The Lotus Evija Fittipaldi has been unveiled as an homage to one of the most fabulous car-and-driver combinations in Formula 1 history, in an effort to improve the future by drawing inspiration from the past. Even more exclusivity and desirable features are now offered by the most powerful production automobile in the world.
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The duality of history and state-of-the-art performance
Emerson Fittipaldi, the Brazilian racer who joined Lotus and rose to fame, cemented his position in F1 history in 1972, is the driver in question. Fittipaldi won five of the season’s 11 races while driving the now-iconic Lotus Type 72, securing both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships for Team Lotus.
The Lotus Evija Fittipaldi is a suitable commemoration of the alliance exactly 50 years later. At Hethel in Norfolk, UK, the world headquarters of Lotus sports car design and manufacture, just eight copies of the all-electric two-seater are being hand-built, and all of them have been sold. Deliveries to customers will start early in 2023. It is the most recent endeavor of Lotus Advanced Performance, the company’s experience design and custom branch established earlier this year.
The hand-painted exterior, the iconic black and gold color scheme, which will be 50 years old in 2022, as well as a number of other distinctive design elements, have been designed to honor this incredible cooperation. They feature Emerson Fittipaldi’s signature hand-stitched onto the console and a hand-tinted plan view of the Type 72 carved into the exposed carbon fiber roof.
The rotary dial on the floating center instrument panel is maybe the most stirring element of all. Each Evija Fittipaldi is made by hand from recycled original Type 72 aluminum, guaranteeing that every one of them has a real fragment of the legendary F1 racer.
Unveiled by the legend himself
“It’s fantastic to be back at Hethel for such a special occasion. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this project and it’s been a wonderful experience revealing the car to some of the new owners. Having the opportunity to drive both the Evija Fittipaldi and my championship-winning Type 72 Formula 1 car on the test track at Hethel has been an incredible experience.”, said Emereson Fittipaldi, former F1 champion with Lotus.
“The word ‘legend’ is often overused, but this project has brought together the Lotus Evija hypercar, Emerson Fittipaldi, the Type 72 race car and our brand’s celebrated Formula 1 heritage. No argument, that is four legitimate legends, all collaborating to deliver a truly unique hypercar and a world premiere that was a real ‘pinch yourself’ moment.”, added Simon Lane, Director, Lotus Advanced Performance.
The design marks the 50-year anniversary
The Lotus Evija Fittipaldi’s customized features begin with its distinctive paint finish, which has its name inscribed in gold writing on the bodywork to the side of the rear windshield. It is complemented with black and gold brake calipers and ‘Type 72’ wheels with anodized center lock surrounds that are red on the left side of the automobile and green on the right.
On the active rear wing are decals honoring the Type 72’s achievements in races throughout the 1972 season, and a number 8 has been painted on the B-pillar. Throughout the 1972 racing season, Emerson Fittipaldi competed with that car’s number, including for his victory at the British Grand Prix. The external style is finished with a carbon and gold Lotus nose badge.
The luxury and custom design motif is continued inside. Exclusive roof liner stitching, black leather upholstery with gold contrast stitching, and gold finishes on the air vent surround, center rotary clock, start/stop button, and pedals can all be found within the cabin.
The automobile was created with the assistance of Classic Team Lotus, the legendary racing organization now operated by the family of Lotus founder Colin Chapman to look after and run Lotus F1 cars.
“Emerson Fittipaldi and my father enjoyed a very special relationship, and their spectacular success was a brilliant team effort by the dedicated designers and mechanics at Team Lotus. One of motorsport’s most admired drivers, it is always emotional whenever Emerson is reunited with the Lotus Type 72, which he describes as the greatest car he ever raced.”, said Clive Chapman, Managing Director Classic Team Lotus.
Performance and dynamics worthy of the occasion
The driver is still at the center of the Lotus Evija experience despite its great power and performance, much as it was for the Emerson Fittipaldi and the Type 72. The Lotus Evija Fittipaldi’s technical specifications and performance numbers are genuinely astounding; with more than 2,000 PS, it is the most potent series production automobile in the world and produces more than 1,700Nm of torque.
From a standing start, the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration takes less than three seconds, and the 0-186 mph (0-300 km/h) acceleration takes nine seconds. The restricted maximum speed is 350 km/h (217 mph).
The Evija is a breathtaking example of modern automobile design, the product of a team under the direction of Lotus Design Director Russell Carr. It has a magnificent Venturi tunnel running through each of its rear quarters. By channeling air into the Evija rather than merely over, under, and around it, this “porosity” maximizes downforce while minimizing drag.
The Evija has cutting-edge performance thanks to active aero elements including a Formula 1-style DRS (Drag Reduction System) and its front splitter, which improves grip while directing cooling air to the battery pack, E-motors, and brakes.
The interior, from the fully adjustable race-style seats to the multi-function steering wheel, is the absolute peak of motorsport-inspired road vehicle design and technology. It is the first Lotus road car to utilize a one-piece carbon fiber monocoque structure.
Type 72 served as inspiration for the Lotus Evija Fittipaldi
The Lotus Type 72 continues to be the most successful racing vehicle not only of its age but in all of F1 history, much as how the Lotus Evija is ushering in a new era of pure electric speed. Autosport magazine called it the best F1 vehicle ever in 2019.
Type 72 was the first racing vehicle to integrate aerodynamics into its basic design, making it a surprise both on paper and on the track. The front splitter and integrated rear wing were created expressly to increase downforce and enable the automobile to cut through the air.
The Type 72’s radiators were situated in the side pods of the vehicle rather than the nose, ensuring that pure, undisturbed air could be drawn directly into the engine. The Type 72’s air intake was also moved above the driver’s head. In addition to improving weight distribution and performance, this also improves cooling efficiency.
The brakes were mounted similarly, although inboard rather than on each wheel, to help with cooling as the discs’ tips protruded through the bodywork. The Lotus Type 72 was the pioneer of what eventually evolved into the standard “wedge on wheels” designs that quickly served as an example to every other rival on the grid.