Lotus is showing its vision of endurance by 2030. On the menu: aero thrust, and of course electric motors.
It is time to relaunch at Lotus. The small British manufacturer is starting its 100% electric shift with an ambitious plan which will see the arrival of three new models very soon. But what about the racing commitment of a brand that first made itself known in competition?
Without giving us more information on this subject, Lotus has nevertheless unveiled an endurance car concept, the E-R9, for Endurance-Racer 9 (endurance racing car 9). The name is a tribute to the Lotus Mk IX, the first car entered at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Colin Chapman’s firm, in 1955. The inspiration is therefore clear, and comes to us directly from Sarthe.
Piloting half-plane, half-car
The E-R9 also takes the attributes of today’s endurance prototypes: very worked aero, and fighter-style cockpit. The concept is the representation of a vision of endurance by 2030. The assembly is obviously electric, but the batteries can be replaced very quickly during a pit stop. The E-R9 is powered by an electric motor on each wheel, which allows it to vary the power according to the turns.
The most interesting still remains the aerodynamics. Lotus announces that many surfaces are mobile, vertically and horizontally, to guide the car. The downforce and the drag can therefore be adapted according to the situations: maximum downforce when cornering, and priority to maximum speed in a straight line. According to the manufacturer, the E-R9 “will be piloted half like a car, and half like a fighter plane”. It promises !
A return to racing in the future?
Should we see in this a future commitment of Lotus in endurance and at Le Mans? Hard to say. With this concept, Lotus recalls its long history in the great Sarthoise race, as well as in F1, but does not evoke a return to competition. Especially with its shift towards 100% electric, the brand is probably not favorable to thermal or hybrid competition. However, with the new Hypercar and LMDh regulations, having a chance to win Le Mans has probably never been so accessible, as the forthcoming returns of Peugeot, Audi and Porsche prove. Case to follow!
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Source: Auto Plus by www.autoplus.fr.
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