make a statement to the world that one, they aren’t changing Lotus beyond what it’s good at doing and two, that Lotus is here to stay for the long haul and this electric hypercar is proof of that. According to Autocar news in an exclusive report they put out today (Dec. 5, 2018) they’ve found out that an internal project in Lotus dubbed Omega aims to dethrone any and all possible electric hypercars by the time it comes out making it the fastest Lotus ever made and outperforming hypercars similarly priced like the Bugatti Chiron. A tall order.
To remind you just how good Lotus is, here’s one of their fastest cars at the moment, the Evora GT430 Sport, hustling it hard and fast around a track.
Lotus has a long and rich racing history but, with so many owners, the full potential of the company and its lineup has never been exploited, until now. Autocar also reported back in August that it’s largest shareholder, Geely, is committing $2B to turn Lotus into the tip of the performance spear for its brand mix. Parallels with Porsche were drawn.
Details are few and far between for this halo car for the brand in 2020 and beyond but Autocar did state that,
the new model will use a bespoke all-electric drivetrain when it launches early in the next decade.
Which is in and of itself a major undertaking. This isn’t the first time someone’s used an Lotus chassis and strapped batteries inside. The first Tesla Model Roadster infamously used a Lotus chassis of sorts except by the time Tesla was done with their Lotus it was,
…less than 7% of the parts were common with any other device including cars or anything.
Nor is this the first time Lotus has dabbled with electrics. Back in 2010, they had the Lotus Evora 414E which combined a Lotus-developed 1.2L engine and two electric motors with just a 17 kWH battery pack that, when combined, made 408 HP and 590 lb-ft. Here’s an early pre-production photo of said powertrain.
The Lotus lineup has produced some of the fastest accelerating vehicles on planet earth thanks to its ethos to “simplify then add lightness.”
The most powerful and hardcore Lotus 3-Eleven, the Cup 430 does wonders with their Toyota supplied 3.5L V6 supercharging it up to 460 HP and 387 lb-ft and in a total weight coming in at just 2,000 pounds and change, 0-60 MPH comes and goes in just 2.9 seconds.
The similarly powered Evora GT430 takes .7 seconds longer to hit that 60 MPH mark but thanks to more advanced aerodynamics, can hit 196 MPH.
If this electric hypercar aims to be the fastest Lotus ever, it’s going to have to go above and beyond 200 MPH and well under 2.5 seconds butting heads with a car that’s already out there, the hypercar beating Tesla Roadster 2.0, a car that already dips below two seconds for its blast to 60 MPH and a top speed of over 250 MPH, that last goal only a matter of gearing at this point. With the Tesla Roadster 2.0 starting at $200,000, this Lotus Hypercar better make sure it bests a car at a fraction of its price.
There are so many questions I want to be answered with this Lotus electric hypercar. What motors will they use? How will they reconcile a larger battery with their goal to stay light? What are their performance goals? Who will they partner with to supply batteries? How do they plan to stay on the cutting edge of batter technology by the time 2020 rolls around?
A concept is supposedly due next year.