Lotus Evora

Production Cars 23 Jul 2008
Lotus Evora

Lotus has unveiled the name and new details and images of the Project Eagle 2+2 sportscar, called ‘Evora’. We report the official release that documents the design development.


Design

Lotus Evora - Design SketchDesigned ‘in-house’ by Lotus Design, the sleek and athletic form uses fluid
forms and crisp surfaces to communicate velocity, agility and sophistication.

Low and wide with modern cab forward proportions, muscular rear haunches
and function optimised hip air intakes this is clearly a serious mid engined
sportscar that skilfully hides the practicality of its two plus two capability.

Russell Carr, Head of Lotus Design, led the Evora’s design team with Steven
Crijns, Design Manager responsible for the exterior and Anthony Bushell,
Senior Designer, responsible for the interior.

Lotus Evora - Design Sketch“A cornerstone of the design’s success was working closely with the technical
team to develop a package that allowed us to get the proportions correct,”
he continues.

“The asymmetric wheel sizes, the short
rear overhang, long front overhang and cab forward visor screen all contribute
to giving the car visual movement and an agile stance. This is incredibly
important to us because we want the car’s aesthetics to communicate its
driving characteristics".

Lotus products have always embodied a perfect balance between form and
function and the Evora successfully continues this heritage.

“We never lost
sight of the fact that, although this car must provide real world useability,
sportscars are emotional purchases and that you have to seduce the customer
through beguiling looks and exotic persona.

Lotus Evora - Design Sketch Lotus Evora - Design Sketch

"We are, therefore, very proud that
we have been able to use technical and user functionality to positively drive
the design in key areas and create some of the car’s most distinctive features”

says Carr.

Lotus Evora - Design SketchIngress and egress, for example, dictated a minimal “step-over” to get into the
Evora.

"We simply cut away the surface under the door and created a unique and dramatic piece of sculpture that enhances the stance of the car as well as its useability."

Elsewhere, aerodynamic considerations for drag, down force and cooling had
significant but positive influence on the overall form and details such as air
intakes.

A desire to create balanced down force, that increases cornering
performance, led to the adoption of, the now, “signature” top exit radiator vent,
race car inspired diffuser and “floating rear wing”.

Drag limitation, drove the
dramatic tear-dropped cabin layout and the curvaceous plan view has given
the car a more muscular rear shoulder and conveys a level of sophistication
appropriate to this market segment.

Lotus Evora Lotus Evora

Lotus Evora - Design Sketch“We believe that our designs should be honest as well as dramatic and so we
are really pleased with the fact that these iconic features all do a real job”
says Steven Crijns, Design Manager.

This inherent understanding of the relationship between the technical and the
aesthetic paid dividends the first time a full-scale model of the Evora was windtunnel
tested – only minimal adjustments were required to the car’s
aerodynamic package to meet the targets for downforce and stability.

Steve Crijns continued, “Overall the design language shows a clear DNA link
with its Lotus siblings, whilst establishing its own distinctive and contemporary
theme. The undulating shoulder line is brilliantly mirrored in the lower part of
the bodyside by the cut -away sill that creates a torseau-like muscularity.”

Lotus Evora“The front three-quarter view is really powerful” Russell Carr continues, “Your
eye is drawn effortlessly, from our signature mouth, rearward by fluid surfaces
and fast lines that create a sense of speed even when the car is stationary.

"From this angle you can also see how dramatically the visor screen sweeps
around the teardrop form of the cabin and the gently waisted plan shape
perfectly accentuates the muscularity of the rear fender. This is unmistakeably mid engined language and the Evora is unmistakeably a Lotus.”

The view from the rear three-quarters is just as striking and the one that many
will become familiar with as the car passes them on the road.

The tapered
cabin, diffuser, floating wing, centrally mounted twin tailpipes and distinctive
engine bay vents all combine to create a completely unique look.

Lotus Evora Lotus Evora Lotus Evora

Interior Design

Lotus Evora - InteriorThe design language of the interior reflects that of the exterior – simple, fluid
surfaces, soft forms and crisp feature lines wrap around the cabin cosseting
the occupants.

Unlike recent Lotus products that use a race car inspired,
technical minimalism, the Evora employs a softer approach that utilises
premium quality materials and finishes to create a contemporary but luxurious
ambience that is unique to Lotus products.

It is, according to Head of Lotus Design Russell Carr, “A huge departure from
what people might expect based on Lotus’s recent past. We wanted the
Evora’s cabin to feel special and to be surprising as well as sporty.

Lotus Evora - InteriorPrecision
engineered metal inserts and quality edge-lit switches are brilliantly juxtaposed
against soft hand-stitched leather surfaces to give a modern interior with a classic twist.”

