Henry Catchpole splits his time as a contributor to Evo magazine with on-camera work for Carfection. The ever-gracious Englishmen took to the studio again recently to pore over the brand new Lotus Evija — and his first gift to us is the electric coupe's proper pronunciation: ee-VYE-yah. For a full 23 minutes, Catchpole tours the coming Lotus hypercar with Lotus' head designer Russell Carr. The two men sweep over the car from front to rear, Carr explaining the origins and details of the many shiny bits that attract Catchpole's eye.
The spec sheet alone is attention-getting. A 70-kWh battery fuels a powertrain rated at 2,000 horsepower and 1,254 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive and torque vectoring are made possible by electric motors motors front and rear, but the setup is novel. A single drive unit on each axle combines a motor and inverter, but we're told each wheel gets its own gearbox. The package is a little shorter and wider than a Porsche 911, but sits seven inches lower than the roof of the German. Scales bend to the weight of 3,700 pounds in spite of magnesium center-lock wheels, that grandeur managed in part by six Multimatic spool-valve dampers, three on each axle. Just 130 Evijas will be produced, starting next year, each one starting at around $2.1 million.
Lotus has filled the coupe with visual flourishes. The Lotus badge on the front is metal inlaid into the carbon fiber bodywork. Carr said he wasn't sure the engineers would be able to finalize that for production, but the designers are hoping. Fans inside the headlights keep the lumens cool, while movable DRLs and turn signals angled like the winglets on an airliner make the lumens look cool. Another neat lighting trick: The "T" in the word "Lotus" on the rear fascia acts as the reversing light. Two features we haven't yet seen on the latest batch of hypercars are adjustable seats, and a strip of metal in the headrests that can be etched the slogan of a customer's choice. And in spite of all the firsts for Lotus in this car, there's one holdover from the Hethel carmaker's other compact sports cars: A dearth of luggage space. The only cubbies are polygonal-shaped holes in the rear of the door sills.
It doesn't sound so bad when Catchpole explains it, though, so check out the video.