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The first all-new Lotus since the iconic Elise made its debut in 1995, the Evora enters the sports car market as currently the world’s only mid-engined 2+2.
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).
The Evora’s structure progresses the Lotus ‘bonded and riveted’ technology used in the Elise family of vehicles with unique extrusions and folded panels, whilst providing build modularity and improved, lower cost repairs. 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. The ability to lengthen or shorten extrusions with the option to tailor the chassis stiffness, 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 high technology Lotus Evora chassis will be manufactured at the new Lotus Lightweight Structures facility in Worcester, UK. LLS employs 120 engineers, technicians and sales staff and will manufacture all the Lotus aluminium structures, including those for the Elise, Exige, 2–Eleven and Europa and aluminium and composite structures and components for Lotus’s extensive global client base.
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).
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