THE first ever all-electric British hypercar is nearly here, with the new manufacturing facility where Lotus will build the Evija being readied for final prototype production, ahead of series production mid-year.
The hall is situated at the brand’s historic home of Hethel, in Norfolk, UK. It has been built track side, next to Lotus’ storied 2.2-mile circuit which has hosted testing and shake-down sessions with F1 legends like Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jim Clark.
The result is a versatile and inspiring work space that will see Lotus hand-build up to 130 examples of the Evija. The first year’s production allocation is already designated to customers around the world.
“This is now the newest car production facility in the world, and to witness it move from the drawing board to reality has been deeply satisfying,” Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham said.
“It’s testament to the commitment of all involved, and is the perfect sleek and high-tech production home for the Evija at our iconic Hethel headquarters.”
He proudly unveiled the completed hall to more than 1,400 Lotus employees during a series of staff briefings held in the new facility.
“With our new factory ready, we are ahead of the pack in the emerging EV hypercar segment and 100% ready for some healthy competition,” he told them.
Work on the new Evija factory began in the UK summer 2019. The interior has been fitted on three sides with gantries which frame the build stations.
These have been designed and engineered to be sleek and unobtrusive, though robust enough to carry the necessary power, data and compressed air systems required to assemble the Evija.
An overhead gantry crane, multiple vehicle lifts and a wheel alignment ramp have also been installed. The interior is illuminated by more than 30,000 of the latest high-density, low-energy LEDs.
A state-of-the-art light tunnel will house the rigorous final inspection, before each Evija is driven out directly on to the famous Hethel test track for dynamic validation.
Highly collaborative in nature, the project has involved the co-ordination of 20 specialist contractors with more than 50 experts on site over the last six months.
For those wondering, the name means ‘the first in existence’. At 1492.5kW or 2,000PS, it’s the world’s most powerful series production road car. It can sprint to 100km/h in 3.0-seconds and has a top speed of 322km/h.