Of all the automakers that are in the process of transitioning from internal combustion engines to electric motors, few make me as excited as Lotus. This is partly because I became an auto enthusiast after discovering Lotus Seven. But that's also because lightness has always been a core attribute of Lotus, and while EVs have a lot to offer, they often don't.
That won't matter until relatively recently, as the small British sports car company didn't have the resources to consider switching to electric. But in 2017, Lotus was acquired by Geely, who also owns a newly revived Volvo. As with Geely, Lotus secured some necessary investments and embarked on electrification.
In April of this year, Lotus revealed that its plans now include four new platforms, three of which are all-electric. This week, we got a glimpse of how the company is looking at electric vehicles, when it announced some details of its light electric vehicle architecture (or “Project LEVA” in Lotusspeak). The key is the newly developed rear subframe, much lighter than the V6-powered Emira (announced in July as the Ultimate Lotus with an internal combustion engine).
The rear subframe is cast aluminum and intelligently supports a variety of powertrain setups. There is a conventional approach to skateboarding, in which a large panel fills the floor of the vehicle between the axles, as seen on almost every battery-powered electric vehicle sold today. Lotus says in this configuration it can build 2+2 with a bodywork of as little as 104.3 inches (2650 mm), with a 66.4 kWh battery, and as a single engine powertrain unit maximum power of 470 hp (350 kW) or two. -motor transmission unit. with a maximum power of 872 hp (650 kW).
"A skateboard isn't always the answer", but for pure two-seater sports cars, the layout of the skateboard isn't quite ideal. In these applications, lower vehicle height and lower overall vehicle height are important. So instead of placing the cockpit on a large battery, Lotus will use what it calls a "cargo" layout.
Here the battery is mounted in the center, like the engine of one of Lotus' current cars. (This is the same powertrain setup that Porsche used for the Mission R concept, and it's also used by most non-metallic electric supercars with a toll-free price tag.)
Lotus says. that the central battery assembly leads to two possible configurations. For the smallest and lightest electric sports cars, this means a wheelbase of at least 97.2 inches (2470 mm); For context, the Lotus Elise has a wheelbase of 90.6 inches (2300 mm). These small electric vehicles will carry a 66.4 kWh pack and use a single electric drive unit up to 470 hp.
For a full-size two-seater sports car (think Lotus Esprit, not Lotus Elise), the wheelbase can be extended by as little as 104.3 inches. These vehicles will be equipped with a two-motor transmission and a 99.6 kWh battery.
Richard Rackham, Head of Vehicle Concepts at Lotus and Chief Engineer of the LEVA Project, said: "The LEVA project today is as revolutionary as the Elise architecture was in 1996. In the true Lotus spirit. , significant weight savings were achieved throughout, focusing on the highest performance, efficiency and safety in the structure from the start, for example using the vehicle structure as a battery box, with built-in EDU assembly, eliminating subframes and optimizing multi-link suspension components."
Content created and supplied by: ErnestElison (via Opera News )