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Article interviewing Rackham, head of vehicle concepts at Lotus. The first few paragraphs go into already known details about LEVA, but then it talks about engineering stuff and it's interesting and worth a read: Forbes: Lotus Unveils Modular Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture For Two Sports Cars And Perhaps A 2+2 GT

Some takeaways:

  • "According to Rackham, the mass and packaging of the battery, cabling and motor(s) approximates the weight and physical dimensions of a comparably powerful internal combustion powertrain." Matt Windle had said in a previous interview that they need their EV sports car to match the weight of the Emira, and Rackham has confirmed they achieved that.
  • Still no decision whether to use a front motor or not, due to weight concerns. Definitive no on using a 2 speed gearbox also due to weight.
  • More focus on torque vectoring as a characteristic of EVs that Lotus can use to make their cars drive more like Lotus. Hopefully they can still apply torque vectoring even with just a single rear motor.
  • No official confirmation, but Lotus is still aiming for a 40/60 weight distribution with their EV sports cars.

 

There's a another new Forbes article interviewing Matt Windle, but it's kinda fluff with no specific details. Just Windle assuaging that Chinese manufactured SUVs will still be focused on drivers, drive like Lotus, and be premium. Forbes: Lotus Managing Director Matt Windle On The Sports Car Brand’s Electric Future

Edited by KusaKusa
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Nice one, but I do wish they would stop referring to the Evija as “the world’s first British electric hypercar”. 
It’s like they originally called it “the world’s first electric hypercar” but then someone pointed out that it wasn’t, so they added in the word “British” but forgot to change the rest of the words for it to make any sense.

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Yes. Nice award. Now, I love Lotus as much as the next guy or wouldn't have been here as long as dirt, but I hope there's not a little bit of emperor's new clothes going on. I've no idea how these awards are derived, but they've gone and won an award for manufacturing on basis of two new vehicles to replace decades old ones, and which are still in prototype possibly for a year or more. We won't know for sure until they are rolling off the line, no matter how many deposits dealers are sitting on. Is it primarily that they are developing new architectures and expanding production facilities and jobs? If so, good on them!

Now, the latest Emira moniker of "the most accomplished Lotus ever made?" Looks to be a great car but I'm really not getting that one at all. 😕 With the announcement of the RHD C8 Corvette coming to the UK at a similar 80-95k GBP price point, it should make for some interesting comparison articles in the next couple of years. I'm looking forward to seeing exactly what the Emira can "accomplish."

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Yeah that award is hillarious when you think about it. It's a slow year, they will manufacture probably around 700 cars. I don't know what criteria is there to be awarded "manofacturer of the year".  Probably a PR stunt mostly. They need to get on peoples radars for Emira/Evija launches next year.

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3 hours ago, exeterjeep said:

I am not sure about the picture, people are making noise about the upcoming EV by Lotus. 

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The award seems to be just for car manufacturers as a group and not necessarily for their manufacturing.  I think based on what Lotus has communicated, they're setting up their backend the right way to launch on EVs effectively, which is especially difficult for them since they're a small company competing against the likes of Volkswagen, Tesla, etc.  Resource-wise, they of course have the backing of Geely and all its EV brands, but they also got an investment from NIO to open up its potential EV resources.  Then they also have investments into Hethel for the Emira's remainder of the decade and future EV sports/super cars and Lotus-specific headquarters for R&D and a factory both in Wuhan.   It's kinda crazy that Lotus, with its historically struggling sales, is getting this level of investment specifically for its brand (especially vs Volvo that's doing well in China) instead of going an easy route like just throwing its badge onto existing Chinese/Volvo vehicles.  The market positioning, price, and performance of the Emira shows that Lotus is planning to work at an economy of scale that makes their vehicles mass market competitive with existing offerings (specifically Porsche).  Hopefully the dedicated R&D center helps Lotus compete in development with the massive resources of Porsche and VAG.

Technology-wise, Lotus is always focused and invested in their engineering, and with the company commitment and its potential learnings shown by the Evija reflect such an investment.  It'll give them great learnings on high performance motor design, battery chemistry, fast charging, cooling, and lightweight EV structure design.  Lotus also developed its own EV platforms to maximize range (Lotus Premium Architecture, internally known as Evolution) and maximize performance (based on LEVA, internally known as E-Sports) instead of relying on existing Geely EV platforms in order to differentiate themselves from competitors in driving characteristics; they've said all their vehicles will be lowest weight in class.  Their first EV, the Type 132 mid/large SUV, will be announced in 2022 for sale in 2023.  In comparison, Polestar started with better resources and positioning but still won't release an EV on a dedicated platform (Polestar 3) until 2022 as well. 

Most of this info with investments, technology, and future offerings came out of announcements just this year.  It's a lot that's working in the background, but it's all communication at this point and no actual results.  So hopefully the results reflect the effort and has Lotus in the high tier of competitive products.  A big question will be if the Lotus brand still carries enough prestige to drive SUV and sedan sales until they come out with a sports car to "advertise" the brand like Porsche's 911/Cayman.  Lotus is setting themselves in a strong position to fill a niche to compete head-to-head with Porsche in the "exotic" premium performance EV segment, but they can separate themselves by not being tied down to the norms that restrict Porsche like their historical (plain) designs and stuff like the 911 history.  The only other companies in that space on the EV side are BMW, Jaguar, Polestar, and surprisingly Maserati (they're investing heavily in future EV products).  I think Lotus is better set up than all those companies except maybe Polestar.  I think Tesla will sorta suffer from its own success and create this market segment of more unique "exotic" performance EVs.

Edited by KusaKusa
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Newest edition of Autocar has more info on the engineering of the LEVA innovations. Lotus seems to think that this platform will be like the next Elise in that several other companies will want to utilize the platform. That doesn't seem super unreasonable since most models cheaper than super cars won't have bespoke non-skateboard platforms, which is limited to being huge in size and high in height.

Screenshot_20211013-173405.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Oh hello! Interesting indeed, can't wait for more information! 

I'm loving what Toyota are doing at the moment regarding performance cars and seem to be breaking out the mould a little bit and doing things differently to your average performance car so would be great to see a collaboration between the two old friends.

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Found another artists impression of the possible SUV..

''Lotus SUV, whose official name has not yet been known. On the price side, expect an entrance ticket of more than 150,000 €. With the arrival of this new 100% electric range, and in view of the production capacities of the Chinese plant, the Sino-British firm definitely sets out to compete with Porsche on equal terms. Thanks Geely!''

Lotus electric SUV (2022): heavy artillery

 

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