As Lotus Cars’ Evija hypercar program approaches production, its testing team and managing director, Matt Windle, have given their impressions on EP1 – one of several prototypes and the most developed in terms of performance attributes.
Windle explained the setup up of its prototype test program: “We have different prototypes focusing on different areas of development. One for build and tech, another for battery management, the other for motors and so on. EP1, which I have driven most recently, is the performance prototype and it does not disappoint. We are still some months from entering series production, but already EP1 has that unmistakable Lotus ‘feel’. Unquestionably a unique and extreme hypercar, but still, somehow, a Lotus. I’m so excited and extremely proud of what the team has achieved.”
Gavan Kershaw, director of product attributes and Lotus’s chief test driver, noted that testing was now a case of refining the driving experience: “We’re 80% there – in terms of power, in terms of batteries, motors, body. Now, the remaining 20% is about adding the magic, for everything to work in harmony in that unique Lotus way, to deliver the driving experience that we want and that we can be super-proud of. And by proud, I of course mean, mind-blowing. It is a hypercar.”
Lead vehicle dynamics engineer James Hazlehurst remarked that proving out the car’s various active systems, covering chassis control and aerodynamics, was a major part of the team’s current focus: “We are fast-completing the base vehicle dynamics and turning on the active systems one by one – torque vectoring, active aero, traction control and so on – to confirm everything behaves and works together as expected. Then we start to tune the drive modes, delivering the distinctive characteristics for each of the settings. We’ve been doing some of this virtually, working with a simulator partner, and now, as the world is beginning to slowly open up, we’re able to put these learnings into practice in the physical world.”