design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria

lotus emeya’s first drive

 

Close your eyes and imagine a hypercar touring across the Austrian Alps; hear the engine’s roar and the tires squeal around the chicanes, even before you catch sight of its aerodynamically-sculpted form with the spoiler raised, sunlight glinting off its sharp lines, air intakes, and flaming exhausts. Enter the Lotus Emeya hyper-GT. The performance-driven car is all-new and, more importantly, all-electric. As designboom embarked on an electric grand tour from Munich, Germany to the Austrian Alps, the hills came alive with the sound of electric instead: no engine roar, just as much tire screeching, and gasps of excitement from driver, passengers, and the lucky onlookers.

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
designboom toured the Lotus Emeya hyper GT for a first drive from Germany to Austria

all images courtesy of Lotus

 

 

The Lotus Emeya, an all-new and all-electric hyper-GT, might seem a bold evolution for the British brand, renowned for its agile, performance-oriented two-seaters. Now with four doors, the Emeya encapsulates 75 years of Lotus DNA in a modern, more eco-conscious package. Its design roots, though, trace back to a 1980 request from founder Colin Chapman for Paolo Martin, the designer famed for his work with Pininfarina on the Ferrari 512 Modulo and Fiat 130 Coupe, to create a four-door GT concept, called the Lotus 2000 Eminence. The boldness of Martin’s vision – an ultra-sleek sedan – pushed Ben Payne, Vice-President of Design at Lotus Group, and his team to go further.

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
the GT’s exterior is defined by its ‘hyperstance’ proportions with a cab-forward silhouette and short overhangs

 

 

hyperstance exterior design

 

The ‘hyperstance’ proportions were the starting point of the Emeya’s design. A low center of gravity is immediately noticed with its cab-forward silhouette. Short overhangs give the impression that the wheels are at the corners, complemented by bold muscular arches reminiscent of the Lotus 11 – a favorite of Ben Payne. Mass is visually reduced thanks to its darkened ‘canopy’, but the real triumph is the clean surfaces that emphasize its overall dynamic, continuous, and agile design. The only disruptions are the series of ducts to allow optimal air flow and a single line flowing from its sharp front to rear’s blade of light.

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
a single line flows from its sharp front to rear’s blade of light

 

 

Its single line is reminiscent of Lotus models from the 1980s, recapturing the aesthetic of earlier mid-engined designs from the brand. It gives a strikingly modern yet unmistakable Lotus look. The ultra-narrow LED light bar runs across the rear, forming an intelligent taillight that loops from the air ducts side-to-side. The rear is then topped by a unique dual air wing spoiler.

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
topped by a dual air wing spoiler, the ultra-narrow LED light bar runs from side-to-side

 

 

driver cockpit of technology and luxury

 

Inside, the Emeya transforms its exterior blade of light into a ribbon of technology. The LED runs around the cabin, creating a cocoon for the driver and passengers, and relaying key information on the section running across the dashboard. A 15.1-inch OLED touchscreen dominates the center console, dubbed the digital cockpit. An expansive augmented reality head-up display (HUD) completes the technologically-driven cockpit, curating all performance indicators right in front of the driver at all times.

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
the LED runs around the cabin of the Lotus Emeya, even displaying key information on the dashboard section

 

 

Despite its technological enhancements, the interior is undoubtedly a driver’s car. All control buttons are ergonomically positioned on the steering wheel, and are real switches made with performance materials for satisfying haptic feedback. Knurled metal and exposed carbon fiber are used for other interior touchpoints, continuing Colin Chapman’s famous passion for reducing weight everywhere. Advanced luxury materials were also chosen for lightness, creating a luxury thread made from repurposed fibers from the fashion industry.

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
a 15.1-inch OLED touchscreen dominates the center console, dubbed the digital cockpit

 

 

lotus’ electric performance

 

The hyper GT’s hyper technology extends into driving performance too. Its onboard systems can complete up to 25 trillion operations in the same amount of time it takes the human brain to identify an image – approximately 50 milliseconds. Data from 34 surround sensors are processed 30 times a second, offering 360-degree perception with no blind spots. Four deployable LiDARs – seen as the ‘eyes of the car’ like classic car’s pop-up headlights – help detect obstacles up to 200m away in every direction, reconstructing a virtual environment and aiding elements like the electronically controlled air suspension system to deliver as true a road feel as possible.

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
knurled metal and exposed carbon fiber are used for other interior touchpoints to reduce weight

 

 

Powered by an 800-volt, 102 kWH lithium-ion battery pack, the Lotus Emeya performs as quick and agile as the brand is famed for. It accelerates from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in under 2.8 seconds, racing up to a top speed of more than 155mph (250km/h) possible on Germany’s Autobahns. For grand tours, it can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes when connected to a 350kW DC fast charger. The battery pack’s position between the wheels gives it a low center of gravity to match its aesthetic, zipping along mountain passes with ease.

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
the seats embrace a luxury thread made from repurposed fibers from the fashion industry

 

 

As the Lotus Emeya hyper-GT glides on its first drive through the scenic routes from Germany to Austria, it embodies the next chapter for the British brand. The all-electric model pays homage to Lotus’ fabled racing past while announcing a more sustainable, technological future. Importantly, its design remains as exciting as ever for driver, passengers, and those lucky onlookers.

electric-lotus-emeya-hyper-gt-first-drive-designboom09

powered by an 800-volt, 102 kWH lithium-ion battery pack, the Lotus Emeya’s first drive performed as quick and agile as the brand is famed for

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
it accelerates from 0-62mph in under 2.8 seconds, racing up to a top speed of more than 155mph

electric-lotus-emeya-hyper-gt-first-drive-designboom10

the EV can be charged from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes when connected to a 350kW DC fast charger

design drive: all-electric lotus emeya hyper grand tour from munich to austria
the battery pack’s position between the wheels gives the hyper GT a low center of gravity

 

 

model info:

 

brand: Lotus | @lotuscars

model: Emeya

powertrain: electric

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