Touted as being the world's most powerful production car, the Lotus Evija is making the headlines again as the Norfolk-based marque is unveiling a special edition. Part of the same 130-unit production run, the new Fittipaldi edition celebrates half a century since the legendary Brazilian race car driver triumphed in 1972. That season, Emerson Fittipaldi and Team Lotus took home both the F1 Drivers' and Constructors' Championships.
Naturally, the Evija's livery echoes that of the successful Type 72, which Fittipaldi drove to five victories in the 11-race 1972 F1 season. The iconic black and gold scheme is also 50 years old in 2022 and has been hand-applied here. It's complemented by a plan view of the Type 72 etched onto the exposed carbon fibre. There are more nods to Evija's source of inspiration, including an "8" on the B-pillar as a reminder of the race car's number in 1972. At the back, the rear wing features decals celebrating the F1 wins that season.
Lotus Evija Fittipaldi
Inside the cabin, the two-time Indy 500 winner's signature is hand-stitched into the dashboard. The direct link to the past was achieved with the rotary dial's construction as it was hand-crafted using recycled aluminium taken straight from Fittipaldi's Type 72. The black leather with gold contrast stitching continues the body's theme. Additional gold accents are noticeable on the pedals, air vent surrounds, start/stop button, and on the aforementioned rotary dial.
2009 F1 champion Jenson Button was among the first to get behind the wheel of the limited-run hypercar at Lotus' privately owned 2.2-mile track in Hethel. Not only that, but he also had the opportunity to drive Emerson's race-winning 1972 Lotus Type 72.
The all-electric Fittipaldi variant has the same specs as the "regular" Evija, meaning quad motors with 2,011 bhp (1,500 kW) and 1,704 Nm (1,257 lb-ft). It’s enough punch for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than three seconds and a 0 to 186 km/h (300 km/h) in the sub-nine-second range. Flat out, it can reach an electronically capped 217 mph (350 km/h). Lotus is targeting a maximum range in the WLTP combined cycle of 250 miles (402 kilometres) on a single charge.
Limited to only eight cars, the Evija Fittipaldi will be gradually handed over to customers from early next year.