The upcoming all-new, all-electric Lotus Evija’s launch has been delayed by five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the British automaker announced this week. It’s the type of delay that we’ve seen doom many Lotus plans in the past.
The news comes from Autocar, which likely caught wind of the delay after Lotus sent letters out to current and potential customers notifying them of the move this week. Here’s more on the cause of the delay, from Autocar:
Lotus boss Phil Popham told Autocar that the Evija’s delay was caused by lockdowns, travel restrictions and the need for quarantines, meaning the firm has not been able to test its four dynamic prototypes in the variety of conditions needed.
“We have lost five months of testing, mainly in continental Europe,” he said. “We have missed hot weather testing in Spain. It’s not as simple as moving everything to the right as you have to book facilities and there’s a queue, with everyone in the same boat.”
If you’ve ever wondered why it seems like Lotus has only made one or two of the same car for the last decade, it’s because that’s exactly what it’s had to do. While there have been plans for even an all-new lineup of supercars, Lotus has always struggled with financing. Company executives have claimed the quoted figure of a recent estimated $1.9 billion investment to save the brand was “conservative.”
But now the automaker is owned by Chinese conglomerate Geely, which also pays the bills at six other automotive brands around the world including Lynk & Co., Volvo and Polestar. The latest plan is to phase out internal-combustion engine sports cars for electrified models, and also make a pretty standard luxury crossover to, you know, try to actually sell enough vehicles to avoid insolvency.
The spearhead of this plan is the Evija, even in spite of the delay. When the new electric supercar was revealed last year, Lotus quoted its power at just under 2,000 horsepower. But the engineers have been working on what they could since the outbreak, including aerodynamic improvements and tweaking its power to over 2,000 HP now, according to CEO Popham.
So far, the company has 70 confident reservation holders of 130 planned to be built, at a price of over $2 million per car. A world tour to scoop up more customers planned back in March has been postponed, so it will have to find their remaining 60 or so millionaires later.
The CEO also confirmed the company’s last planned internal combustion sports car’s development has been unaffected and is progressing as planned, so we should be seeing that production car sooner than later. Especially if the company thinks people will pay money for it right now.