The Lotus Evija looks like it might be a genuine contender as one of the most exciting electric hypercars of recent years. Behind the scenes, it might come as a surprise to know that Williams Advanced Engineering (yes, they are associated with the Formula 1 team) has been ousted for its dismal performance. Shhhh, we know there are Formula 1 fans snickering in the background, but what on earth lead to the colossal falling out between the two?
Williams’ role in the project was providing specific high-voltage and battery development expertise to the project. Unfortunately, Lotus says that it terminated the technical contract due to delivery issues. Regardless of what that exactly means, WAE is taking legal action against the British automaker’s decision, citing its displeasure and outstanding invoices that have gone unpaid since April 2020.
Gallery: Lotus Evija factory
Founded in 2010, the Williams Advanced Engineering Division was created as an effort to expand the F1 team’s outreach. The group declares its work as world class technical innovation, engineering, testing, manufacturing, and operational consultancy services to the automotive, motorsport, aerospace, defense, health, and energy sectors.
With an expected release set in 2021 due to unscheduled delays from the pandemic, the Evija will put out an estimated 2,000 bhp (1,491 kilowatts) to all four wheels. The original power output was estimated at 1,973 bhp (1,471 kW), but extra time for fine-tuning has led to the marginal gains. The collection of numbers is capable of firing the Evija to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in under three seconds and will keep pulling above 200 mph (322 km/h) – all while boasting a targeted range of 250 miles (402 kilometres).
Lotus’ contract termination is said to put a number of UK jobs at risk and even jeopardise the hypercar’s launch. Regardless of whether WAE will keep its contract, it’s clear that there will be some awkward moments between the two in the near future.