British sports car maker Lotus has unveiled its all-new LEVA (Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture) platform at the Cenex LCV event in Millbrook, United Kingdom. Project LEVA is a research program that aims to accelerate the development of the next-generation Lotus electric cars. The LEVA architecture is adaptable to three layouts and can accommodate two different battery configurations.
The first is an eight-module 66.4 kWh chest layout. Featuring a minimum wheelbase of 2,470 mm and a single 350 kW electric motor, the ‘chest layout’ allows battery modules to stack vertically behind the two front seats. Unlike other EVs with floor-mounted batteries, the chest layout is perfect for sports cars or hyper EVs that require a lower ride height and a lower center of gravity. According to Lotus, this is essentially the same configuration you’ll find under Evija’s sultry sheet metal.
Next is a 12-module 99.6 kWh chest layout, perfect for incoming Lotus EVs with a minimum wheelbase of 2,650 mm. The platform accommodates twin electric motors with a maximum 650 kW output. Lotus claims this configuration is ideal for a more hardcore two-seat EV supercar. Oh boy! If the rumors are correct, we’re betting this platform to underpin the returning Lotus Esprit – we’re keeping our fingers crossed on this one – although it could be the other way around.
All Lotus Esprits never exceeded a 2,500 mm (96.0-inches) wheelbase, and all Esprits are rear-wheel drive, although the electric version could come bashing the party with two motors and AWD. The Esprit happens to be one of the most eye-catching sports cars from the mid-90s to the early 2000s, so the prospect of returning is exciting nonetheless.
Getting back to Lotus’ all-new LEVA platform, the third configuration is an eight-module slab with a 66.4 kWh battery, perfect for a 2+2 GT car with a minimum 2,650 mm wheelbase. Lotus claims this architecture accommodates a single or twin motor setup. In addition, the slab battery layout is similar to other EVs with its floor-mounted design, great for EVs with a taller profile and ride height.
Since debuting the Emira, the swan song of gas-powered Lotus sports cars, Lotus has been talking about its new vehicle platforms. First comes ‘Elemental’ to which the Emira is based. Next comes ‘Extreme,’ which underpins the Evija hypercar. The third is ‘Evolution,’ and Lotus said it is the basis for a new lineup of lifestyle vehicles. Finally comes the E-Sports platform, a collaborative effort between Alpine and Lotus.