Following the announcement of the new 2+2 Lotus Evora, the company has released this breakdown that illustrates the innovative sportscar's development from initial sketches through clay modeling to the final product. We thought you might be interested to see the design evolution, so have reproduced it for you here.
1. Created in-house by Lotus Design, Evora is the first all-new Lotus in 13 years.The brief from the Lotus was simply to design a stunning 2+2 mid-engine sportscar, which also offered everyday usability demanded by modern customers.
2. Head of Design Russell Carr comments, "We knew that we had to move the game on and create a dynamic design statement that also retained strong Lotus DNA. Although aggressive aerodynamic and packaging targets meant the form would have to complement the function, we never lost sight of the fact sportscars are an emotional purchase that seduces the customer through beautiful design.
3. "Therefore, we ensured that the 2+2 capability became a hidden bonus, rather than the dominant feature of the design. Finally, we had to consider the longevity of the production life and avoid fashionable themes in favor of designs that were contemporary with a classical twist."
4. A three-week sketch program kicked off in the autumn of 2006 and was followed by the development of three scale models during November 2006. During this phase the studio worked closely with the packaging group to optimize the proportions around this tight and challenging 2+2 layout.
5. Although subtly differentiated by surface language and window graphics, the three themes show some consistent design elements.
6. Carr explains, "Although Lotus doesn't have a rigid corporate design language, there are some common visual philosophies which gave us guidance.
7. "Firstly, the design should reflect the unique driving experience of our cars and therefore it needs to be, athletic, agile and sleek."Secondly, where appropriate, we like to make a feature of functional details."
8. "Thirdly, and most obviously, we have a distinctive front intake, the "Lotus Mouth", which has evolved from the simple elliptical device that was applied to our road and racecars since the 1950s."
9. In addition to these aesthetic philosophies, the desire to minimize drag while generating aerodynamic downforce also led the team to adopt some consistent design solutions.
10. The dramatically tear-drop cabin form and subtle contouring of the body sides minimizes drag while the top-exit ducts for the front radiator and visible rear diffuser achieved the balanced downforce as specified.
11. Steve Crijns' scale model was selected in December 2006 and developed into a feasible full-size clay model for "sign off" in early August 2007.
12. Steve Crijns concludes: "We are proud of the whole design, but I think the greatest success is the way in which we were able to work with the 2+2 proportions. We had to play a few tricks to disguise the length of the wheelbase (the "coke bottle" lines created by shoulder line and cut-away sill) and the height of the cabin (the "crossover graphic" between the side glass and rear screen) but ironically they have now become the car's signature features."