Lotus lightweight EV platform unveiled- New EV sports car to launch in 2026

Lotus had unveiled its lightweight EV platform in three layouts at the Low Carbon Vehicle event staged by Cenex.

The EV platform is developed through the Project LEVA (Lightweight Electric Vehicle Architecture) that was announced by Lotus in October last year.

Project LEVA is a research program that’s accelerating the development of all-new lightweight structures for next-generation battery electric vehicles.

Prior to the unveil of Lotus’ EV platform, Lotus has teased its line-up of all-electric vehicles that include lightweight sports cars and SUVs.

Lotus’ EV platform is shown in three different layouts with varying wheelbases and two different battery layouts.

The EV platform by Lotus can also accommodate either single- or twin- electric drive units (EDU).

  1. 2-seater with minimum 2,470 mm wheelbase
  2. 2-seater with more than 2,650 mm wheelbase
  3. 2+2 with more than 2,650 mm wheelbase

The ‘slab’ battery configuration is the typical EV layout while the ‘chest’ configuration allows the engineers to create a weight distribution similar to that of a mid-engine sports car.

2-seater 2-seater 
Wheelbasemin. 2,470 mm 
min. 2,650 mm 
min. 2,650 mm
Battery8-module / chest12-module / chest8-module / slab
Battery capacity66.4 kWh99.6 kWh66.4 kWh
EDU layoutSingleTwinSingle / Twin
Max. Power475 PS883 PS475 PS / 883 PS

This flexible and modular solution will be the genesis for a wide variety of electric vehicle applications.

These could be for the eagerly anticipated Lotus electric sports car – scheduled for launch in 2026 – as well as for third-party clients through Lotus Engineering.

Somewhat related: Lotus To Launch EV SUV In 2022, To Be Made In Wuhan

Two-seater with minimum 2,470 mm wheelbase

As for the environment, Lotus is taking steps to minimise environmental impact by using cold cure, spot bonding and advanced welding processes.

Funding for the project came in part from the Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator program (ARMD). Awarded by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the program is delivered on behalf of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) by Cenex.

Two-seater with more than 2,650 mm wheelbase

On Project LEVA, Lotus has collaborated with supply chain partner Sarginsons Industries and leading academics from Brunel University London to harness the full ‘light-weighting’ potential of the vehicle architecture.

2+2 with more than 2,650 mm wheelbase

Project LEVA has been led by engineer Richard Rackham, Head of Vehicle Concepts, Lotus. Richard is best known for his revolutionary work on development of the extruded aluminium Lotus Elise architecture 25 years ago.

Richard commented: “Project LEVA is as revolutionary now as the Elise architecture was in 1996. In true Lotus spirit, significant weight savings have been achieved throughout, with a focus on ultimate performance, efficiency and safety being engineered into the structure from the outset – for example, by utilising the vehicle structure as the battery enclosure, having an integrated EDU, eliminating bolt-on subframes and optimising the multi-link suspension components.”

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