Lotus pitching Evora platform to outside companies

EvoraEVPackaging

Lotus Evora EV

As of last week, Tesla has delivered over 850 examples of its Elise-based Roadster. The collaboration has been a success for both Lotus and Tesla, and as a result Lotus is eager to begin more 3rd party manufacturing — this time utilizing the platform of the much-acclaimed Evora. Or so rumor has it.

This document from Lotus Engineering details the sales pitch of the Evora’s Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA). The structure is designed to be easily adaptable to various vehicle configurations including an EV as pictured above.

Page five of the document confirms the impending Lotus Esprit’s arrival as a “high-status purchase” and “essential brand image builder”.

The Evora’s chassis is an evolution of the Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) from the Lotus APX concept vehicle and allows for the development of a range of vehicles up to a gross vehicle weight of 1,900 kg. This architecture has been designed to be more applicable to mid-volume applications by utilising low capital investment manufacturing processes. The Evora structure progresses the Lotus ‘bonded and riveted’ technology used in the Elise family of vehicles with unique extrusions and folded panels, whilst providing contemporary ease of ingress/egress, build modularity and improved, lower cost repairs.

The Low Volume VVA architecture has been designed so that it can be extended in width, length and height. The strength and stiffness of the low volume VVA chassis can be modified cost effectively by varying the wall thickness of the extrusions, without altering the exterior dimensions. The ability to lengthen or shorten extrusions with the option to tailor the chassis stiffness, vastly increases the number of vehicles that can be developed from this vehicle architecture. Front and mid engine installations have been considered, as well as hybrid and Electric Vehicle (EV) applications.

The Lotus Evora employs a composite roof as a stressed structural member to give an exceptional vehicle stiffness of 26,000 Nm per degree, thanks in part to the seatbelt anchorage frame’s secondary function as a roll over structure, and partly because the high-tech composite body panels are stressed items. However, despite this high stiffness, the complete chassis and modules weigh just 200 kg (prototype weight), helping to keep the weight of the whole car to just 1350 kg (prototype weight).

To deliver this high performance structure, bonded and riveted high grade aluminium extrusions and simple and elegant folded sheet elements are used in the lower structure, building upon award winning research projects in this field. Lotus pioneered the technology of bonded aluminium extrusions for use in road vehicles and has successfully developed high performance cars for other car companies around the world.

The central tub is attached to an extruded aluminium subframe at the front and a lightweight welded steel subframe at the rear. These subframe modules also offer advantages in terms of convenience and low cost of repair, and during manufacturing can be brought to the production line fully assembled, ready to be attached.

The PDF can be downloaded or viewed below:

[Source: Paultan]

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