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1,973-hp Lotus Evija electric hypercar enters final stage of development

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Lotus Evija prototype

It’s now been almost two years since the Lotus Evija electric hypercar was revealed to the world.

Originally due to start production in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic ended up throwing a spanner in the works and pushed the start date into 2021. Once production starts, just 130 examples will be built.

The good news is that development work has now progressed past the 80% mark, Lotus revealed on Tuesday. The final stage of development will see the engineers refine attributes such as ride and handling, as well as steering feel. They will also finally unleash the full power of the Evija.

Lotus Evija prototype

In case you’ve forgotten, the Evija boasts a battery-electric powertrain that Lotus claims will make it the world’s most powerful production car. We’re talking 1,973 hp and 1,254 lb-ft of torque from its four independent motors. Claimed performance includes 0-60 mph acceleration in well under 3.0 seconds, 0-186 mph acceleration in under 9.0 seconds, and a top speed somewhere above 200 mph.

The Evija should also handle like a proper Lotus. The car boasts a race-inspired suspension featuring three spool-valve dampers per axle—one at each corner and an inboard-mounted third to control heave. It has magnesium wheels to help control weight, but even between those and the carbon-fiber monocoque and body, the Evija still checks in at 3,704 pounds. Electric components aren’t exactly lightweight.

Most of the weight is due to the battery, a 70-kilowatt-hour unit that should have an EPA-rated range of approximately 225 miles with normal driving. Charging the battery to 80% will take 12 minutes using a 350-kilowatt DC fast charger.

Lotus Evija prototype

Lotus Evija prototype

Lotus has four prototypes undergoing testing at the company’s test track in Hethel, United Kingdom. The basis of the car is a Lotus-exclusive platform known as Extreme. It is one of four platforms that will underpin Lotus cars this decade.

The company is also developing an E-Sport platform for electric sports cars, which French brand Alpine will use for its own models. There will also be an Evolution platform for more mainstream electric vehicles, such as Lotus’ long-awaited crossover.

In addition to these three electric platforms, Lotus also has the Elemental platform, an updated version of its current mid-engine sports car platform. The Elemental platform will be used solely for the new Lotus Emira sports car which goes on sale in 2022 as the replacement for the Elise, Exige and Evora sports cars.

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Autos

Edd China gets a driveable orange back on the road in “Workshop Diaries” episode 6

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Edd China's Outspan Orange

For the latest episode of his “Workshop Diaries” YouTube show, former “Wheeler Dealers” host Edd China starts work on one of his more unusual projects. It’s an Outspan Orange, a fruit-shaped vehicle built in the 1970s to promote a South African orange grower.

China acquired his driveable Orange directly from the company, restored it, and has driven it occasionally ever since. Because it’s been acting up recently, China puts aside his other projects temporarily to focus on it in Episode 6.

The Orange is based on a classic Mini, though with a tiny 48-inch wheelbase that matches the track. Owing to the unusual bodywork, the engine sits under the dashboard. So if it breaks down at the side of the road, China will be sheltered from the weather while working on it, at least. The spherical interior has a definite ’70s vibe, with a smattering of Mini gauges and controls.

Edd China’s Outspan Orange

After removing a bird’s nest from the engine compartment, China finds a leaking fuel line. Fixing that smooths out the previously rough-running engine, seemingly addressing the problem, but because the Orange had been sitting for awhile, China also replaces the air filter and the spark plugs.

The work gets the car back on the road—a dirt road in this instance—and a short test drive reveals plenty of other problems, including a hesitant engine, a bearing in need of replacement, and steering that pulls dangerously to the right. China plans to tackle those issues in future episodes, so instead he segues into a segment answering viewers’ questions, which in turn leads him to briefly pop the hood of his ongoing Land Rover Range Rover project to make the sure the engine has oil pressure.

This episode also continues the story of the world’s fastest electric ice cream van, which China started building in 2018 for a successful Guinness World Record run. He started out with a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and has spent the past few episodes focusing on how he got the stock transmission to couple with an electric motor. That continues in this episode, where China discusses machining down the flywheel to save weight, and machining an adapter to allow the motor to fit with the transmission. That leads to the next issue, which is the need for a bellhousing of sorts. The finished product will certainly be included in a future episode.

Watch the full episode for a complete explanation of the processes China uses to work on all three of his ongoing projects.

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2022 Genesis G70 Launch Edition limited to 500 units

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Teaser for 2022 Genesis G70 wagon

Genesis has thoroughly updated its G70 for the 2022 model year, giving the small sport sedan a new look, more refined cabin, and unfortunately a more streamlined transmission offering. There’s now just an 8-speed automatic as the previous manual option has been dropped.

For early buyers, Genesis is offering a special Launch Edition limited to just 500 units. It comes in an exclusive matte finish known as Obsidian Black, and the interior is decked out in a delicious red leather with diamond stitching. The car is also fitted with 19-inch wheels.

Genesis hasn’t mentioned a powertrain. G70 buyers have two powertrain options to choose from. The standard option is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 rated at 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Buyers seeking more performance are able to opt for a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft. As mentioned above, the only transmission is an 8-speed automatic.

The 2022 G70 starts sales this summer priced from $38,570, including destination. Genesis hasn’t said how much the Launch Edition will cost.

In other markets, Genesis will also offer a wagon body style. The G70 wagon, previewed here in a teaser shot, is due soon. Its arrival will coincide with Genesis’ launch in Europe this summer, where premium wagons sell in significant numbers.

Teaser for 2022 Genesis G70 wagon

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Street truck returns May 19 with electric power

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2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning

Ford will call the upcoming battery-electric version of its top-selling F-150 pickup truck the F-150 Lightning, the automaker said on Monday.

The zero-emission pickup will be revealed on May 19 ahead of the sales launch in mid-2022. The date of the showroom appearance points to the F-150 Lightning arriving as a 2023 model.

The name of course comes from the F-150 SVT Lightning street truck that was launched for 1993 and lasted two generations. Ford later filled the void with the off-road-oriented F-150 Raptor.

Electric connotations aside, the Lightning name is fitting considering the new F-150 Lightning will also be positioned as a street truck rather than an off-roader or serious workhorse, with Ford promising it will be more powerful than any F-150 to date.

2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning

Ford has been tight-lipped on details but we know the F-150 Lightning will come with a dual-motor powertrain, helping it to deliver traction. It will also accelerate quicker than any F-150 to date and have the ability to tow heavy trailers. Ford last June used a prototype to tow 10 double-decker train cars weighing a combined one million pounds.

Other new attributes F-150 Lightning owners can look forward to over the regular truck include a front trunk (a.k.a. a frunk), less frequent maintenance, and a power take-off. Ford has said the pickup will be able to power a home during an outage. It will also be a high-tech ride, with Ford promising digital aspects. One we know of is constant improvements via over-the-air updates.

Ford F-150 electric teaser

Ford F-150 electric teaser

Production of the electric F-150 will start next spring at Ford’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, which has been churning out Ford pickups since 1948. The automaker is spending over $700 million at the plant to prepare it for the F-150 Lightning, as well as the hybrid F-150 PowerBoost which recently went into production at the plant.

When it arrives, the F-150 Lightning will already have a lot of competition. Some of the electric pickup trucks that should be at dealerships by the time the Ford arrives include the GMC Hummer EV and Rivian R1T. The Tesla Cybertruck and Lordstown Endurance may also be available by the F-150 Lightning’s mid-2022 arrival date. Stay tuned.

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