Electric Shock

Not only are electric supercars just as sexy as their gas-guzzling cousins, they also boast performance that puts the old guard to shame. Is it time for you to make the switch?

Lotus Evija

This stunning hypercar is the incredible Lotus Evija – setting new standards in advanced EV engineering. Lotus says it will be the most powerful series production road car ever built.

Like all Lotus cars throughout the British brand’s storied 71-year history, the Evija has been precision-engineered to deliver an outstanding driving experience both on the road and track. Above all else, it is ‘For The Drivers’.

Evija (pronounced ‘E-vi-ya’) means ‘the first in existence’ or ‘the living one’. It is highly appropriate. The Evija marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of an iconic and much-loved sports car brand. It is the first hypercar from Lotus, and the company’s first model with an electrified powertrain. As the first completely new car to be launched under the stewardship of Geely – the world’s fastest growing automotive group – its significance cannot be overstated.

Exclusivity and desirability go hand in hand in the world of hypercars, and the Evija is blessed with an abundance of both. Production is limited to not more than 130 examples, making it among the most exclusive cars ever launched. It’s a figure set in tribute to the car’s project code, Type 130. Lotus road and race cars throughout the brand’s seven decades of success have been assigned a Type number, and the Evija is no exception.

Hethel, close to the historic city of Norwich in the east of England, has been the home of Lotus since 1966. The company has confirmed production of the Evija will begin there this year.

Speaking at the unveiling in London, Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham said: “The Lotus Evija is a car like no other. It will re-establish our brand in the hearts and minds of sports car fans and on the global automotive stage. It will also pave the way for further visionary models.”

A stunning piece of automotive design, the Evija features a dramatic Venturi tunnel through each rear quarter, giving it a breath-taking presence.

Russell Carr, Design Director, Lotus Cars, said: “We studied how Le Mans race cars use air flow creatively to go over, under and around the vehicle, but also through it. This concept of ‘porosity’ is key to the Evija and has enabled us to create a timeless design with exceptional amounts of downforce.”

The Evija is the first Lotus road car to feature a one-piece carbon fibre monocoque chassis. The cabin, from the fully adjustable race-style seats to the multi-function steering wheel, is the very pinnacle of motorsport-inspired road car design and technology.

At the heart of the Evija is an ultra-advanced all-electric powertrain. It has been developed by technical partner Williams Advanced Engineering, famed for success in motorsport, from Formula One to electrifying the first four seasons of Formula E. The battery pack is mid-mounted immediately behind the two seats and supplies energy directly to four powerful e-motors. This highly efficient system is the lightest, most energy dense, electric power package ever fitted to a road car. With a target weight of just 1,680 kg, it will be the lightest pure electric hypercar ever to go into series production.

The Evija has five driving modes – Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track. It can race from 0-62mph (0-100 km/h) in under three seconds and accelerate to a top speed of more than 200mph (0-320 km/h).

Matt Windle, Executive Director, Sports Car Engineering, Lotus Cars, said: “Every element of the Evija has been meticulously analysed and validated. Precision engineering is nothing without human engagement, and that’s why technology with soul is the benchmark for this and every Lotus.”

Using existing charging technology, charge time will be just 12 minutes to 80% and 18 minutes to 100%. The car’s range is 250 miles (400 km) on the WLTP Combined Cycle, or 270 miles on the NEDC Combined Cycle.

The Evija doesn’t come cheap, priced at £1.7m plus duties and taxes, but it looks and sounds like it’s worth every single penny.

Porsche Taycan 4S

Announced late last year and with first deliveries now under way, the new Porsche Taycan 4S joins the Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo as the ultimate all-electric sports cars.

The four-door, four-wheel drive Taycan is the first battery electric Porsche sports car and has all the style and performance you would expect from the famous firm. While stats regarding ‘overboost power output’ and kilowatts may not mean much to the average motoring enthusiast, acceleration of 0-62mph in 4 seconds flat will catch the eye. The Taycan 4S also boasts a top speed of 155mph, and a range of up to 287 miles on a single charge (depending on how heavy you are on the pedals, of course).

With its clean design, the Taycan signals a new era. Yet it retains the unmistakable Porsche design DNA. From the front, it looks particularly wide and flat, with highly contoured wheel arches either side. The sporting roof line carves a distinctive silhouette as it slopes down to the rear. The highly sculpted body side sections are also characteristic. The sleek cabin, the drawn-in rear C-pillar and the pronounced shoulders of the rear wheel arches create the sporting stance on the road typical of Porsche.

