When we talk about battery-electric vehicles, driving range (or lack thereof) usually comes to mind. Battery technology has definitely improved leaps and bounds over the past few years, but there is still a substantial portion of car buyers who are unconvinced about the wonders of EVs. Concerns about charging infrastructure and (again) range become talking points. This is why automakers are hard at work dispelling myths about electric cars with some willing to go the extra mile, figuratively and literally.
Enter the Lotus E-R9. And on the face of it, this handsome thing looks like a jet fighter that has been given wheels instead of wings. But if you’ve read our previous articles about Lotus’s move to battery power, it should come as no surprise that the E-R9’s propulsion system doesn’t use a single drop of petrol. What is mind-boggling, however, are the plans that the automaker has for this vehicle.
That’s because Lotus wants to use the E-R9 as a research project for a battery-powered endurance racer. Clearly going where no race car has gone before, the British sports-car specialist wants to prove that vehicles can really go the distance without the help of dinosaur juice. The car’s name signifies this intent with “E-R” standing for endurance racer, and the “9” paying homage to the Mark IX, the vehicle that Lotus fielded in 1955 when the brand joined the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time.
One of the E-R9’s party tricks is its ability to “morph.” There are certain body panels that can apparently change shape depending on the car’s aerodynamic requirements. There are also movable flaps that can influence the airflow surrounding the bodywork, just like how an airplane’s control surfaces allow it to turn, climb and dive.
Lotus says that the E-R9 features an advanced powertrain that drives each wheel individually, and has some kind of torque-vectoring system to enhance handling. But that’s about all the company is willing to reveal online. According to the automaker, more details and photos of the E-R9 can be found in Evo magazine’s March issue (wait…there are still print magazines?).