Lotus Emeya completes final stage of intensive test and development programme

Lotus Emeya completes final stage of intensive test and development programme

The Lotus Emeya hyper-GT completed the final stage of a rigorous global test and development programme in one of the world’s harshest environments.

Over the winter, the all-electric grand tourer was in Ivalo, Finland, as Lotus engineers conclude their validation work. Around 250km inside the Arctic Circle, temperatures in recent weeks have been as low as -25 degrees Celsius… and still the team has put the car in a local automotive ‘freezer’ to test it to -40 degrees Celsius.

It’s the culmination of a stringent three-year test and development programme across 15 countries in two continents1, supported by Lotus’ global engineering teams. It took place on a variety of terrain and conditions; from the UK’s challenging B-roads to the smooth and fast-flowing German autobahn, through the highest Alpine passes and the remoteness of Inner Mongolia. Testing also took place at race tracks such as the Nürburgring Nordschleife and at proving grounds like the high-speed loop near the southern Italian town of Nardò.

As well as extreme cold, Emeya also endured conditions as high as 40 degrees Celsius in these environments. Additional in-market testing will take place in the Middle East, United States and Australia ahead of deliveries in these markets.

Sylvain Verstraeten, Regional Vehicle Line Director, Emeya, said: “The testing process at Lotus is rigorous and covers a comprehensive performance assessment of everything from suspension and steering through to battery and tyres. Emeya is the ultimate all-electric grand tourer, designed and engineered to deliver the optimum driving experience for our customers 365 days a year and in all conditions. We’re incredibly excited for customers to be able to experience Emeya for themselves.”

During the Arctic testing programme, Lotus’ engineers focused on testing Emeya in various ways, including:

  • Chassis systems such as suspensions, steering, brakes and traction and stability controls, to ensure stability of the vehicle in various conditions and on surfaces such as ice and snow.
  • Tyre testing and development of bespoke Lotus winter tyres that effectively support the handling and dynamics of the vehicle.
  • Driver assistance functions, which help customers remain in control of the vehicle in situations where road markings and traffic signs may be obscured due to external factors such as snow.
  • Proving the unrestricted usability of the battery in extreme weather, both charging and discharging, to ensure consistency and repeatability.
  • Testing and calibrating the air-conditioning and thermal management systems to ensure the car is as efficient and comfortable as possible in all conditions.

Two types of testing took place during Emeya’s development – controlled and real-world. Controlled testing means consistent conditions must exist. For example, during tyre tests the surface must remain consistent to allow meaningful comparisons. Real-world testing then proves the controlled results, introducing new factors such as changing road surfaces and driving in traffic.

Meeting global regulatory targets is obviously a vital part of the programme, but at the heart of it is one key internal target – to guarantee Emeya drives like a true Lotus. As the company transitions to become an all-electric tech-focused luxury performance brand, staying true to the roots of what makes Lotus a Lotus is paramount.

Gavan Kershaw, Director of Attributes and Product Integrity, Lotus, was involved in that process since he joined the company in 1988 as a 16-year-old.He commented: “There are many elements of the Lotus DNA which have been carried through all our vehicles since the very first one in 1948. A Lotus should be engaging and desirable, but also safe and predictable. That doesn’t mean boring – in fact, just the opposite! Drivers need to know they can trust their car so they can maximise the dynamic performance, and with the development work that’s gone into Emeya, they really can.”

As a true grand tourer, Emeya has many features which help to make it the perfect companion in any environment, including the Arctic Circle. With Lotus advanced control systems and four-wheel drive, the vehicle excels in stability, handling and control, meaning the drivability of Emeya is not compromised in extreme weather.

Customers can remotely prepare their car from the comfort of their own home via the Lotus App. They can set the cabin to the desired temperature as well as turn on the heated seats and the heated steering wheel2. This process can be completed in only a few minutes3 and allows customers to move from house to car with minimal discomfort. The same of course applies in hot climates, where customers can cool the cabin and seats before entering their vehicle.

In addition, heated side cameras and mirrors prevent their vision being impacted by condensation, snow or ice. The 55-inch head-up display – the largest and most advanced in any Lotus – has Snow Mode which turns the display blue, helping the driver to see the outline of the road more easily against a white background.

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