Lotus has unveiled the E-R9, a dramatic new design study for a next-generation pure electric endurance racer that could be on the starting grid of circuits around the world for the 2030 season. Finished in striking black and gold - a clear nod to Lotus' pioneering motorsport heritage that led to 13 Formula 1 championship titles - the EV features a sleek fighter jet-style canopy centrally mounted in a delta-wing upper body. Innovations include advanced active aerodynamics with 'morphing' body panels and vertically mounted control surfaces to assist with high-speed cornering.
The E-R9 has been developed by Lotus Engineering and the car has been created as a technology showcase of its philosophy, capability and innovative spirit in the fields of advanced electrified powertrains and aerodynamics.
E-R stands for Endurance Racer, while 9 is the car's competition number carefully chosen in tribute to Lotus' racing past. It was in a Lotus Mark IX that the race team made its debut appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours, with company founder Colin Chapman among the drivers competing. The year was 1955, meaning the E-R9 race car concept - if raced in 2030 - would be in celebration of the Mark IX's 75th anniversary.
Chief among the car's aero innovations are its 'morphing' body panels.
The E-R9 was developed by the engineering team of Richard Hill, chief aerodynamicist at Lotus, and Louis Kerr, principal platform engineer on the Lotus Evija pure electric hypercar as well as technical director, GT, Geely Group Motorsports International. Visually it was brought to life by the Lotus Design team, led by Russell Carr, Design Director for Lotus.
Chief among the car's aero innovations are its 'morphing' body panels. Located across the delta-wing profile, this adaptability - where active surfaces can change their shape and attitude to the air flow either at the press of a button by the driver or automatically according to performance sensor inputs - would deliver minimum drag on the straights and maximum downforce in the corners. Vertical control surfaces at the rear would generate aerodynamic forces to help the car change direction, without the limitations of grip at the tyre contact patch. The result is a racer that's partly driven like a car and partly flown like a fighter jet.
It builds on technology already integrated on the Lotus Evija pure electric hypercar
The Lotus E-R9 features an advanced electric drivetrain powering each wheel independently, a system enhanced with torque-vectoring. It builds on technology already integrated on the Lotus Evija pure electric hypercar, though for the E-R9 would be fully adjustable by the driver on the move.