Lotus has unveiled this stunning looking electric race car, dubbed the E-R9. Finished in striking black and gold – a clear nod to Lotus’ pioneering motorsport heritage – the EV features a sleek fighter jet-style canopy centrally mounted in a delta-wing upper body.
Innovations include advanced active aerodynamics with ‘morphing’ body panels and vertically mounted control surfaces to assist with high-speed cornering.
Developed by Lotus Engineering, the consultancy division of the business which delivers projects for external clients, the E-R9 car has been created as a technology showcase of its philosophy, capability and innovative spirit in the fields of advanced electrified powertrains and aerodynamics.
E-R stands for Endurance Racer, while 9 is the car’s competition number chosen in tribute to Lotus’ racing past. It was in a Lotus Mark IX that the race team made its debut appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours, with company founder Colin Chapman among the drivers competing.
The E-R9 was developed by the engineering team of Richard Hill, chief aerodynamicist at Lotus, and Louis Kerr, principal platform engineer on the Lotus Evija pure-electric hypercar as well as technical director, GT, Geely Group Motorsports International. Visually it was brought to life by the Lotus Design team, led by Russell Carr, Design Director for Lotus.
Says Richard Hill: “What we’ve tried to do is to push the boundaries of where we are technically today and extrapolate into the future. The Lotus E-R9 incorporates technologies which we fully expect to develop and be practical. Lotus has an amazing history of developing unique solutions, and we’ve done it many times in motorsport and with our road cars.”
Chief among the car’s aero innovations are its ‘morphing’ body panels. Located across the delta-wing profile, this adaptability – where active surfaces can change their shape and attitude to the airflow either at the press of a button by the driver or automatically according to performance sensor inputs – will deliver minimum drag on the straights and maximum downforce in the corners.
The Lotus E-R9 features an advanced electric drivetrain powering each wheel independently, a system enhanced with torque-vectoring. It builds on technology already integrated on the Lotus Evija pure-electric hypercar.
Adds Louis Kerr: “Battery energy density and power density are developing significantly year on year. Before 2030, we’ll have mixed cell chemistry batteries that give the best of both worlds, as well as the ability to ‘hot-swap’ batteries during pitstops.”
Further details and more images of the Lotus E-R9 can be found in the March issue of evo magazine. On sale from today, it includes a 32-page supplement dedicated to the past, present of the Lotus Engineering consultancy.