Lotus has unveiled the Evija Fittipaldi, a special edition marking 50 years since Emerson Fittipaldi and Team Lotus won the F1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships.
Driving a Lotus Type 72, Fittipaldi triumphed in five out of 11 races during the 1972 season. Named the greatest ever F1 car by Autosport magazine, the radical Type 72 was the first racing car to incorporate aerodynamics from the outset, including an integrated front splitter and rear wing.
Revealed at Lotus headquarters by Emerson Fittipaldi himself, the new Evija wears the same black and gold colours as its inspiration (albeit without John Player Special cigarette branding) and features a host of unique details.
Black and gold
The world’s most powerful production car, the Lotus Evija develops 2,039hp and 1,257lb ft of torque from four electric motors. Zero to 62mph is quoted as ‘less than three seconds’, with 0-186mph in ‘less than nine seconds’. Top speed is limited to 217mph.
The Evija also has a target driving range of 250 miles, and can fully replenish its 93kWh battery in 18 minutes using a 350kW charging point.
Changes made for the Fittipaldi edition are entirely cosmetic. Along with the JPS-style livery – including decals detailing the Type 72’s race victories on the active rear wing – the Evija has an image of the F1 car etched into its exposed carbon fibre roof, plus Fittipaldi’s signature hand-stitched into the dashboard. It rides on bespoke centre-lock alloy wheels with gold brake calipers.
The interior is swathed in black leather, with yet more gold for the pedals, air vent surrounds and start button. The pièce de résistance, though, is a drive mode switch made from recycled Type 72 aluminium. It means ‘a genuine piece of the F1 racer is part of each Evija Fittipaldi,’ says Lotus.
On the Button
Another former F1 world champion, Jenson Button, also visited the Lotus test track at Hethel to drive the Evija Fittipaldi.
After many laps of the 2.2-mile circuit – and several standing starts to experience the car’s brutal acceleration – Button seemed very much enthused. “It sounds like a jet engine! You think of an EV as quiet but it’s not. The torque is astronomical,” he remarked.
Button continued: “It’s amazing, it puts a big smile on your face. It feels like a spaceship, the drivability and direction in the steering certainly lets you know you are driving a Lotus. I am amazed by the agility of it. It is a Lotus of the future and I can’t wait to drive my own Evija.”
The F1 ace then swapped into Fittipaldi’s 1972 Lotus Type 72, part of the extensive collection owned by Classic Team Lotus. “It’s lovely to get into a bit of racing history,” he said. “There isn’t a lot of space, but everything is in the right position. It was easy to heel and toe. It’s a real privilege to drive such a special car.”
Only eight examples
Production of the Lotus Evija has now started and 130 cars are planned – including eight examples of the Fittipaldi edition. With jaw-dropping performance, an iconic colour scheme and endorsement from an F1 legend, it’s a surefire classic-in-waiting.
The all-electric powertrain means this exotic hypercar is effectively future-proofed, too.
Will Emerson Fittipaldi, like Button, also be getting his own Evija? He didn’t say, but all eight cars have now been spoken for. The price? Also not mentioned, but reckon on at least £2 million.
Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research