According to LEVC’s dynamics expert Steve Swift (who I last encountered developing Elises and Exiges at Lotus’s Hethel headquarters), there was initial concern that the quick steering might introduce “sharpness” at speed, but everything I’ve encountered today points to the fact that this car (governed at 80mph) simply doesn’t need any speed restriction – beyond the fact that sustained high speeds blow drastic holes in the cruising ranges of electric cars.
A particular feature is the lack of pitch in this car’s ride, something I find especially impressive because the TX has seating for three adults right over the rear axle, and needs spring/damper rates that can still cope when it’s carrying six rugby players to a game.
In ordinary cars, the gross weight difference between lightly and fully laden would force big compromises in suspension rates, but the TX already carries a 330kg battery under its cabin floor, so the changing passenger loads have less than their usual effects.
The conversation of my passengers, in this case company officials along for my first drive, is plainly audible in the driver’s seat, such is the lack of mechanical noise. When I try the rear seat, the effect is the same. You can have effortless conversations between back and front: try that in your TX4. Or, for that matter, in your taxified Mercedes Vito van, the best of the TX’s opposition. In future, cab-borne passengers seeking perfect privacy while they propose marriage, plan military coups or plot financial takeovers will need to do more than merely mute the microphone…
When you get into the generous passenger cabin (which has space for one more 95th percentile passenger than the outgoing TX4) you can’t help noticing the ease of ingress through the vast door, noting that there’s space not only for a full-size wheelchair to be loaded but for it to be manoeuvred easily inside to face the front, by far the passengers’ preferred direction of travel.
The cabin is durably trimmed with quality bash-proof plastics and yellow grab-handles, but there’s an all-new and impressively detailed control panel (for intercom, window lifts, temperature and more) plus power outlets, USB ports and on-board wi-fi. It’s all of a quality I’ve not seen before. The dynamics are good here in the back too: very little pitching or rolling or noise.