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post #1 of 31 Old 01-29-2019, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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paultan.org
Lotus and Williams teams up – new EV hypercar due?
By Matthew H Tong
29 January 2019

Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering have just formally announced a strategic technical partnership, in which the companies will share research and development into advanced propulsion technologies.

The British automaker’s statement says Lotus Engineering has extensive and proven expertise in the integration and application of new technologies – for Lotus Cars and many global engineering clients, and is an acknowledged leader in lightweight structures and advanced materials.

Williams Advanced Engineering, on the other hand, is a well-known brand that’s deeply involved with motorsports. Its expertise include advanced propulsion systems and award-winning work, particularly through the application of knowledge derived from its exploits in high-tech Formula E race cars.

Lotus Cars CEO, Phil Popham said “our new technology partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering is part of a strategy to expand our knowledge and capability in the rapidly changing automotive landscape. Applying advanced propulsion powertrains can provide numerous exciting solutions across multiple vehicle sectors. Our combined and complementary experiences make this a very compelling match of engineering talent, technical ability and pioneering British spirit.”

Williams FW40 1 Lotus Exige Cup 430 2
Williams Advanced Engineering’s managing director, Craig Wilson said “Williams Advanced Engineering takes great pride in delivering innovation for our customers at a rapid pace of development, born from our Formula One heritage. We will be further developing next generation powertrains in this partnership with Lotus.”

Both firms have yet to announce the project they’ll be working on, but word is they could be developing a brand new all-electric hypercar dubbed Project Omega. Not much is known of the car, save for its purported RM10 million price tag, and that a concept model would be displayed sometime this year.

At launch, Project Omega will be the most ambitious project Lotus has undertaken in its 70-year history, and it will sit on the bones of an all-new, bespoke all-electric drivetrain. With that, it’s tipped to be the fastest, most expensive and most radical model to ever wear the Lotus badge. Considering Lotus’ expertise in making lightweight sports cars and Williams’ knowhow in battery technology, perhaps it’s safe to assume that a high-performance electric vehicle is indeed in the works.
https://paultan.org/2019/01/29/lotus...ive+Reports%29

Last edited by eMcL; 01-29-2019 at 06:17 AM.
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-29-2019, 09:52 AM
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Now the ownership by Geely puts a slightly different spin on things but otherwise this announcement would have been filed away with the rest of Danny Bahar's insane product plans some years ago that were dead in the water and could not possibly ever happen..... Williams did do some work for Jaguar LR (CX-75) though but that never really went anywhere either.
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post #3 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 11:48 AM
 
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Now the ownership by Geely puts a slightly different spin on things but otherwise this announcement would have been filed away with the rest of Danny Bahar's insane product plans some years ago that were dead in the water and could not possibly ever happen..... Williams did do some work for Jaguar LR (CX-75) though but that never really went anywhere either.
It will take a big step forward in terms of battery weight for this car to stick to the Lotus principle.
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post #4 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 02:59 PM
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Now the ownership by Geely puts a slightly different spin on things but otherwise this announcement would have been filed away with the rest of Danny Bahar's insane product plans some years ago that were dead in the water and could not possibly ever happen..... Williams did do some work for Jaguar LR (CX-75) though but that never really went anywhere either.
It will take a big step forward in terms of battery weight for this car to stick to the Lotus principle. <img src="https://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/images/MclarenLife_2015/smilies/tango_face_devil.png" border="0" alt="" title="Devil" class="inlineimg" />
I think it would be great for Lotus to get in on EV technology. With their philosophy we’ll likely see a more rapid evolution in lighter and lighter EV tech. Current vendors out there aren’t entirely focused on reducing EV weight - street car makers don’t care, and hypercar makers care, but not enough. Someone like Lotus would be pretty fixated on reducing battery weight - and I don’t think the initial weight is a non-starter for them as they wouldn’t be mad enough to compare it to their gasoline powered cars yet - so their EV would be the lightest car “for an EV”! &#x1f642;

Thanks!

Z.
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post #5 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 03:07 PM
 
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I think it would be great for Lotus to get in on EV technology. With their philosophy we’ll likely see a more rapid evolution in lighter and lighter EV tech. Current vendors out there aren’t entirely focused on reducing EV weight - street car makers don’t care, and hypercar makers care, but not enough. Someone like Lotus would be pretty fixated on reducing battery weight - and I don’t think the initial weight is a non-starter for them as they wouldn’t be mad enough to compare it to their gasoline powered cars yet - so their EV would be the lightest car “for an EV”! &#x1f642;

Thanks!

Z.
I can't wait to see it, it may be the lightest EV ever.
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post #6 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 05:06 PM
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"The British automaker’s statement says Lotus Engineering has extensive and proven expertise in the integration and application of new technologies – for Lotus Cars and many global engineering clients, and is an acknowledged leader in lightweight structures and advanced materials."
I'm not sure how Lotus got a reputation as "an acknowledged leader in lightweight structures and advanced materials."
The only thing they have done for the last 30 years to differentiate themselves has been to use riveted-and-glued aluminium panels to create load-bearing volumes. That's great, but it's 1960s technology that went from leading edge to trailing edge in the 1980s.

I can see Williams bringing a lot of technology to the table, but Lotus? Lotus are very good at tuning suspensions of lightweight cars to be driven on the poor surfaces of British roads but, apart from that....
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post #7 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 07:49 PM
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I'm not sure how Lotus got a reputation as "an acknowledged leader in lightweight structures and advanced materials."
The only thing they have done for the last 30 years to differentiate themselves has been to use riveted-and-glued aluminium panels to create load-bearing volumes. That's great, but it's 1960s technology that went from leading edge to trailing edge in the 1980s.