Russell Carr continues, “The flat bottomed steering wheel, figure hugging
sports seat, contemporary instrumentation and ergonomically positioned
controls provide an intuitive environment that instantly forms a connection
between driver and car ensuring that it becomes an extension of his or her
body.“

Anthony Bushell Senior Designer explained about the choice of materials in
the Evora’s interior, “Tactile quality is incredibly important within this segment
and so we wanted the interior to use honest premium materials. Much of the
switchgear is bespoke, and every metallic component is actually metal.”

Focused courtesy lighting is used throughout the interior, giving a spectacular
illuminated feel to the sculpture design feature of the cabin.

Lotus Evora - InteriorThe extensive use of handcrafted, premium leather differentiates The Evora
from other Lotus products and such is its importance to the character of the
car that an entire new trim shop has been built at the Lotus Headquarters in
the UK, dedicated to its production.

Even the entry level versions of the Evora will feature leather-upholstered
seats, upper door trim panels and facia, but it is expected that most customers
will opt for the full hide treatment. With a range of leather colours available,
customers will have the opportunity to personalise their Evora.

Contemporary technology also features in the Evora’s cabin. A newly
developed Alpine multi-media system with a 7 inch touch-screen provides
advanced audio, satellite navigation, video, Bluetooth® hands-free telephone
and iPod® connectivity functions; the screen also serves as a monitor for The
Evora’s optional reversing camera.

The satellite navigation element of the
system is removable, allowing you to programme it from the comfort of your
home, or take it with you to continue your journey in an unfamiliar pedestrian
location.

Lotus Evora - InteriorThe Alpine audio set-up is one of the most sophisticated automotive systems
in the world. Called IMPRINT and using MultEQ sound enhancement
technology, it is able to cancel out sound imbalances, caused by the cabin
window glass, for instance, creating echoes, while carpets suppress mid-range
frequencies – resulting in amazingly crisp, clear, undistorted sound
reproduction wherever you are seated in the car.

A bespoke air-conditioning system developed by Bergstrom is standard on all
models, and has been designed for the hottest climate or the closest humidity
to help provide maximum occupant comfort. Lotus traction control and onboard
tyre pressure monitoring will also be available.

The front seats themselves are very supportive and leather clad with a
lightweight manual adjustment mechanism for fore and aft, rake and lumbar,
designed to give a supported driving position.

The rear seats of 2+2 versions of the Evora –are intended for children and
smaller adults. There will also be a two-seater derivative with a luggage shelf
in the back. To maximise comfort in the rear, there’s a decent amount of footroom under the seats in front, while both back seats feature ISOFIX mountings
for secure child seat fitment.

Lotus Evora - InteriorWhen unoccupied, the rear seats provide a convenient stowage area, adding
to the Evora’s appeal as an everyday car. The 160 litre boot, which ingeniously
features a fresh air cooling system to reduce the effect of any heat ingress
from the engine bay, will also accommodate a full set of golf clubs.

With the Elise and its derivatives, the no-compromise character of the car
makes getting in and out across a wide sill and through a comparatively
narrow door/window aperture part of the charm of ownership. For the Evora
and its remit for the serious daily driver, and to attract newcomers to the Lotus
brand, greater convenience and practicality is provided.

As a consequence the sill is now lower and slimmer (80mm wide compared
with 100mm in the Elise), and the whole door aperture taller. The doors open
wider than on the Elise and its siblings, while the height of the front seat is
raised by 65mm.

But while The Evora is undeniably more ‘lifestyle’ in respect of its everyday
practicality, once you’re seated behind its flat-bottomed steering wheel, it feels
every bit as exotic and sporting as you would expect a Lotus to be.

Chassis

Lotus Evora - Layout drawingThe Evora’s chassis is an evolution of the Production Low Volume Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA)
from the Lotus APX concept vehicle previously showcased at the Geneva
Motorshow, and allows for the development of a range of vehicles up to a
gross vehicle weight of 1,900 kg.

This architecture has been designed to be
more applicable to mid-volume applications by utilising our low capital
investment manufacturing processes.

The Evora structure progresses the
Lotus ‘bonded and riveted’ technology used in the Elise family of vehicles with
unique extrusions and folded panels, whilst providing contemporary ease of
ingress/egress, build modularity and improved, lower cost repairs.

The Low Volume VVA architecture has been designed so that it can be
extended in width, length and height.

The strength and stiffness of the low
volume VVA chassis can be modified cost effectively by varying the wall
thickness of the extrusions, without altering the exterior dimensions.

