Lotus is showing off a concept vehicle called the Lotus E-R9 that is a design study showing off what it has in mind for an electric racecar for 2030. Lotus chief aerodynamicist Richard Hill says that the E-R9 is “partly driven like a car and partly flown like a fighter jet.” The active aerodynamic systems include morphing body panels and aerodynamic control surfaces.
The EV powertrain would feature torque vectoring from the Lotus Evija with tweaks to make it driver adaptable on the move. The concept car is finished in black and gold, which is meant to be a nod to the motorsports heritage that led to 13 Formula 1 championship titles for the brand.
Development of the E-R9 was handled by Lotus Engineering, which is a global consultancy division of Lotus working on projects for external clients. The vehicle was created to be a technology showcase to show off capability and innovation in the fields of advanced electrified powertrains and aerodynamics.
E-R stands for Endurance Racer, while 9 is the competition number for the car chosen in tribute to the racing history of Lotus. The morphing body panels are located across the Delta-wing profile of the vehicle. The active surfaces can change the shape and attitude to the airflow at the press of a button by the driver or automatically as determined by performance sensor inputs.
The goal would be to decrease drag on the straights and maximize downforce in the corners. The car has vertical control surfaces on the rear to generate aerodynamic forces to help the car change direction without relying on the limits of tires. There is no indication of what type of performance Lotus expects from the concept car should it ever be produced.