October 27, 2020
The 1,500-plus HP Club in Project CARS 3: Part 1—Electrifying!
Once upon a time, a car with over a ton of horsepower was consigned strictly to elite levels of motorsport. The CanAm Porsche 917/10 (around 1,100hp and weighing 750KGs) or the Lotus 98T (a ton of power and weighing around 550KGs), for instance. But these cars were solely made for track work and, without any aids, capable of being tamed only by the very best and bravest driving talents of the day. Both are in Project CARS 3, by the way, if you’re crazy enough to want to give them a go.
But with the advent of modern driving aids, contemporary tyres, and hybrid tech’ (and now full electric power), the days of 1,500hp road cars that are equally at home at the shopping centre on Saturday morning and the Nürburgring on Sunday afternoon has arrived.
These cars now have limits than were once the sole reserve of motorsport legends. In Project CARS 3, you can sample four of the most extraordinary examples of this new breed of hypercar (or are they megacars?). Two are full electric, and two sport internal combustion engines (ICE).
This week we’ll focus on the electrics: two cars that are as rare as they sublime. And one has yet to make its debut in the real world …
Lotus will enter the electric hypercar scene next year with its Lotus Evija, and Project CARS 3 drivers can get a simulated first-look at what one of the world’s most mythical car brands is about to deliver. In a word—astonishing.
With only 130 models scheduled for production (it will hit the streets in 2021), the Evija—derived from the biblical Eve as “the Living one”, or “first in existence”—takes the all-modern, all-electric zeitgeist and brings to it the kind of motorsport refinement that lives and breathes at Lotus Cars. The result? A new benchmark for the future of electric hypercars.
Good news for Project CARS 3 racers is that you don’t need to wait until 2021 because you can jump into the virtual cockpit today and get to grips with the simulated Lotus Evija—painstakingly recreated from CAD and other manufacturer specs.
This being Lotus, where “adding lightness” has been a mantra since the 1960s, it’s no surprise to find the Evija is the lightest electric hypercar in its segment. It’s been able to shed weight via a carbon fibre monocoque chassis that weighs a mere 129kg on its own but retains enough rigidity to encapsulate Lotus’ core dynamic agility.
For downforce, Lotus have gone back to their early days of pioneering innovation during the height of their F1 prowess, utilising many principle aerodynamic systems developed in pursuit of the seven world constructors’ championships they won. In order to achieve the notorious ground effect that allows cars to stick to the ground, the Evija has to be a low as possible to the ground, similar to that of an F1 car.
Then there’s the real jaw-dropper—the power generated from the F1-derived power-pack: four motors, one on each wheel, with a target of 493hp. Each. For a total of 1,970hp. That power can go to two, three, or all four wheels for continuously optimised handling. What does all this translate to? How about 0-300kmh in … 9 seconds. If there was still an argument that all-electric cars can’t bring levels of performance that has been the sole remit of ICE for a century, the Evija is about to do the same to that argument as it’s going to do to every supercar on the road—evisceration.
Let’s get those numbers out of the way right off the top because they’re that impressive: Under two seconds 0 to 100kmh, 1,914hp, 412kmh top speed, and enough torque to snap your neck off.
The body is carbon fibre, the tub is carbon fibre, the drivetrain consists of four electric motors on each wheel, and a 120kWh battery pack and the power comes through all four wheels at variable torque vectors to help get most of almost two tons of hp hustling down on the track.
This is a hypercar GT made to be comfortable and eminently usable, but most of all—exciting. It’s a fun car through and through. Capable of two full laps of the Nürburgring on full power, it comes with a virtual Driving Coach to afford drivers an instant guide on all they need to know on tracks throughout the world, from braking distances to apexes.
This is a new breed of hypercars that are quickly redefining the possibilities of what you can achieve with new technologies. Which is your favourite? Only one way to find out—go drive them in Project CARS 3.