“A racer partly driven like a car and partly flown like a fighter jet” – that’s how Lotus describes the all-new E-R9 design study. The Hethel, UK-based automaker prepares for the future of endurance racing by fast-forwarding through nine years of technological development and imagining what Le Mans might look like in 2030. The vision involves super-sleek, aircraft-inspired race cars with fast-morphing aero-optimizing body panels and high-powered Evija-derived electric drives with advanced torque vectoring.
Lotus didn’t merely pick out 2030 as a nice round year in the future. The date represents the 75th anniversary of Lotus’ Le Mans racing debut in 1955, when a team that included company founder Colin Chapman raced the Lotus Mark IX. The “9” in the Endurance Racer study’s name pays homage to that car, as well.
More than just a visual study created by bright-eyed designers, the E-R9 came to life as a collaboration between Lotus’ design and engineering teams. Involved in its conception were Richard Hill, Lotus chief aerodynamicist; Louis Kerr, Geely Group Motorsports International GT technical director and principal platform engineer for the Evija; and Russell Carr, Lotus design director.
“What we’ve tried to do is to push the boundaries of where we are technically today and extrapolate into the future,” commented Richard Hill. “The Lotus E-R9 incorporates technologies which we fully expect to develop and be practical.”