I can see Williams bringing a lot of technology to the table, but Lotus? Lotus are very good at tuning suspensions of lightweight cars to be driven on the poor surfaces of British roads but, apart from that....
To be fair to Lotus, they are the only ones that seemingly had been capable of making actual lightweight well handling sports cars for a long long time despite the handicap of a non optimal Toyota Camry engine that was shoehorned into use... for all the hype and journalists bigging up the Alpine (who seem to have forgotten the existence of the even lighter Alfa 4C), the elise/exige are and have been the same weight or lighter since forever. And you can actually get a manual gearbox in the lotus. Ok that manual has it not insignificant flaws (albeit much improved now) but for a car that is built mainly for 'driving experience', running a dual clutch gearbox jars quite strongly with that ethos imo.

Just imagine if Lotus were really leaders in lightweight materials what they could do!
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post #8 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 08:06 PM
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To be fair to Lotus, they are the only ones that seemingly had been capable of making actual lightweight well handling sports cars for a long long time despite the handicap of a non optimal Toyota Camry engine that was shoehorned into use... for all the hype and journalists bigging up the Alpine (who seem to have forgotten the existence of the even lighter Alfa 4C), the elise/exige are and have been the same weight or lighter since forever. And you can actually get a manual gearbox in the lotus. Ok that manual has it not insignificant flaws (albeit much improved now) but for a car that is built mainly for 'driving experience', running a dual clutch gearbox jars quite strongly with that ethos imo.

Just imagine if Lotus were really leaders in lightweight materials what they could do!
I don't think we disagree. My quarrel is with Lotus describing themselves as a "leader in lightweight structures and advanced materials". They are leaders in taking materials that are lighter than what is found in mainstream cars but heavier that what is found in the most advanced cars and turning those (relatively cheap) materials into a well-handling car. I would call that tuning - which is quite important, but has nothing to do with being a leader in advanced materials. IINM, the last time that Lotus tried to make use of advanced materials was about twenty years ago with their metal-matrix brake discs, which project they quickly dropped. Lotus don't do new things; they do quite well a couple of old things.
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post #9 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 08:16 PM
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I don't think we disagree. My quarrel is with Lotus describing themselves as a "leader in lightweight structures and advanced materials". They are leaders in taking materials that are lighter than what is found in mainstream cars but heavier that what is found in the most advanced cars and turning those (relatively cheap) materials into a well-handling car. I would call that tuning - which is quite important, but has nothing to do with being a leader in advanced materials. IINM, the last time that Lotus tried to make use of advanced materials was about twenty years ago with their metal-matrix brake discs, which project they quickly dropped. Lotus don't do new things; they do quite well a couple of old things.
Agree - but that Lotus statement also didn't say how many years (or decades) ago they were a leader those things too Won't be the first or last time a company was played a bit fast and loose with facts!
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post #10 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure how Lotus got a reputation as "an acknowledged leader in lightweight structures and advanced materials."
The only thing they have done for the last 30 years to differentiate themselves has been to use riveted-and-glued aluminium panels to create load-bearing volumes. That's great, but it's 1960s technology that went from leading edge to trailing edge in the 1980s.

I can see Williams bringing a lot of technology to the table, but Lotus? Lotus are very good at tuning suspensions of lightweight cars to be driven on the poor surfaces of British roads but, apart from that....
Yeah not as good as carbon fiber or titanium — advertising past glory I guess. Soon they will be touting excellence in F1 ….

Colin Chapman’s technical leadership and unrelenting passion to make a car lighter, more responsive and ultimately faster. Indeed, he famously said: “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”.
https://www.lotuscars.com/lotus-difference-lightweight
https://www.lotuscars.com/lightweigh...se-study-evora
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post #11 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 09:47 PM
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Yeah not as good as carbon fiber or titanium — advertising past glory I guess. Soon they will be touting excellence in F1 ….
True, but to be fair, they have made good use of materials that fit their market segment's budget.
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post #12 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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True, but to be fair, they have made good use of materials that fit their market segment's budget.
Agreed. Ferrari and Porsche do the same ...
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post #13 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 10:56 PM
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Yeah not as good as carbon fiber or titanium — advertising past glory I guess. Soon they will be touting excellence in F1 ….

Colin Chapman’s technical leadership and unrelenting passion to make a car lighter, more responsive and ultimately faster. Indeed, he famously said: “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”.
https://www.lotuscars.com/lotus-difference-lightweight
https://www.lotuscars.com/lightweigh...se-study-evora
Yes, I believe you are referring to the same Colin Chapman who died before Ayrton Senna started driving for McLaren and, I daresay, before most of us on this forum had bought his or her first car. Since then, things have moved on a bit!
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post #14 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I believe you are referring to the same Colin Chapman who died before Ayrton Senna started driving for McLaren and, I daresay, before most of us on this forum had bought his or her first car. Since then, things have moved on a bit!
Yes. But as you know Lotus have been making cars for a much longer time period than McLaren. I gather that Mike Flewitt is the resident expert on all things Lotus ….
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-18-2019, 11:45 PM
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Yes. But as you know Lotus have been making cars for a much longer time period than McLaren. I gather that Mike Flewitt is the resident expert on all things Lotus ….
I doubt that Mike Flewitt is an expert on anything. Fortunately there are other people at McLaren who are experts on things related to cars, and who make McLaren the technology leader that Lotus have not been for 40 years.
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