Distinguishing features of the Taycan 4S compared with the Turbo and Turbo S include the aerodynamically optimised 19-inch Taycan S Aero wheels and red- painted brake calipers. The new design front apron, side sills and rear diffuser in black ensure further visual differentiation.

The cockpit also signals the start of a new era with its clear structure and completely new architecture. The free-standing, curved instrument cluster forms the highest point on the dashboard. This places a clear focus on the driver’s point of view. A central 10.9-inch infotainment display and an optional passenger display are combined to form an integrated glass band.

As standard, the Taycan 4S comes with a partial leather interior, and front comfort seats.

The launch of the Taycan sees Porsche offer an entirely leather-free interior for the first time. Interiors made from innovative recycled materials underscore the sustainable concept of the electric sports car.

For the perfect ride, Porsche uses a centrally networked control system for the Taycan chassis which analyses and synchronises all systems in real time. As standard, the Taycan 4S features adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology including electronic damper control PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management).

Sleek, stylish and sustainable, the Taycan 4S should be on any wish list.

Aston Martin Rapide E

The Rapide E is Aston Martin’s first battery electric vehicle, and will be limited to a production run of just 155 units.

Working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) as its development partner, Aston Martin has utilised the hugely successful world-leader in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology to kickstart a new era for Aston Martin’s powertrain technology.

Throughout the development process, the engineering team have focused on achieving effective cooling of the batteries and motor to ensure consistent performance, while strict weight targets have been stringently observed using lightweight alloys and carbon composite materials.

Being an Aston Martin, the Rapide E is being developed with a high-performance objective. Projected top speed for the Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0 seconds 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5 seconds. It’s important to stress that these figures are not restricted to a narrow window only when the batteries are fully-charged. Instead the target is for maximum performance on-demand throughout majority of the battery state of charge window, as would be expected from a conventional internal combustion-engined car.

This includes the ability to enjoy driving at top speed for sustained periods on the highways, or the type of repeated hard acceleration and braking typical of enthusiastic driving on secondary roads.

It has also been an objective of the project to retain and enhance the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined Rapide S. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors will drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which ensures the pure handling characteristics for which the petrol-powered Rapide S is already renowned.

Though the Rapide E will be built in low volumes, it is being subjected to Aston Martin’s stringent and exhaustive testing protocols, with the dedicated WAE team working closely alongside Aston Martin personnel to ensure every aspect of the prototype test programme follows the marque’s established procedures.

Uniquely, Rapide E customers will be an extended part of the ongoing development programme, with their comments and driving experiences providing an invaluable stream of feedback that will help shape and improve future Aston Martin EVs.

Tesla Roadster

No company has done more than Tesla to revolutionise electric cars, single-handedly making them both luxurious and aspirational. Anyone who has experience the Tesla driving experience and slipped into Ludicrous mode (yes, it actually exists) will testify – there is nothing dull about electric.

Tesla’s new Roadster, which it hopes to bring to market this year, will simply be the fastest production car in the world, hitting 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, hit 100mph in 4.2 seconds, and with a top speed in excess of 250mph. Not only that, the Roadster can manage 620 miles on a single charge. An incredible 10,000Nm of torque delivers six times as much as the Bugatti Chiron. How can you not be impressed?

The all-electric supercar maximises efficiency with lightweight construction and superior aerodynamic engineering, while still offering seating for 4 passengers and a removable glass roof that can be stored in the boot for a genuine convertible experience.

There are rumours circulating that Elon Musk will be offering a SpaceX package where the Roadster will have cold air thrusters for even more impact, though that may mean losing those rear seats. We think that’s a sacrifice most people will be willing to make.

As Musk said at the launch of the new Roadster: “The point of doing this is to give the hard smackdown to gasoline cars. Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like driving a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

The original Roadster launched Tesla to the world back in 2008, and since then we have enjoyed the Models S, 3, X and Y (see what they did there?). Just recently Tesla also launched the Mad Max-esque Cybertruck – a utility vehicle that literally looks out of this world. The return to the Roadster roots and fundamentals is something of a homecoming for Musk and the team as they aim to deliver the ultimate sports car, that just happens to be electric.

As usual with Tesla, details of the interior and final specs are a little sketchy, as the company aims to meet or exceed its wow-factor stats. That said, we do love the sneak preview of the F1-style steering wheel, and there is much to admire in the exterior styling that’s distinctly Tesla but with a more muscular presence.

Deposits are now being taken, with 1,000 Founders Series Reservations available for earliest deliveries, due some time later this year.

Scott Birch

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