Lotus Project Eagle - Front ModuleThe ability
to lengthen or shorten extrusions with the option to tailor the chassis stiffness,
vastly increases the number of vehicles that can be developed from this
vehicle architecture. Front and mid engine installations have been considered, as well as hybrid and Electric Vehicle (EV) applications.

The Lotus Evora employs a composite roof as a stressed structural member to
give an exceptional vehicle stiffness of 26,000 Nm per degree, thanks in part
to the seatbelt anchorage frame’s secondary function as a roll over structure,
and partly because the high-tech composite body panels are stressed items.

However, despite this high stiffness, the complete chassis and modules weight
just 200 kg (prototype weight), helping to keep the weight of the whole car to
just 1350 kg (prototype weight).

Lotus Evora - Prototype testingTo deliver this high performance structure, bonded and riveted high grade
aluminium extrusions and simple and elegant folded sheet elements are used
in the lower structure, building upon award winning research projects in this
field.

Lotus pioneered the technology of bonded aluminium extrusions for use
in road vehicles and has successfully developed high performance cars for
other car companies around the world.

The central tub is attached to an extruded aluminium subframe at the front and
a lightweight welded steel subframe at the rear.

These subframe modules also
offer advantages in terms of convenience and low cost of repair, and during
manufacturing can be brought to the production line fully assembled, ready to
be attached.

The high technology Lotus Evora chassis will be manufactured at the new
Lotus Lightweight Structures facility in Worcester, UK.

Safety

The Evora’s bonded extruded
aluminium chassis tub
has hogh inherent strength, particularly in regard to
side impacts. Additional torsional strength is given to the whole structure by
the tubular steel seatbelt anchorage frame that also acts as a rollover
structure
.

Deformable sacrificial aluminium front and steel rear subframe modules are
attached to the tub using joints which are designed to minimise damage to the
tub, protecting the main passenger cell in the event of an accident.

Technical Features

Lotus Project Eagle - Suspension detailEvora is powered by Toyota’s all-alloy 2GR-FE 3.5-litre V6 DOHC, with dual
VVT-i (‘intelligent’ variable valve timing). Lotus has developed its
own T6e engine management software for this engine that in this version delivers a peak power
output of 280 PS at 6400 rpm, and a maximum torque to 342 Nm
at 4700 rpm (prototype figures).

The engine is mated to a manual six-speed gearbox, again
Toyota-sourced. A close-ratio version of this gearbox is also currently under
development for the even more sport-focussed driver.

The Evora suspension wishbones are forged from aluminium to reduce the
unsprung mass.

These are similar in weight, and stiffer than the steel items
found on the much smaller Elise, Exige and Europa vehicles, and have a far
higher vehicle weight capacity.

Lotus Evora - Prototype testingThey are attached to the front and rear
modules via bespoke bushes. The Evora will use Bilstein high performance
dampers and Eibach springs with unique dual path top mounts for optimised
vehicle refinement. Hydraulically assisted power steering is provided by a
Lotus tuned TRW steering rack.

The brake system features vented and cross-drilled brake discs – massive 350mm items on the front and
332mm at the rear – and high performance bespoke Lotus AP Racing 4 pot
callipers.

The ABS system developed in conjunction with Bosch is set to very high
thresholds and operates so progressively that drivers are often unaware that
they have actually triggered the ABS.

The Switchable Lotus Traction Control (LTC) system has been developed
simultaneously with the ABS and works through the engine management
system to reduce power when required to maintain traction.

Lotus Evora - Prototype testingUnlike many
traction control systems, LTC has been tuned to complement the skills of the
driver without taking over. The Lotus LTC is active above 5 mph (8 km/h) and
operates much more quickly than many brake based systems.

The system can
be deactivated completely, giving no traction control intervention.
Keeping a grip – 18 inch at the front, 19 inch at the rear.

The tires were specifically developed by Yokohama – a 225/40 ZR18 at the front and larger
diameter; 255/35 ZR19 at the rear. Both have carcass construction and a
rubber compound unique to Lotus and are identified by the letters ‘LTS’ on the
sidewalls.

Lotus EvoraMany Lotus owners enjoy the blend of unique performance and efficiency that
the brand’s cars offer.

True to the Lotus value of “performance through light
weight” CO2 emissions are expected to be a class leading sub-225 g/km
(prototype figures) while testers report fuel consumption in the region of 30+
mpg (pending formal homologation testing).

At the time of its unveiling, full performance figures have yet to be compiled on
a production specification Lotus Evora, Lotus has another 6 months
development to conduct.

While for Lotus top speed is of less importance than stability at speed, early
indications suggest a maximum speed of 160 mph; the 0-60 mph sprint from
standstill is estimated at sub 5 seconds (prototype figures).

(Source: Lotus)

Image Gallery

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