What the future of a racing Lotus looks like
Virtual vision of an endurance racer for 2030 features movable body panels.
Lotus has presented its vision of a next-generation electric-powered racecar in the form of the E-R9.
Developed by Lotus Engineering and designed by the same Lotus Design team behind the new Evija hypercar, the E-R9 is a vision of what a Le Mans-style endurance racer might look like in 2030.
E-R stands for ‘Endurance Racer,’ while 9 is the car’s competition number, inspired by the Lotus Mark IX which made its Le Mans 24 Hours debut in 1955. The black and gold livery is a nod to Lotus’s iconic JPS livery from the 1970s.
While just a virtual design study at this stage, the concept is described as being powered by four electric motors – one in each wheel – that allow torque vectoring and have already been applied to the Evija. The E-R9 also predicts future developments in battery technology, like mixed-cell chemistry and the ability to hot swap batteries during pitstops.
One of the most interesting innovations on this virtual racer are the “morphing” body panels that can change shape and attitude to suit different aerodynamic requirements. Altered automatically via in-car sensors or by driver input, these transforming panels are designed to deliver maximum aero efficiency to suit different track requirements – minimum drag on the straights and maximum downforce in the corners.
“Lotus has an amazing history of developing unique solutions, and we’ve done it many times in motorsport and with our road cars,” said Richard Hill, chief aerodynamicist at Lotus. “The Lotus E-R9 incorporates technologies which we fully expect to develop and be practical.”